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Managing the Information Avalanche

Managing the Information Avalanche

by Ron Ashkenas

“All managers can (and need to) step up to a higher level of information discipline. These five steps can help control that information avalanche, wherever it flows from:

  1. Instead of trying to absorb everything, focus on a few key indicators. For short-term performance, look for leading instead of lagging indicators. Make sure that they give you a basis for taking action.
  2. Differentiate opinion from data. Remember that different people can observe the same event and interpret it based on their own (sometimes unconscious) bias or agenda.
  3. Examine trends and patterns. This means not only looking at indicators over time, but also examining their sources and how they may be changing.
  4. Periodically look at the ecosystem. Since information flows from everywhere, occasionally take the time to map out where data is coming from and what it says. This will show you if certain data sources are becoming dominant or just “noisy”; or if other key constituencies are not providing any input.
  5. Use information as a basis for dialogue. Interpreting information requires people with different filters, analytical tools, and perspectives.  Take advantage of your team and other resources to sort through the information so that you’ll have a richer foundation for making decisions.”

Read the full article on the HBR Blog:




Posted on: March 29, 2012, 7:07 am Category: Uncategorized

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