We are in an age of online information overload, where cutting through the clutter to identify, harvest and apply useful and insightful information is increasingly difficult. But regardless of the abundance of information available, it is more important than ever for today’s workforce and businesses to stay up with current industry news, research, innovations, trends, competitor moves, etc.
To keep pace with the flow of information, international technology speaker, author, and consultant Scott Klososky urges businesses to leverage the process of Building Rivers of Information – a way of using online social tools and applications to create information filters and aggregators for improving the overall industry IQ of the organization.
“It’s a knowledge economy and the smart people win”, says Klososky.
By instituting a formal River of Information, the expectancy is that the individuals and teams that make up the organization will be able to add measurable efficiency in streamlining their daily intake of knowledge. Some key factors in instituting this process include:
* Developing the ability to rapidly digest and transmit valuable pieces of information using social tools creates an advantage in the traditional marketplace.
* Sharing this info-gathering method with all department teams creates accountability for each team’s contribution to the cumulative information stream.
* Creating reward systems for individual contributions and reporting add incentive for finding and sharing the most valuable pieces of information.
The business world is dominated by people who constantly research topics relevant to their organizations and by industry professionals who are willing to learn, no matter how much they already know. However, staying up-to-date and informed on industry news shouldn’t only be a personal goal. Every member of an organization should be striving to improve the company IQ collectively. In this regard it is the responsibility of the organization to educate its employees about the importance of keeping personal Rivers of Information relevant and robust with the most vital content. Every department can benefit from proactive information gathering to some degree and knowledge growth in this era of social technologies should be viewed as an absolute necessity.
Six-Step Process for Instituting the River of Information Process
A suggested starting point for leaders to introduce this concept is to begin by creating a personal river and to document why the chosen sources are followed. Then, by sharing these results to employees, the aim is that it will give them a customizable starting point with proof (from the top down) that collecting information is worth the effort.
Below is an itemized summary of the complete six-step process for building a personal river of information and embedding it into business culture:
Step One: Identify a robust list of valuable information sources -
Begin by identifying the top 30-40 quality industry sources of information you do not currently follow (blogs, newsletters, BI stat feeds, top Twitterers, etc.). Only through actively and continuously working to improve your river will you grow your career IQ at a high rate.
Step Two: Implement technology tools to help you consume the information -
Tools such as Google Reader and NetVibes are designed to aggregate many different sources of information onto one screen. There are built-in listening/alert tools that will continuously hunt down any mention of a keyword and bring the information to you.
Step Three: Institutionalize the process across the organization –
The end goal is to raise the entire career IQ of the organization and for this to happen the concept and practice of building rivers of information has to be woven into the corporate culture. Regular discussion meetings, reward systems, and commentary and suggestions from leadership are ways to help accomplish this.
Step Four: Implement accountability measures to assure the team is executing and adding to the collective ability to grow their rivers –
As with any process change, progress will come faster when there is a method of accountability. Regular reporting and communication between teams and departments is essential.
Step Five: Provide training on information sources and technology tools for implementing–
Because this is a new field, it is naïve to think team members will assimilate the knowledge without help. Training should be provided on how to use the Web-based tools that support this process.
Step Six: Develop processes for advertising new sources of information when discovered–
Information sources are going to ebb and flow in value. The best thing the organization can do to combat this is to create a central hub where new sources of information can be posted, archived, or amended. Any new postings or revisions should then be automatically emailed to all departments affected.
The ultimate outcome for building a powerful river of information is to strategically tap into robust streams of online information to improve the industry IQ of the organization and its professionals, gaining a competitive advantage in the traditional marketplace. Once teams have streamlined their daily knowledge intake, they will have a much better command of the thoughts, ideas, and events circulating in relevant areas of interest. Not only will possible competitor moves become more visible, but real time information will quickly take the place of static or outdated information from slower, traditional sources of information.
For more information and details on Building Rivers of Information please watch the video at http://www.youtube.com/
Scott Klososky, a former CEO of three successful startup companies, specializes in over-the-horizon approaches to how technology is changing the world. Scott's vision and ability to see trends in emerging technologies allow him to be a thought leader who applies his skills to help organizations thrive, leaders prosper, and entire industries move forward. His love of technology entrepreneurship also assures that he continually works in the trenches to provide the most relevant market-tested insight and processes.
For more information on Scott Klososky or his FPOV team, please refer to: http://www.klososky.com or http://www.fpov.org.
# # #
Scott Klososky is an International technology speaker, consultant and author who addresses future trends in any area of business and society. Scott Klososky, a former CEO of three successful startup companies, specializes in looking over the horizon with how technology is changing the world.