There are five easy pieces for an organization to keep in mind to thrive in the information age.

  • Empathy
  • Entropy
  • Ergodicity
  • Encoding
  • Encryption

Looking at the five Es individually they are not necessarily related.

It all starts with empathy. The ability to put yourself in someone else’s place is critical for any individual or organization that is looking outward. Empathy for your customers, empathy for your suppliers and empathy for your coworkers, empathy across the board. The key to deep understanding is the ability to empathize.

Entropy has to do with the loss of information due to complexity and interference in a signal. Entropy is related to randomness and disorder and the amount of energy being used without producing any output.

Ergodicity is about what happens to processes over time when there is randomness in the outcome. Over time, the average will come out, but for any one specific instance just about any possible could happen.

Encoding is how information is captured and used to drive processes. The encoding could be turning this into to some sort of standard operating

Encryption is how your knowledge is protected and safely shared. While it is largely associated with computers and digital communication. Most information has a continuum of  protection from completely open. 

All of these elements are at work constantly. It is hard to say that anything stays the same. Most organizations just hope that enough elements remain stable so that they can run their operation with some predictability.

The information situation is always fluid. New information comes in, new information goes out. Information has an impact on information which impacts behavior which in turns impacts information.

With information moving more quickly, there is more happening which just keeps causing more to happen. Even though it may seem as if nothing has changed, information has changed which causes the situation to evolve in some way.

In this kind of world, you realize that optimal answers don’t exist and that you need to do the best that you can with what you at the time.

Photo by krossbow