I get it. Communication is complicated. There is a lot to manage. Information has different degrees of importance to different people. What is important to you may not be important to someone else and vice versa. The batch size of information is also an important but under-considered factor. How much information should be passed along in one packet? Is there an optimum batch size? Too much information in a batch is a problem and too little information is not good either.
The information importance disparity causes a lot of conflict in all relationships. Business and personal relationships both suffer from the same dynamic when the parties place different priorities and weight on information. People use different systems to cope with information. These different systems — have a lot of variability and dubious reliability to work as a system.
Everyone has information coming into their life and information that they are sending out. Sometimes, we are just pass throughs for the information other times we are required to take some action based on the information and transform it in some way before passing it on. In any format, this requires trust. Trust that you will do the right thing with the information, but this is also a bit of an art form…What information can you share and when can you share it? (Come back soon to check out our upcoming post about Information Trust.)
All of this factors into your personal information throughput time. However, much like in Eli Goldratt’s “The Goal,” every organization has its information throughput Herbie. It might be that Herbie is slow with information, or it might be that Herbie gets too much thrown his way and information that is difficult to process. Herbie may be an individual or Herbie may be a department/function. There may be some ambiguity about the information requiring clarification, there may be options or restrictions.
If we started to look at information queues in your organization and start to look at where information backs up, you might learn some pretty interesting things about your organizational information throughput. Depending on your organization, you might have multiple information workflows…and some of these workflows might actually be interdependent on each other. (This is definitely a source of Cracks)
The key takeaway from this post is that your organization has multiple information queues. Some of these queues are interdependent on each other.