The Invisibility Problem

Published by Lex on

The invisibility problem is a huge issue for most organizations.

Making information visible to the right people at the right time is a challenge that is not easily addressed.

The reality is that most information that gets digitized is invisible. You can’t see the bits and bites that are encoded somewhere in the network, but yet they are there.

Organizations have come up with proxies for making some information visible, but it is not quite enough.

We have come up with a series of notifications emails, texts, pop-ups, dashboards, etc, but this creates a different set of problems.

These tools are fundamentally inadequate because information is multidimensional and our information tools mostly tabular in nature.

Importance is relative though. What is important to me may not be important you and vice versa.

Consensus Important

The harsh truth in all this is that we really don’t know which information is important until we need something and don’t have it.

This is information that everybody thinks is important but may not actually be as important as you suspect.

Compliance Important

This is information that is important for compliance purposes which is directly related to consensus important.

Contextually Important

This is information that can be imported depending on the context of the situation. This information is most likely valuable in the short-term, I can be aggregated into in two reports to create information for future decisions

These categories of information are not absolute and there’s a fair degree of fluidity between all of them.

The tools that we use to surface important information are inadequate due to the distributed nature of work and the degree of context shifting we all do.

The multitasking remote work environment clearly demonstrates significant gaps in information systems.

Information coordination sessions ( aka meetings) are scheduled to try to uncover gaps in process and in knowledge.

Some information is always discarded. Sometimes intentionally and sometimes as an oversight.

It is impossible to factor all information in every situation. In some ways, information abundance in combination with artificial intelligence creates a situation where less information is visible.

The more information that we generate the more information becomes invisible. Organization needs to develop ways to surface information without relying information tools that intentionally and unintentionally make information invisible..