Article by Paul - Knowledge is Power.  Information can be distracting

Knowledge is Power. Information can be distracting

As I sat in my car I scanned the array of information on the dashboard. I pushed a button that added more information.

I actually paid for all this functionality. But in truth, I do not need to know that my average speed was 23.2 mph this morning. Or even the tyre pressure on the left rear.

Anyway, I did eventually get out the car and walk into the office. People were starting to wonder, after all.

In the office I noticed something. There was even more information than in my car.

In business, information abounds. Loads of information. People, and systems, are making more information. We buy systems that give us more information - faster, sooner, and in more detail. We even draw pictures, called info graphics, with the information in a ghastly outburst of digital automated painting by numbers.

The value of information in business, I submit, is that it informs you as to what needs to be done next. I know it's lovely to have information that pats you on the back, but I will talk about time management in a separate article. Information is about giving you control.

If you have wrong information, you take a wrong turn. If you have too much, you get indecisive. And so on. We have to acquire some skills here, and here is what they are. We have to filter information. And we have to validate information. And we have to choose what information matters, as opposed to letting a flood of what may be simply assumptions take up space in your brain reserved for information. What are the key levers of control in your business? The things you can make the business go faster, or in a different direction. You need good, accurate, timely, information about those things. Imagine trying to drive your car on a busy road with all the dashboard lights going off. I have seen people, in business, with that look on their face whilst they try to understand why an old lady in Alaska looked at their website but didn't buy a course on sun cream application.

The rest? File 13, we used to call it. In this modern times it is the recycling bin.

Remember, having information costs time and money. You need to get value from your information.

Paul OrangetreeBusiness Clarity Specialist

Paul Orangetree

Before becoming a director of OrangeTree in 2008, Paul had a successful corporate career leading to a position of director in a multi national, multi million pound company. Paul believes he has grasped the real meaning of the word strategy, and that having a clear view of what you are doing will make it massively easier to do it. He applies that to both businesses in which he works, and yours, if you want.

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