Drowning in Data
With thanks to The Big Partnership, this is their interview with me, just after I stepped off of the stage at the 2010 Like Minds event in Exeter.
We don’t know what we don’t know! Many businesses are obsessed with information technology. However, information isn’t great for a business. Information needs context that can turn it into (actionable) knowledge, and more that that, it needs a generalised narrative that turns that knowledge into “wisdom” – knowledge that transcends specific contexts and gives staff the insight to make the right decisions in the new situations that constantly appear in today’s high speed business world.
We are drowning in information. We need to curate it, to create stories around it, to give it social context. Numbers don’t do anywhere near as much for managing the business as we’d like to think. It isn’t the spreadsheet that runs (or ruins) the business, it is the people, and the stories that they tell each other.
The social technologies that we use in our personal lives can be immensely useful in the business context. Social technology has made tagging things, mapping relationships, geo-tagging and adding metadata incredibly easy. These are all essential tools and techniques for curating business information.
Fish are the last to discover water.
Lastly, breaking the confines of our context is incredibly important. Only by getting outside of our day to day thinking do we ‘see’ what we are in the middle of. That’s why you should talk to people you have no ‘business’ talking to, it is why company boards and advisory boards are so important. It is also why you should read things that don’t interest you. It’s why you should get other people to look at your business.
Sometimes you need to get out of the safety of the tank to really understand what your business is about. Social software helps with that too. Expect some new products, unexpected conversations, and the occasional surprise from SocialOptic in the next few months…