Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Importance of Information Flow for Business Development

The flow of information helps entities integrate operations and services that lead to a more efficient system. It doesn’t matter if we are discussing a single company, a group of companies, or an entire hub of economic activity. The process of encouraging proper information transfer and collaborative problem solving is important for moving an organism to its highest state of existence. 

Imagine for a moment how well your body works if your feet didn’t communicate with your brain and your brain had no way of talking to the hands. You would have a difficult time walking, grabbing items, and otherwise functioning. You would eventually starve and pass away. The same occurs in companies and economic hubs when elements can’t communicate together. 

Glazer in his book Smart vs. Dumb Service Strategies: A Framework for Ebusiness Intensity discusses the importance of information flow in developing an entity for higher levels of performance (2001). He makes three distinctions where information integration can be beneficial: 

Downward flow: The flow of information between companies and customers (i.e. the in and outflow of information). 

Upward Flow: The flow of information between suppliers and the company (i.e. efficient operations by integration of networked operations). 

Internal Flow: The flow of information held internally by a company (i.e. collaboration of internal elements). 

Within any entity there is a need to ensure information to and from stakeholders is being used to improve the overall system.  That information needs to flow includes customer to company, company to supplier, and department to department.  Without that ability the system becomes dysfunctional and non-competitive. Improving the flow of information can make a difference in an organism’s ability to effectively adjust to its environment and succeed. 

How that improvement in information flow occurs depends on the type of organism but generally relates to meetings, positive relationships, egalitarian structure, information postings, open cultures, surveys, collaboration, and promotion. The organization must fully and functionally accept the inherent nature that new information should be encouraged, accepted, and capitalized on. 

Glazer, R. (2001). Smart vs. Dumb Service Strategies: A framework for EBusiness Intensity. New York, Armonk E-Service.

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