4 Ways to Battle Information Overflow

Are your team members drowning in internal communications, key performance indicators and business forecasts? These struggles may be holding back your ROI, preventing employees from focusing on the important work that moves your company forward. Stewart Butterfield—the CEO of Slack who recently compared over-reliance on these tools to a diabetes epidemic— certainly believes we are struggling from an information overflow.

GettyImages-502378075-compressorBut this complaint isn’t really about the information overflow—it’s actually more about our approach to distributing it. Here are 4 ways to deal with the challenge.

1. Let it flow. Accept that there’s a never-ending flow of information out there, and you simply can’t get to it all. Once you acknowledge that information flows freely and is always available, you reach a peace of mind that allows you to embrace information as an unlimited power source, ready to be tapped.

2. Browse or read. The key to sanity in the world of information is to accept that you can’t consume everything the same way. Some data must be absorbed completely, but many items— such as news, social media and emails—require just a quick glance. Setting aside some time for detailed reading and some for quick browsing can help you keep up with the volume.

“Personally, I’m comfortable digesting a lot of content, but I go nuts when I have to switch between different tools to access it.”

3. Aggregate mobile. To optimize information, it must be available anytime, anywhere. If your company information isn’t aggregated on your smartphone, you’ve identified a major source of inefficiency. Personally, I’m comfortable digesting a lot of content, but I go nuts when I have to switch between different tools to access it. Mobile technology can enable you to reach all employees on their most personal devices and ensure their participation. This will make communication easy and personal.

4. Embrace the power of the crowd. Information is almost infinite; there’s no way you can deal with it alone. Just as you trust others to test and review cars, restaurants, or vacation destinations, tap into the power of the crowd on information, too. Allow all of your employees to share, like and comment on internal information, just like they do outside of work. It may sound trivial, but it’s a huge time-saver.

We know that a lack in communication is responsible for failed initiatives in 72% of companies. When you combine that with the feedback from 67% of senior leaders at big companies that say analytics and forecasts improved revenue, it becomes clear that “too much” is not the issue.

Let’s face it: Both the problem and the solution come from you. You must work with your team to prioritize tasks, use modern technologies, and trust in the crowd. Adjust your company’s approach instead of blaming the information itself.

 

 


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