Information access and flow LO11545
Mon, 23 Dec 1996 09:38:51 -0500

Replying to LO11532 --

Rol says,

> Ben, I suspect that the vast majority of information inside the
> organization is not being used or not being used effectively. Thus,
> anyone inside who can use it more effectively is really adding value.

There's no question that there is value in using internal information. And
I'd agree that many people within an organization don't effectively use
existing information. But I don't think that fact changes my conclusion.

Internal information reflects the organizations existing theories, and
thus has limited use in exploring changing external conditions. To put it
paradoxically, the only constant we know is change. Bringing external
information into the internal organization, increases an organizations
capacity to adapt and evolve over time.

I can tell you from sad experience that one of WordPerfect's problems
(they had their fair share of problems), was that they relied too much on
internal information. They had a lot of parasites and very few energizers.
As a result they were stung by:

1) Windows 3.0, which many at WordPerfect thought would never succeed
because OS/2 was a superior operating system. When Microsoft released
Windows 3.0, WordPerfect had its pants around their ankles.

2) Application suites, which WordPerfect had been loosely working on for
years, but because they failed to see the opportunity to integrate
applications with Microsoft Windows, they had a bunch of a products that
had no way to integrate. It took WordPerfect a number of years to come up
with a viable suite option, which gave Microsoft and Lotus time to gain
significant marketshare.


Benjamin B. Compton

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>