Information access and flow LO11562
Wed, 25 Dec 1996 07:45:11 -0500

Replying to LO11545 --

Ben and Rol were commenting on the use of internal information in
organizations. Two snips:

Rol said,

> 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.

Ben said,
>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.

As I work with schools, the challenge is to help them focus on the
inofrmation that is available internally. Recently, our district was
described as data-rich, information-poor. I think that is correct.

I am working on ways to help people use the data to create information
which can then become knowledge. The ways I am considering are structures
that cause conversations about the data and questions that support
reflection upon available evidence.

I believe we need new ways (external perhaps) of looking at current
information (internal).

Happy Holidays to All!!!

David Wilkinson
School Improvement Specialist
Des Moines Public Schools


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