It has long been known that information and knowledge is power. Noted journalist, novelist, and activist Robin Morgan once characterized the hoarding of information as an act of tyranny—I call it an act of competitive advantage. Leading companies today like Google and Facebook who can successfully mine, cultivate, and exploit information have a decisive advantage over their competition.
We are in a relatively short window of opportunity to truly exploit information. The recent, geometric expansion of our digital universe has created a chasm between the few that can effectively harness and exploit this information, and the vast majority who cannot. In time, information systems will scale to accommodate the information demand; however, the early pioneers will be the only ones to reap the huge rewards of outpacing their competition. However, these pioneers do not have an easy task—they must make a strategic commitment to breakthrough information products, services, and relationships.
We are in a relatively short window of opportunity to truly exploit information. The recent, geometric expansion of our digital universe has created a chasm between the few that can effectively harness and exploit this information, and the vast majority who cannot.
The trap to avoid is with stereotypes you currently have with information systems. Information management is a timeless leadership problem, dating back to Mayans trying to understand the relationship of the celestial bodies to our earthly seasons. What’s happened in contemporary management however is that information management has been twisted and tangled with how many servers it takes to run the company, or how to configure the corporate firewall to avoid cyber-attacks. Although a necessary concern, these connotations will distract from the real value of information management and strategy.
Information strategy then, has nothing to do with servers or firewalls. Information strategy answers the question, “how will our company exploit information.” This can be in the form of innovative products, services, and relationships that leverage the power of information, or it could be in the very driving force of your organization. Either way, it translates to a strategic commitment to build out key capabilities around information harnessing and knowledge cultivation, which other companies cannot compete with.
Great leaders are—above all—opportunistic. They can’t always create an opportunity, but they know when opportunity abounds, and they know how to exploit it. The information advantage is here for a limited time; take this opportunity before it passes you by. Contact us today if you’d like to chat more about how your organization can leverage the power of information.