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In this TV show Thomas Power explains why he thinks the best information management strategy is to be ORS (Open Random Supportive).
A big discovery for me, going back to 2009, was the way the internet or the web behaves and thinks. You, as a human, you have to match it, you can’t make it match you. Primarily, when we’re taught at school, at university, at church, by parents, whoever teaches us teaches us things like don’t talk to strangers, teaches us to behave primarily closed about information – keep it to yourself, be selective about what you read, you notice, you share – and try and be in control of everything in your life – you know, your calendar, your money, your time, your job, your relationships – try and be closed with information, selective with what you use and be in control of everything.
That’s the institutional world that’s trained all of us, at school, at university, at church, wherever. The internet, or the world wide web, is a network, it’s not a hierarchy, it doesn’t have layers, it’s just a lump of glue connected together.
And the environment online is completely open, the web is completely open, it doesn’t have any closed bits. Oh, you can have a VP tunnel through it out of China, fine, you can call that a closed bit, but primarily the infrastructure is an open environment.
There’s no CTO, there’s no Chief Executive Officers, there’s no CFO, there’s no shares on the stock market, it’s the internet. Who runs it? I don’t know, no idea. The data is flowing in it in a random way. People think it’s structured and organised, it isn’t, it’s completely random.
So, it’s very hard to be selective with random data sets and the more you embrace the random the better data sets you get, the more selective you are the more blind you are.
Ironically, being selective makes you blind; accepting the random makes you more aware, ‘cause you’re more engaged in the change, the shift, of the way the data sets flow at you. And then lastly you have to be supportive online, you have to behave like a friend, not like somebody who seeks control or seeks power or seeks to dominate, none of that works online, you have to be very friendly and supportive all the time, to everybody.
Whether you have a relationship with them or not, whether you’re trading with them or not, if somebody asks for help on the internet, you help them. And that shift, from institutional thinking – close, selective, controlling – to network thinking – open, random and supportive – as I say, that took me a long time, ’99 to 2009.
Now, four and a half years of just studying that, teaching, training, coaching, supporting, nudging … and I do think it is more of a nudge than a push.
It’s a long old journey and it’s not like you can sort of get to the end of it and say ‘da da, I’ve nailed ORS, I am ORS, you’re just gradually evolving and evolving and evolving, meanwhile the systems are getting more and more complex around you, the data is getting harder, people are looking at their mobile phones 150 times a day, trying to get context from this phone.
You know, where are my friends, what are they all doing, what location am I in, who am I? You know, we’re being fed from this context machine, trying to understand. And the only way you can deal with the information coming at you from Facebook or Twitter or Linked In or Google Plus or Instagram or whatever you might be using, is to deal with it in an open, random and supportive way.Information management strategy is just one element of the connected economy. There is more expert discussion to come.