Monday, 16 July 2012

Five Pieces – how mass information sharing affects us all

It is becoming quite apparent in the digital era – if it wasn’t already – that at its heart the world is an information system, and that the communications between people (and machines) are what make the world go round. If I want to get something done – anything done – I have to share information with someone or something!

Two years ago I wrote a paper on a “Theory of Information Systems”, to explore how this mass of information affects our behaviour, and through these perspectives attempt to create a deeper understanding of complex situations.

Complexity itself, after all, can be thought of as the sum of information sharing and communications between participants in a given situation. And in the digital era, every minute of every day sees more people and machines connected, and more information being shared!

Since then, Tom Swanson and I with many colleagues have been developing further and putting into practice the ideas of “Next Practice”. We plan to publish soon a set of new ways of working found to be helpful in problem solving, opportunity creation and realising change in the real, complex, post-digital world. These ways include a “Next Practice Flow”; a practical way to bring to bear a whole set of emerging techniques on understanding and navigating complexity to every day situations.

In the meantime, I thought I should share the refined “Theory of Information Systems” paper. The paper explores information systems in five pieces which, combined, seem to help create deeper understanding on complexity by exploring the relationship between information sharing and how this affects the behaviour of us all. I hope you might enjoy.

Five Pieces - How mass information sharing affects us all.pdf