Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Are we prisoners of our own information potential?
When a baby is born all possibilities are there, as the baby matures and grows a series of decisions start limiting how the child, teenager, adult will interact with and perceive the world. If all the babies are born the same way, how is it that some become greater leaders while others struggle to get noticed, how is it that some grow to become rich and famous and others die in poverty? Is every human baby born with innate gifts that will determine who the person will become, or is it the environment that dictates how the baby will grow up? While the question of fate vs. making your own destiny has eluded the biggest minds for centuries, the same paradigm can be applied to Business Intelligence. When a company is incorporated all the possibilities are there, it can become anything: a large corporation, maybe a multinational or maybe just the best company in the block. As it starts maturing a set of decisions are made, contrary to their human counterparts, organizations do not have innate gifs, but rely on the people running them to navigate different alternatives. Once specific decisions are made, like type of product/services that will be offered, market of focus, etc the options start getting more focused, giving the possibility to the enterprise to blossom; data will be an ever present companion in this journey of growth and maturity and will enable the development of the organization from one level to the next. Sooner or later, the organization will face a situation where the analysis of this data will become key in walking the next step in the evolution of the company, at this time the company leadership might decide to foster an open culture that enables collaboration through information or revert to the human nature of relying on key individual’s instincts, thus limiting the information potential. A company, like a human being, can also build their own prison around itself protecting the gifts and weakness that were entrusted to it. While this might seem like the safest alternative, isolation typically leads to not achieving one’s full potential. Human’s personal gifts can then be compared to the information in an organization, both prosper when they are shared and they used to assist others. Breaking this self created information prison requires significant willpower and the ability to establish a vision that freeing the information will enable amazing things to happen. The future is not cast in stone, possibilities open every day before us; the question continues to be: am I responsible for my own decisions, or there is a bigger force driving each of us? The answer lies within each of us, but one thing is certain: we will be better equipped to answer this question if we have all the relevant facts (e.g information) available to us. While not all the babies will grow to be presidents, all companies with an open information culture will become places where ideas can be exchanged and options can be openly discussed, thus leading the way for the company to realize its full information potential.