On gathering, using and ultimately synthesizing information…

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I read a great article yesterday talking about moving cloud transitions into a governance group at an organization. Well thought out and frankly very thought provoking it has made me rethink a lot of my previously held beliefs in terms of migrations overall.

Articles that make me think are the ones that I read over and over. I evaluate both my original position and my new position. I talk to other people about the concepts presented and gauge their opinion (by asking). Then I put my ego aside and ask myself was I wrong in the first place, misguided or in the end simply acting on the information I had at the time.

I may screw up a persons name twice (I am not good with names. To everyone I have ever forgotten your name in a meeting my deepest apologies. I am terrible with names and I shouldn’t be).I do however listen and I don’t make the same technical mistake twice in a meeting. Its all about letting information process.

My father used to say two things about experts. First to become one you have to work at it. There wasn’t a get there and stop there was a keep working until you start working again. He believed in hard work. Of course the other thing he said about experts was “expert, an ex is someone with a past and a spurt is a drip under pressure.”

The question then becomes why is it so hard sometimes for people to synthesize information? That’s what in the end it is all about. You don’t want to quote someone else directly all the time so the process of synthesis takes the information you are taking in and puts it into your personal framework and words.

It is a higher order learning skill.

It is one that interests me in the end. There are contributors to failure when it comes to being able to absorb and then synthesize information. There are changes to the orientation of the observer that impact the absorption of information. All of these impact how and what you ultimately are able to hear, absorb and then synthesize.

  • Rate of information – if you can’t control the rate of information (fire hose) then your absorption rate will be impacted.  Rate can = slower synthesis.
  • Complexity of information – if you don’t have a framework in which to place the information you have to build that first. The more complex the information the harder it is to build a framework to hang the information in. Ergo complexity = slower synthesis.
  • Presenter – sadly yes it does matter who is talking.

There are many more I won’t go into today you get the concept and idea. It is about creating a balance in the process between the rate at which the information comes in, the framework you build to host that information and in the end the presenter. All of this resulting in either information you synthesize or information you ultimately struggle with.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.