All organizations are information and communication systems.
For example, a media company, such as a newspaper, deals almost entirely in terms of information flows.
A bureaucracy, such as a government department, is also almost entirely an information processing and communication organization: everything is document, records, files abound, filing systems, and records management are central to the organization.
Even a manufacturing company is mainly concerned, at head office level, with the information flows about production and market performance.
Understanding the work that people do in the organizations we serve is also important.
Observing what is going on and talking to people about their work, will reveal a great deal more: how much work done at the desk, how much at meetings, how much outside the organization.
How information brought into the workplace, what external links to information sources exist and how they are used; what current problems exist in the department or section or in the individual’s work and those problems are being tackled.
Through interaction of this kind, we become a well-informed citizen of the organization, one who can act as an effective information intermediary – not only between people and information sources, but also between one person and another.
Good information can promote an organisation and its services. Many organisations, both government bodies and those in the independent sector, would benefit from increasing their profile and improving public understanding of the services they provide.
Better information about process and procedures, such as how to access and use services like courts and tribunals, will reduce pressure on staff and lead to greater efficiency and reduced costs for these organisations.
Advice services can use better information to reach out to a wider audience, which will broaden their user base and increase their visibility. Too narrow a focus on casework and the absence of a preventative role will reduce their appeal to local communities and funders alike.
The process of producing better information requires you to build good working relationships within your organisation and with other peer organisations. This will bring the benefits of better signposting and referrals and make the most of the available resources.