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Tag Archives: willingness to share

When it comes to managing the rumour mill, partial information is better than no information

rumour millThe ancient philosopher Aristotle said Horror vacui, or “Nature abhors a vacuum.” His point was that if a vacuum exists in the physical world, it is only momentary, as it immediately fills with the material surrounding it, without any regard as to what the substance is.  It doesn’t matter if the neighbouring material is similar, or of the needed quality, or even if it is suitable for the purpose, it immediately moves to fill the vacuum.  The same principle is at work in organizations, specifically to do with communication and more specifically, the organization’s rumour mill.  In fact, I wrote about using the company grapevine to your advantage in one of my regular columns in The Globe and Mail, back in March 2015!

Just as nature abhors a vacuum, people in organizations also abhor vacuums … in information. When there is a lack of knowledge – about people, about processes, about upcoming plans and changes – information, accurate or not, immediately moves in to fill the vacuum.  And ironically, the larger the vacuum, the more incorrect and outlandish is what moves in to fill it.

Managing the rumour mill

Which leads me to the point of this article.  The best way to combat rumours, misinformation, and the general distortions and fabrications that seem to take hold in just about every organization is to continually and deliberately offer correct, quality information to fill the void.  Even if it is incomplete!  Continue reading

If sharing information is so valuable … why do so few people do it?

SharingKnowledgeA couple of years ago, I wrote briefly on the blog (and a lengthier article) about Don Tapscott’s 2006 bestseller Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything (The benefits of mass collaboration), and a recent event got me thinking once again about the value of sharing information. In the book, Tapscott tells the story of how in 2000, Goldcorp’s CEO Rob McEwen bucked the trend in the conservative and highly-secretive gold mining industry and shared the company’s proprietary data with the world. As a result, he gained access to some of the most talented minds on the planet, almost all of which were outside the boundaries of his organization, and transformed his struggling $100 million company into a $9 billion mega force. McEwen had the foresight to realize that by sharing some of his closely-guarded intellectual property, he could harness the power of collective genius and capability, and thus, take his company to the cutting edge of innovation and wealth creation.

It’s now 2015, so you would expect that legions of leaders everywhere would have been motivated by McEwen’s amazing success to embrace the open sharing of information and expertise, right? Not so! Continue reading

The benefits of mass collaboration

CGA0506-2013CoverIn his 2006 bestseller Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, Don Tapscott tells the amazing success story of how Goldcorp’s CEO Rob McEwen bucked the trend in the conservative and highly-secretive gold-mining industry and shared the company’s proprietary data with the world.  That was in 2000, so you’d expect that thirteen years later, legions of leaders everywhere would have been motivated my McEwen’s amazing success to embrace the open sharing of information and expertise.  Not so!  Continue reading

Traffic in India: respecting rights and differences?

This past June, after almost 30 years away, I returned to India, the country of my birth.  To say that I faced culture shock would be an understatement!  I recall the India of my childhood as always being colourful, noisy and vibrant, but I was completely unprepared for the sights, sounds, smells and oh yes, heat, that confronted me as soon as I arrived.  Teeming masses of people; a never-ending cacophony of voices, music, and traffic; and 42 degrees Celsius (that’s 107 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature – this was my first impression of India.  Exhilarating, breath-taking, exciting and just a little bit scary, all at the same time!  And then we braved traffic!  It is impossible to describe traffic in India with just one word, but the phrase “utter organized chaos” would be an apt description. Continue reading