The Information Revolution
The information revolution is the most subversive force business has ever known. Already the phenomenon of information power to the people’ has given knowledge and authority to front-line workers and technicians, destroying the power and often the jobs of middle management who were previously protected by proprietary knowledge. The information revolution has also decentralized corporations physically: the phone, the fax, the PC, the modem and the increasing miniaturization and mobility of these technologies have already begun to destroy the power of corporate palaces and those who sit, or used to sit, in them. Ultimately, the information revolution will help to destroy the profession of management itself, thus enabling much greater direct value creation by ‘doers’ in corporations for their key customers. The value of automated information is increasing exponentially, much faster than we can use it. The key to using this power effectively, now and in the future, lies in selectivity: in applying the 80/20 Principle. A database, no matter how copious, is not information. It is information’s ore. The information the businesses rely upon is available only in a disorganized or primitive form. The businesses require its strategic decisions. People need new ways of measuring wealth creation. But well over 80 per cent (probably around 99 per cent) of the information revolution’s resources are still being applied to counting better what we used to count rather than creating and simplifying measures of genuine corporate wealth creation. The tiny proportion of effort that uses the information revolution to create a different sort of corporation will have an explosive impact.