Information Causes Change Issues

Information anxiety is the primary defining characteristic or result of the information overload problem. If we did not have any problems finding the correct information, or if the information came in just the right quantity, then information overload would not exist. Information anxiety results from our inability to access and extract meaning from the wide accumulation of information available to us.

The change issues arise from the need to manage information anxiety throughout the organisation. Change management is a means of understanding the changes taking place and learning coping strategies. Change associated with information is core to any change within an organisation because information is often seen as power and changes in information will affect the delicate balance of power within a management team.

The human mind, physiology and social structures seem unfit to cope with such a rate of change and amount of new information. Clear, understandable, relevant and timely communication about the information availability and the ways in which information should be used will reduce the number and magnitude of change issues which could arise. But understanding and management in information overload in the first place will also help.

Earlier articles have discussed the variability of information and the mass of information available. Human behaviour tends to block out the information which is difficult to understand or contradictory. Often this is new information. If this is revelant information then a new change issue arises because the new information must be made understandable and acceptable to the users. The only way to achieve this is through communication.

This is the fourth in a short series of articles about the excess of information in the "information age". Previous articles have addressed information overload - what is it?, too much information can be dangerous, and validating information.

The final article will consider how to minimise information overload

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