Info overload? Take action

In my view, information overload is at the heart of stressful corporate cultures.  It can be both a symptom of chaos and the disease itself.  I can almost guarantee that no one you talk to has a clue what to do about it.  It seems embedded, enterprise-wide . . . and everyone’s too stressed to tackle it.

I’m going to run a series of posts that hone in on specific solutions, from an outstanding IABC publication, “Preparing Messages for Information Overload Environments,” by Martin Eppler and Jeanne Mengis.

To start off, I thought this breakdown of what makes up overload was pretty cool.  It’s more than just quantity.

How much?  Intensity: number of messages per time unit
                     Quantity: number of messages and amount of information per message

What kind?   Uncertainty of information . . . sources are unclear, evidence is contradictory
                     Ambiguity of information . . . multiple interpretations are possible and equally likely
                     Diversity of information . . . similar information is in different styles and formats
                     Novelty of information . . . new and unknown insights in unusual style or format
                     Complexity of information . . . number of info items and interrelations are high

It would seem the solution is just “simplification.”  But stay tuned.

I’m available to consult with you or your business if you’d like to do a specific analysis of your own communication environment and pilot some solutions.


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