Thirty one (i)

“And so that’s where we got to.”

It was Friday evening, Dom was over, and I’d invested in a nice bottle of Gavi di Gavi to have with cod, new potatoes and peas.

“And you want to do what to the business?” he asked.

“Yeah, good point. Haven’t yet worked out what to do on the back of these insights, but it feels like we’ll be able to synthesize that at the away day. It feels like it’s the kind of thing that could help us transform a decent company into a great one.”

“Run that link between ‘Information’ and ‘Influence’ by me again.”

“Well, we define useful information as information we actually use. i.e. we do something differently than otherwise. If information doesn’t do this, then it isn’t useful. So I guess therefore it’s useless. In fact, it’s just getting in the way of us seeing and acting on the good stuff.”

Dom swished the wine around his glass and watched it settle. He did so again as I forked the fish to see how it was doing.

“Sorry I was late again by the way. Sheer traffic. Wonder which car started it.”

I checked the saucepan of potatoes as Dom said this, but I could feel it tease me. He was poking me about complexity. I let it simmer; the thought that is, the potatoes were done.

“Tell me,” Dom said, “did you and your IT chap reach the same conclusion?”

“Funny you should ask that. Not quite. When I recalled our conversation this week I’d added some more interpretation without realizing that John and I hadn’t actually spoken about it. And of course, John started the thread in the first place. So I guess we sort of bounced off each other.”

“So you were both party to the same conversation discussing the same concepts yet you did different things with the content of that conversation at different times?”

“Well, it’s just I took it a bit further, and maybe John was too busy, or took it elsewhere and hasn’t yet shared that with me.”

“So. You and John both debated the same ideas, the same information. Yet, in structuring and organizing this information to form a framework for the incorporation of further information, in helping you in your evaluation of the world – the result of which we generally refer to as knowledge – you got to different places for whatever reasons?”