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The benefits of better information processing

A study titled “The Value of Adaptive Advantage” proves that the more adaptive companies are, the more financial gains that company generates. They also consistently outperform their industry peers and sustain superior performance over time.

The study also revealed five additional traits that are instrumental toward forming and nurturing a highly adaptive team. Those traits were: one voice, sense-and-respond capacity, information processing, freedom within a framework, and boundary fluidity. So far, we’ve discussed the first two of those traits. Today, we’ll talk about the third: information processing.


What is information processing?

From the article, “The Five Traits of Highly Adaptive Leadership Teams” by Roselinde Torres and Nneka Rimmer, comes this definition: “Adaptive teams are able not just to sense when change is needed; they are also able to synthesize complex insights and make high-quality decisions quickly. They identify leading and lagging metrics that enable everyone to monitor progress in a way that is transparent and aligned with the company’s strategy and performance objectives. Several teams have developed highly disciplined meeting and agenda formats to ensure that they routinely exchange key information. In addition, adaptive teams are particularly good at processing information and making decisions at the junctures where different points of the matrix organization meet.”

“This isn’t about transmitting or receiving information but synthesizing the information,” says an executive at a medical-technology company. “When I use the word ‘synthesis,’ I’m describing people and teams that aren’t just a passive vessel but whose collective intelligences are the ingredients going into a soup. When you combine them together, all of a sudden you have the world’s greatest gumbo.”

Take a look at the graphic below to get an idea on how information, and the effective processing of that information, can provide incredible value to your company:


Companies routinely lose opportunities because they use poor data to make major executive decisions. By helping your team members to better excel at information processing, you will be putting your company one step ahead of competitors always. You’ll also reap these benefits:

  • You’ll generate new business insights. “Most of the advanced-analytics efforts we see have a tactical focus: leveraging data to get a few key decisions right or to solve specific problems (such as where to open a new bank branch or what coupon to send to the smartphone held by a shopper in a store). The ability to use information in this way has been greatly enhanced by a combination of developments: more data coming from existing and new sources, greatly improved analytical techniques, and lower processing and storage costs. As a result, companies can incorporate data they hadn’t previously used in decision making, such as social-media posts and unstructured data that older tools were unable to work with. This has resulted in better, faster, more actionable insights.” –John Brock
  • You’ll improve core operating processes. “By analyzing data—often from sensors implanted in or on critical infrastructure—companies can predict when failures are about to occur and intervene before trouble strikes. In effect, troubleshooting becomes proactive rather than reactive. Advanced analytics can look for patterns—such as in the type and frequency of alerts—that have historically presaged failures.” –Robert Souza
  • Your team will make faster, better decisions. “The availability of accurate, real-time management data is critical to decision making. Yet at most companies, this information tends to be fragmented across the enterprise, with every department working with its own “version of the truth.” Making matters worse, this information is often out of date by the time it gets factored into decisions—if it gets factored in at all. The result: conflicting decisions, untimely decisions, wrong decisions. Not surprisingly, one of the most promising applications for big data is in enterprise information management (EIM). The idea is not just to collect and process operational data but also to present it in a clear, consistent, readily available manner throughout the organization—improving the speed and the quality of decision making.” –James Platt


Processing information effectively can transform many landscapes for your company. The ability to see where opportunities lie and then create strategies to seize them is priceless. Along the way, you may just gain new customers, new revenue streams, and even new shares of your industry’s market.

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