Exercises 3 & 4 – External information flows

Part of our ‘Becoming Information Conscious’ series. We have created a workbook for these exercises using Google Sheets – note you’ll need to be logged into Google to make a copy.

We’ve looked at information flows within your business in the previous exercise, so I’d like you to go back to the work you did then and extend it to include external information flows. Include the following:

  • All of your outbound marketing.
  • Any outbound sales you do.
  • How inbound sales enquiries happen (i.e. by phone, by email, in person, on the website, to whom) and how they are dealt with.

You can then add the most important ones into the following table (note, this table is exercise 3 in the workbook; the following table is exercise 4):

From To Red/Orange/ Green? Comments

Now consider what external conversations there are that could or should involve you. Examples might be industry forums, networking events, existing Twitter topics etc etc. Feel free to go and research this and come back here. I’ve left up to ten spots in the table below – mark the three most important which you are not already involved in.

Conversation Already involved? Priorities

Summary so far

You should now have identified the key flows of information in your business, and whether they are or aren’t working. You should also have an understanding of how information flows (or should flow) between you and your customers, and also start to have an understanding of the discussions about your business that you want to be involved in.

Congratulations! You now have an information strategy. If everything you’ve identified is already happening, then double congratulations, you’re already pretty information conscious as it is. I’d encourage you to read on, though, as I’m going to share some insights on how changing technology makes this whole thing a lot easier.

If you’ve identified a lot of areas for improvement, then this is really exciting: if you implement those changes you’ll find that your business becomes far more flexible and agile, more easily scalable and, because you’ll have eliminated a lot of the tedious, annoying tasks, your staff will become more motivated and more productive.

Exercise 2Exercise 5