I wrote this article when considering how best to think about information. I still like the model although its usefulness has been less than what I expected. The original article is available here: The Informating Framework. Strategic finance, vol. 86 (2005), 7, 7. I would probably re-write the article if I was to do it again and as a result, the Informating Framework – Director’s Cut has more about the details and usage of the individual elements of the model.
As for the name, it is informating rather than information. Since running across the concept of Informating, I always thought that it underappreciated. Introduced in 1988 by Shoshana Zuboff (who has a pretty dang cool name), per Wikipedia it is defined as follows:It is the process that translates descriptions and measurements of activities, events and objects into information. By doing so, these activities become visible to the organization. Informating has both an empowering and oppressing influence. On the one hand, as information processes become more powerful, the access to information is pushed to ever lower levels of the organization. Conversely, information processes can be used to monitor what Zuboff calls human agency.
Subsequent or concurrent to this article, a number of other individuals have used the same or similar concepts. For the example, the The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Friedman references 10 ‘flatteners’, any one of which would have been recognizable by Zuboff in 1988. Setting aside some excellent criticism of Friedman’s book, the point is that Informating has changed our world and continues to accelerate the change.
As always, let me know you thoughts.