Management guru Tom Peters says white collar workers and managers in functional departments need to protect their futures.
They have to learn "the difference between doing totally acceptable work and creating very new value...." he notes, in an Industry Week article. In other words, people in departments like Human Resources and Finance need to become entrepreneurial.
With that in mind, let's look at three ways you can use communication to add new value, whether you work in a functional department or not.
First, every department of every organization generates unique information. That comes from being astride several communication flows that come together in one office or area.
Information flows in from suppliers, from staff, and from other stakeholders. For example, people in your department read trade magazines, they attend seminars, they're in touch with people in other departments, and they may belong to trade associations.
If your department consciously gathers, sifts, analyzes, and organizes that information - formally or informally - then it's creating new value. It's now more than just information: it's business intelligence, information with added value. That's what we refer to as generating new information.
Moving to idea of condensing information, one striking characteristic of modern communication is amount of it moving around. No doubt you've heard references to information overload, an all too real problem for those whose work life revolves around information.
You can add value by monitoring information that comes into your office and selecting just critical parts. Movie director Alfred Hitchcock put it this way, "Drama is life with dull bits cut out." That's probably not a bad way of thinking about condensing of information.