Information is neutral. How it is delivered is a different story. Transparent delivery of information offers the whole package to all who are interested, without designs on how it will be used. Just doing this invokes the circular thinking mode. The recipient generates something and sends it back. It’s like an exchange of gifts. Strategic information delivery targets specific information to chosen recipients with a desired outcome. In this linear mode, things are to move forward in a predictable way.
Here’s an example of how the choice of transparent information sharing creates the circular thinking process. The Yukon Research Centre was excited to announce yesterday that it will release Whitepass and Yukon Route weather information from 1902 – 1957. “The WPYR weather data is an example of extremely significant data that will provide insight into the climate regime of the first half of the 20th century in the Yukon, and is now available to all”, said Rick Steele, Project Coordinator, Yukon Research Centre.
On the radio Rick noted that they are making the information freely available to whoever has an interest in it. This means it could be used for global warming research or an art project. They don’t know where releasing this information will lead but they are excited about the potential of empowering people in thier projects.
This is classic circular thinking. They are being transparent by making the full body of information available, for free, both as data and as a photo-representation of the original records. This kind of transparent information sharing leads to being inclusive and open to any number of possible outcomes. It is a vital part of the generative nature of the circular thinking mode and the foundation of creativity.
Strategic use of information recognizes that information is power and looks for ways to find competitive advantage from the withholding or delivery of informations or to ensure a predictable outcome. An example of delivering information to build competitive advantage is the Canadian Society for Unconventional Resource. They describe their mandate as follows:
“With a strong focus on technology transfer between industry, government, stakeholders and First Nations, CSUR’s major role is to provide this information to enable resource development in an environmentally, socially and economically sensitive manner.”
This is information strategically delivered to produce a specific result, namely to make people more comfortable with a new style of oil and gas recovery. Only verifiable information that leads people to be accepting of hydraulic fracking is included in their information pamphlet. It is designed to enable the members of CSUR to move their projects through the regulatory system.
In this way information can be used strategically to move a group in a desired direction. It filters, clarifies, and puts needed information in the hands of decision makers.
This style of delivery encourages competition between veiw-points. It is one or the other. Some listener are inspired to look for what has not been included in the information set, and to challenge the validity of the information used to convince them. A competition develop for asserting a certain direction.
Linear modes of thinking tend to address safety and accuracy of a specific direction being taken. It inspires scrutiny and logical thought which is ideal for systems creation, accountability and production.