Imagine this scenario. You are working in an office with an open space concept where you can see and hear other colleagues. A few tables away you notice a conversation going on.
You overhear something about a colleague who is working with you on a project. Apparently, this colleague is seeking ideas to manage some workflow more effectively. So you walk over and join in. You’ve encountered a similar work challenge before and know someone who has a work process for this situation. You connect the two colleagues and things turned out better than they would otherwise.
From this opportunity, you spontaneously just helped a colleague with some information you have. This opportunity would not have happened if you were not at the same place at the same time when the conversation occurred.
This is an example of a spontaneous flow of information in a team or organisation. Believe it or not, this phenomenon is happening all the time.
Many of us have most likely benefitted from this spontaneous flow of information in the form of perspectives, second-hand knowledge, unexpected third-person observations etc. Most of the time, it has happened in the office without us realising.
In this special feature, our Information & Insights Team explores this phenomenon further. We call it Information Osmosis.
Read more on its implications for teams and organisations, how the pandemic has affected this phenomenon, and what we can do about it.