What Makes Information Irresistible?
This is one of my favorite information-related quotes, because it describes so well why I love my job. I’m on a never-ending hunt for new and exciting ways to improve my reports and make the information I deliver irresistible. Yes, I need to stay up-to-date on all the latest and greatest tools and techniques for finding the information clients need, but – unless it’s presented the right way – they won’t receive its true value.
Tastes, choices, and needs differ from client to client. What’s wonderful for one person may be useless to another. But to be truly irresistible, any type of information you deliver should have these 7 characteristics:
It’s gathered with the end in mind – Who will be using it? Why will they be using it? What decisions will be made based on it? Make sure you’re collecting the right information.
It’s distilled – Does the reader really need to know everything? Information abundance – not scarcity – is the problem, so stay focused on what’s important to your and your clients’ goals.
It’s up-to-date – Information is stale-dated. Update your background investigations or data on a regular basis and keep conversations fresh. Don’t make decisions based on old information.
It’s been analyzed – What does the information mean? What patterns, trends, anomalies does it contain? Look for what surprises you and what doesn’t.
It’s delivered when you need it – Information doesn’t make much sense until we have a use for it. That explains why you notice all those new hybrid vehicles on the road just when you happen to be shopping for a car.
It’s delivered how you need it – Not all of us use, remember, or learn from information the same way. While some like to crunch their own numbers, many prefer a few charts and graphs that summarize key points.
It’s easy to get to – You won’t use it if you can’t find it or don’t know it exists. Break down information silos and create systems for easy access.
Whatever kind of information you deliver – research results, committee reports, training manuals, and more – how do you make it irresistible?