“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, in in your imagination.”
On this latest issue of ICOSA you will notice that our tagline has changed from “Connection and Collaboration” to “Empowering Leaders through Connection, Collaboration, and Communication.” We as an organization are continuously transforming. Our overall purpose is to showcase “the best of show,” whether it is by this magazine that you are reading, our radio station, our website or any other of our media platforms that empower leaders to thrive.
People band together under the notion that two heads are better than one. Why do we believe this statement to be true? Because individuals realize that in order to achieve their goals, they often need more than they can offer alone. All organizations differ, yet they share a common goal: to maximize their strategic resources, which we at ICOSA call the “4 I’s.” In the last five issues of ICOSA you have witnessed the collaborative principles that we abide by. The next issues of ICOSA will continue to introduce you to our philosophies, and in this issue we introduce you to the 4 I’s.
Every successful organization has its own information, intelligence, ideas and innovation, which it uses in a way that sets it apart from all other organizations. We define them as the following:
|Information:||Information can be equated to raw knowledge. It is acquired in its most basic form by the five senses (sight, scent, taste, smell and touch) and is stored and processed in the mind. Without information, the mind is useless. Therefore, we think of information as the building block of the mind.|
|Intelligence:||Intelligence is the ability to use information, tying bits of information together in innovative ways to solve problems. In an organization, intelligence is the ability to sense the value that a particular opportunity will bring to the organization.|
|Ideas:||An idea can be thought of as the manipulation of intelligence and information to determine a possible course of action.|
|Innovation:||Innovation is a new idea, method or device.|
Information binds humans socially to one another. We share information in the hope of gaining the mechanisms to survive and even flourish. Individuals possess different knowledge and can process certain types of information better than or differently from others. Individuals are brought together—connected—to share information so that they might accomplish something greater than they could alone. If an organization has access to a large quantity of relevant information, its people are more likely to make wise decisions than if they had access to a smaller quantity of relevant information. Information is abundantly available and free-flowing via the Internet, encyclopedias, statistics, research studies, news reports, interviews, speeches, government documents, newspaper columns, editorials and magazine articles.
Intelligence depends on cognition, past experiences and genetic dispositions. Because everyone differs in these realms, everyone differs in intelligence; for example, some people excel in math while others are stronger in language. Intelligence is the ability to sense the value that a particular opportunity will bring to the organization and how each opportunity will affect the organization’s present, and future. Strong organizations realize that different individuals are able to tie information together differently and recognize different opportunities. To run smoothly, organizations need strong leaders, creative minds and organized individuals making sure every aspect of a project gets finished and is done right. That is why the best organizations actively seek out members with a variety of skills and talents. The mind is the machine where intelligence occurs. Although information can be stored in various places other than in the mind—filing cabinets and computers, for example—intelligence is only in the mind.
Ideas are incredibly important; they provide the link between mind and body that empowers action. Additionally, ideas are the backbone of activity. Behind every action that occurs, there is an idea supporting it. If we did not have the ability to form ideas, then we would never actually do anything. Ideas are not just important to individuals; ideas are also instrumental to organizations. Having an idea is what sells. Ideas have the ability to turn our thoughts into action. A company’s future could also depend on the ideas its people generate in order to make the company revitalize, renew and rebuild. Whether an organization is product- or service-based, only the organization’s ability to convey that its ideas and goods can provide some benefit will persuade stakeholders to work with the organization. As a leader, treat every idea from an employee as a valuable contribution, and make it your challenge to bring it to life.
Innovation determines what ideas are “good” (morally sound, feasible, financially responsible, etc.). A company is more likely to implement only ideas that will strengthen both its revenue and its reputation, bringing it closer to its state of perfection. But innovation is more than a means to perfection. To be successful in the long run, organizations must make a commitment to innovation.
Everyone knows that successful organizations are made up of great individuals. However, if information is reserved for only one individual to use, the amount of intelligence that can come from within even a large organization is limited. The way information is shared within a company is vital to intelligence of the organization as a whole. The easier it is for individuals to share information, the more intelligence an organization can obtain.
The 4 I’s are more than separate vital resources; they are crucially interdependent. Together they form a dynamic cycle, which is imperative to the function of an organization. The cycle begins with information, gathered from both external and internal sources. By using our intelligence, relevant and related pieces of information are tied together to form ideas. These ideas are then filtered through to determine if they are innovative before they are put into action. Innovation helps to assure the information, intelligence and ideas are developed in a positive manner.
If organizations properly use these 4 I’s, they will see both financial and emotional returns on their investments. Although organizations are typically defined through their use of these assets, many groups are short in supply of one or all four of these resources.