Information rolls downhill – except on web

Not many notice how information rolls down hill.

We tell friends and family about nifty new ideas or gadgets we hear on the news or internet. The information rarly goes up hill? What is the ratio of news or ideas you tell to friends v.s. your boss or supervisor?

Would you walk into another department and tell a co-worker about something? Would you walk into another department and tell the director or manager the same thing?

What I’m trying to say is we may share more with those at our level or below than above our level or station. Yet it is those above who are looking for new ideas.

What do you think?

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Emi Whittle

I think that it is easier to share with co-workers and subordinates who are more likely to be supportive; gather a league of supporters, and then approach the superiors with a legion rather than a lone solo voice – easier to say no to one, than to lots!

Most of the time it is superiors who are in the position of saying “NO” due to cost, security, not wanting productivity to lag, etc. It is the rare supervisor who wants technological newness brought to them…. IMHO… 🙂

Allen Sheaprd

Hi. You hit the nail on the head with “co-workers and subordinates who are more likely to be supportive” – Why is that? Is the boss suppose to say no?
Should one have to gather a team of supporters inorder to approach the boss’ den or dungeon?

If so – are social blogs a way to get ideas to upper management. Post your blog, have those in the adminisphere read it and then say “wow – look what I found on the internet. This guy/gal is better than Dilbert. They really know our business.”


Andre Goodfriend

To some extent the information flow pattern is understandable. When sharing information and ideas with our friends, colleagues and subordinates, we may be brainstorming or going over something that we’re still hashing out. We can draw on their feedback to reshape and refine our thinking, and given the nature of the collaborative relationship, no one feels that the interaction is a waste of time. When presenting something to people who are senior to us, or to another department or arency, we’re essentially making a proposal. Our time is more constrained and if we don’t already have our thoughts and talking points in order, we’re seen as wasting an opportunity and wasting the time of our audience.

We need to be better prepared when presenting something up the chain rather than down the chain.

Drawing on points I’ve made elsewhere, also when we’re presenting, we are using a push model of communication. We are sending our message to an audience which may or may not be receptive. It may not be something that they had realized needed addressing.

If we rely upon their accessing our perspective from a previously posted blog, then we’re relying on a pull model of communication. They are coming to our blog and chosing to read it, indicating a level of receptivity. The issue may already have been given some priority on the agenda, which is why they are seeking out our blog. This is where a decision support front end can help make information that is relevant to the decision at hand more accessible.

Allen Sheaprd


I agree with you thik that the web answers the “push” problem. While getting ideas together and presenting them to others works it is a push approach. It reminds me of the game “battleship” where people make their best guess at where to try next.

The web is a pull approach where leaders we do not know are looking for informaion, ideas and solutions. It is a pull approach. I hope this will help ideas flow up hill.

Yes it could make ideas flow uphill to other departments or business. This could be helpful to the department or to a compeditor. Hopefuly a company keeps abreast of the latest blogs.

What do you think of the Request blog? I’m looking for (___fill in the blank___) kind of blog?