The three functions of leadership require broad and noiseless information and communication flows that sense, gather, synthesize, and use information effectively.
Physicist and Nobel Laureate Murray Gell-Mann calls organizing systems like human beings “information gathering and using systems (IGUS)”. He points out that because each person is positioned at a single, unique point in the ecosystem, each is likewise able to access, but is also limited to, a unique set of informational inputs.
Some events are out of range. Others are out of view. Still others are drowned out by background noise. For all information that cannot be directly observed by the senses as events in the environment, one is dependent on second hand or stored information that is gathered and shared through information and communications technology (ICT). The coding and decoding of information in physical media is studied using information theory.
The IGUS functions are:
- Gather & Synthesize Information– Sensing, sharing and interpreting intelligence to provide situational awareness across the ecosystem, particularly during uncertain and changing times.
- Use Information– Take advantage of predictable opportunities and address predictable threats by using information effectively when structuring activities, resources and people for efficacious decision-making and action.
The three functions of leadership are actualized in organizations when leadership interactions enable these IGUS functions and do so effectively.
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