The Power of Information: From Stock to Flow


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 15, 2023

3 min read


The Power of Information: From Stock to Flow


In the realm of human memory, information can be categorized into two types: stock information and flow information. Stock information represents our stored knowledge, while flow information is the process of converting stock information into conversation. As we engage in conversations, flow information undergoes a transformation within our minds, where it is organized, filtered, and ultimately converted back into stock information. Understanding the structure and conversion of stock information is crucial as it forms the foundation for creativity and practicality. This article explores the significance of flow information in business and the establishment of a powerful information architecture.

The Value of Communication and Alignment:

Contrary to popular belief, the ability to identify problems or find the right answers only contributes to a small portion of the overall value. In fact, the true value lies in the ability to align individuals and guide them towards a common goal. Within an organization, effective communication, diplomacy, and alignment become paramount, surpassing the technical skills required for the job itself. While knowing what needs to be done is vital, it represents only 10% of the solution. The remaining 90% revolves around ensuring that everyone is aligned and moving in the right direction. As organizations grow in size, the importance of alignment becomes even more pronounced. In such cases, the value derived from simply identifying a problem significantly diminishes, emphasizing the need for a strong information architecture.

Utilizing Flow Information for Business Expansion:

Harnessing flow information as the main content for business expansion necessitates substantial information and organizational power. De Agostini Publishing, for example, has perfected the art of the "serial publication method." By breaking down stock information into smaller, flow-based sections, they effectively convert it back into stock information when reassembled. This innovative approach allows them to distribute knowledge while maintaining a structured flow. By leveraging flow information, businesses can create a continuous cycle of learning, enabling them to adapt and evolve in a rapidly changing environment.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Foster a Culture of Open Communication: Encourage employees to freely express their thoughts and ideas without fear of retribution. By creating a safe space for open dialogue, organizations can tap into the collective intelligence of their teams and uncover valuable insights.
  • 2. Prioritize Alignment and Collaboration: Establish clear goals and objectives, ensuring that all team members understand and are aligned with the broader vision. Encourage collaboration and cross-functional communication to foster a sense of unity and shared purpose.
  • 3. Invest in Information Architecture: Develop a robust information architecture that facilitates the seamless flow of knowledge within the organization. Implement systems and processes that enable the efficient conversion of stock information into flow information and vice versa. This will enhance the organization's ability to adapt, innovate, and drive business growth.


The interplay between stock and flow information is a fundamental aspect of human cognition. Understanding how to effectively convert and utilize these types of information is crucial in various domains, including business. While identifying problems and knowing the right answers hold value, the true power lies in aligning individuals and fostering open communication. By prioritizing alignment, investing in information architecture, and nurturing a culture of collaboration, organizations can tap into the immense potential of flow information to drive innovation, adaptability, and ultimately, success.

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