A guide to Information Centres

Create an open, empowering culture

An illustration of people huddled around a board on a wall called an information centre for a daily meeting

Create an open and empowering culture for your organisation with Information Centres. This tool allows you to monitor team performance against key measures, display key information, drive team accountability, and provide a place for team members to highlight problems / questions for review & action. 

What are Information Centres?

Information Centres are a tool that enables you to create an open and empowering culture for your organisation. This tool is a visual display that contains all key data and information relevant to your team. Like a “nerve centre”, Information Centres are one central place where a group of staff can display, review and manage performance metrics, concerns and improvement activity. If used correctly, Information Centres can be a powerful driver of behaviours in your organisation which leads to culture change. Successfully implementing any improvement activity heavily relies on an open culture where people are accepting of change.

If the Information Centre is built for groups of senior managers, rather than front line teams, the meetings can be held weekly and last slightly longer. Physical Information Centres are ideal for co-located teams who are sat together. However, this is increasingly not possible and virtual Information Centres are becoming more of a requirement. The trick to making virtual Information Centres work is to integrate them into daily use. For example, using them to: guide daily meetings; report on, monitor & resolve problems; capture ideas; and review process maps & standardised work documents.

The purpose of Information Centres

  • Monitor team performance against key measures. For front line teams, these are NOT your usual lagging KPIs – they are leading indicators that the team can influence & improve day-to-day.
  • Display team purpose, team skills and experience
  • Drive team accountability for performance
  • Show & review key process maps or work standards for the team
  • Provide a place for team members to highlight problems or questions for review & action

“The Information Centre has empowered the teams to take ownership of their own performance in the pursuit of perfection. Creating time for busy managers to stand back and think.”

Chris Bradley, Head of Commercial Development at East Hampshire District Council

Creating a culture of empowerment

The Information Centre is supported by team ‘briefings.’ These are quick, daily discussions that are visually supported by the Information Centre to review current performance and discuss any changes or improvements. The briefings should be no more than 10 minutes long. In order to keep them brief, it is important to only discuss the content on your Information Centre – anything else can be discussed at another time.

Driving continuous improvement

“In addition to the cultural benefits of using Information Centres, they are also the most effective way I know of driving continuous improvement and achieving marginal gains in performance. The collective result of marginal gains should never be overlooked. James Clear pointed out in his book, Atomic Habits, that a 1% improvement every day is a net improvement of 37.8% over the course of a year (1.01^365).” 

(Rhiannon Gibbs, Director at Ad Esse Consulting)

How to create an Information Centre

Whether you decide to opt for a physical or electronic Information Centre, the same content needs to be covered. The schematic on the right suggests what your Information Centre should include, such as:

  • Team purpose
  • Performance measures
  • Key processes
  • Forward plans
  • Skills matrix
  • Successes
  • Space for problem solving and ideas
A schematic of an information centre

Information Centres in practice

Jenna Moore shares her experience of developing Information Centres at Blood Cancer UK with our Consultant, Becky Mitchard in this case study. The video below shows a time lapse of setting up an Information Centre.

If you need any help setting up your Information Centre, or would like any more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Email hello@ad-esse.com.