Blog. Insight, issues, opinions and productivity solutions

Solving Information Overload: Technology Assisted Behavior Change

Posted on March 19, 2014 · Posted in Individual Solutions, Organizational Solutions

An interesting hybrid If you scan the Definitive Guide to Information Overload Solutions you will see two prominent classes of solutions: Behaviour change solutions and Technology based solutions. The former class contains a variety of methods for making people change the way they communicate so they become more effective, and help their coworkers do the same. You want people to send less mail, compose it more skillfully, process it more judiciously, avoid interrupting others and themselves (a sizable part of the interruptions people undergo are self-induced!), and so on. These solutions may involve training, educating, and informing people through multiple.. Read more

Solving Information Overload: a Hard Look at TO, CC and BCC

Posted on March 12, 2014 · Posted in Organizational Solutions

Some of the best solutions to information overload are simple and free Now that I’ve finally published The Definitive Guide to Information Overload Solutions (whew!…), I can look at all the available solutions in one place; and one clear pattern I see is that some of the most effective solutions out there are so simple (and cost nothing) that you’d think everyone would adopt them. Which, sadly, is not what I see when I work to help my customers. Among these solutions is the concept of properly applying the distinction, provided by all email programs, between TO, CC and BCC.. Read more

Announcing the Definitive Guide to Information Overload Solutions!

Posted on March 5, 2014 · Posted in Individual Solutions, Organizational Solutions

I’ve done it! I’m proud to announce the publication and availability of Solutions to Information Overload: The Definitive Guide, my first e-Book. Check it out at, or read on to find out more about it. How the Definitive Guide to Information Overload Solutions came to be Twenty years ago, when I discovered Email Overload as an incipient problem at Intel, there were almost no solutions available to me, so I had to develop my own. In the next decade the problem’s global impact grew, and solutions started appearing, some as commercial products and some as homegrown programs and strategies.. Read more

New Insight Article: The Importance of Having an Effective Action Culture

Posted on February 19, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

Organizational culture is a fascinating subject – elusive yet critical to a company’s success. A crucial aspect of this is what I’ll call (for lack of a better name) Action Culture. By this I mean the norms and expectations governing how action – the tasks required by the company’s business – is determined, assigned, owned, and tracked to completion. Having a well formed action culture can make a huge difference to a company’s success; over the years I’ve seen quite interesting good and bad examples. My recent insight article, titled The Importance of Having an Effective Action Culture, shares what.. Read more

The two Faces of Anytime, Anywhere

Posted on February 14, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion, Individual Solutions, Organizational Solutions

A cool idea (or so we thought) … It really did sound like a great concept at the time: Work Anytime, Anywhere! Catchy slogans like that always sound good, like Andy Grove’s prediction in the nineties of “Free MIPS, Free Bauds” (which is pretty close to reality by now). And the concept of being able to do your work from anywhere as if you were in the office, and at any time of your choosing rather than 9-to-5, seemed particularly cool – so liberating and exhilarating! We in IT were certainly delivering the capability. Admittedly secure remote access was a.. Read more

Coming Next: the Definitive Guide to Information Overload Solutions!

Posted on February 10, 2014 · Posted in Individual Solutions, Organizational Solutions

Whew! Finished at last!… As I mentioned in a post a few months ago, I’ve been hard at work writing an encyclopedic compilation of every solution I know to Information Overload, from software to training tools, from behavior change drives to personal strategies, from commercial products to innovative ideas. This seemed to be a never ending task, with new solutions popping up all the time; I finally had to recall that wonderful adage, “In every project comes the moment to shoot the engineers and move into production”! So, I arbitrarily closed the list and found that I have 164 solutions.. Read more

Who Will Teach Oratory to our Employees?

Posted on January 23, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

An under-appreciated skill There is an art, or a skill, called Oratory, or Public Speaking, and in my current career it’s part of the required tool set: without the ability to speak well in a public setting I couldn’t make a living delivering interesting lectures, something I take great pleasure in doing. However, the art of eloquent speaking goes far beyond formal lecture delivery: it is what people do all the time in a business setting, whenever they present a PowerPoint presentation or just speak to assembled colleagues or managers in order to impart information and influence a decision. And.. Read more

New Insight Article: How You Can Instill a Culture of Innovation in Your Company

Posted on January 14, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

Everybody, you’d think, likes Innovation. What’s not to like? And yet, as I’ve observed repeatedly, many companies pay lip service to innovation, but not that many walk the talk. Even hi-tech companies that thrive on making innovative products may not foster a culture of innovation internally. My latest insight article shares some thoughts and observations derived during my many years as a change agent within a large global enterprise. It discusses some critical success factors, some pitfalls to avoid, and a number of examples of proven techniques for making your company and in particular its workforce more innovation-enabled. Enjoy! [Image:.. Read more

Hanging on to our Technology

Posted on January 9, 2014 · Posted in Off-topic

We often comment on how attached we’ve become to computing technology,  how we’ve made it play a central role in our life – like electricity, like fire, like stone tools in earlier eras. One way to think of it is how lost we’d be without the technology; but another is to consider how resolutely we refuse to have it taken from us. Last month I had a glimpse into that… This December we had a major snowstorm that caused massive infrastructure damage leaving my home without electrical power for a few days and without our telephone and internet lines for.. Read more

A Disclaimer, Once And For All!

Posted on December 17, 2013 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

An uncalled for dissonance As you know I lecture often on Information Overload in organizations, and I describe in these lectures the manifold damages of email overload in a workplace setting, followed by the available remedies. To my surprise, I sometimes encounter an indignant response: people declare that email is a vital tool, and I’m wrong to declare war on it! This always catches me by surprise, because my battle is with the abuse and misuse of email, not with the tool itself; and I’ve certainly never called for abandoning email – I benefit from its use as much as.. Read more