Blog. Insight, issues, opinions and productivity solutions

Wedding Photos and Managing Information Overload

Posted on September 30, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

Recently I attended a session at Haifa University, where the MA students of the Faculty of Management presented their research theses. I love these opportunites to hear bright young folks share their ideas! One presentation attracted my attention in particular: Dina Fridman talked about “Contemporary Wedding Photography: New photography Practices and digital wedding album management” (see her abstract here). The point is that today everyone has a camera in their phone, so the role of the traditional professional photographer is complemented by scores of amateurs who create a vast number of photos, then share them online. Dina wanted to research.. Read more

Information Overload and Innovation: a Vicious Circle

Posted on September 18, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

An unusual lecture subject Yesterday I gave a somewhat unusual invited lecture at the Innovation as Culture conference in Tel Aviv. The lecture was about Information Overload, something I speak about often, but in this case I was asked to consider it from an Innovation point of view. After some thought I realized there were a number of points of congruence between these two subjects: after all, innovation requires thinking, and information overload is a major barrier to deep, focused thought. On the other hand, many solutions to information overload are extremely innovative. That’s two areas to explore already –.. Read more

New Insight Article: Want to Motivate Employees? Don’t Treat Them Like Children!

Posted on September 8, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

A great deal has been written about how to motivate your workforce, and there are many valid ways to go about it. One method, however, is so simple and effective that it’s hard to understand why many companies miss out on applying it. The secret is simple: accord your employees – all of them, even the newest young hires – your unquestioning trust. In other words, show them that you trust their judgment, and that they have your permission to apply it as they see fit. No micro-management, no debilitating approval loops, no frustrating insistence on excessive control. You hire.. Read more

Is Information Overload a Symptom of Incorrect Staffing?

Posted on August 21, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion, Organizational Solutions

Of the 164 solutions to information overload included in my Definitive Guide, the last one is probably the least likely to be implemented – and that’s truly a shame. The problem we seldom mention I was discussing Information Overload a while ago with a thoughtful executive at a Fortune 500. The guy agreed with me that things were out of control, but he wasn’t impressed with the fact that he was receiving some 250 work-related email messages a day, most of which were pretty much useless. He said to me, “The problem is not the 200-odd useless emails; those I.. Read more

Nathan’s Favorite Solutions to Information Overload

Posted on August 14, 2014 · Posted in Individual Solutions, Organizational Solutions

When I consult about Information Overload, I often get asked what are my favorite solutions to this problem. Of course this is a simplistic approach: what works in one company won’t necessarily be a good fit to another, as it all depends on the local culture and other factors. Still, the question is raised, so with the above caveat I will try to answer it. Now that I’ve published the Definitive Guide to Information Overload Solutions (available in PDF and Kindle versions), I have a long list to choose from: 164 solutions are included in the guide, and a few.. Read more

Why Employee Badge Design Matters to Your Company

Posted on August 8, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

What defines the design of the employee badges in your company? Who cares, you say? YOU should, I reply. Very much so. Read on. How it’s usually done The employee badge is a standard feature of the hi-tech workplace (and other security-aware establishments). It is usually issued to new employees by the security department, since its main raison d’être is to enhance security by highlighting intruders. Until full biometrics take over, it is also frequently used to open doors to restricted areas, to feed the employee in the plant cafeteria, and to charge and track other activities. Form follows function,.. Read more

The Other Digital Divide – Where the Rich Lose!

Posted on July 23, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion, Impact and Symptoms

The Digital Divide Wikipedia defines the digital divide as “an economic and social inequality according to categories of persons in a given population in their access to, use of, or knowledge of information and communication technologies (ICT)”. The idea is usually that people in lower socioeconomic circumstances have less access to the bounty of computing, and especially the Internet, than richer folks. This, of course, further limits their ability to succeed in life, deepening the inequalities that are so harmful to society. This divide between “Haves” and “Have-nots” is widely recognized; and yet I note an additional, different digital divide.. Read more

Curling – and the True Role of a Manager

Posted on July 17, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

Some people are managers, and some are individual contributors; two very different species. Both are vital to the success of a company, which means both can make or break that success. Most individual contributors – engineers and technologists, for instance – are happy to do their thing and leave the bigger picture to their managers; at least, until they progress – as some of them do – to become technical leaders, when their input to management strategy becomes invaluable. But the individuals can’t do their thing unless the managers do theirs, and at times it seems that a manager is.. Read more

Taking Proactive Action Against Information Overload

Posted on June 25, 2014 · Posted in Individual Solutions

Two messages So, just after I wrote the post  Oh, the Horror: What if You Miss an Important Message?! I get two message in my Inbox. One is from MailChimp, and informs me that a subscriber has unsubscribed from my monthly newsletter. This happens from time to time; I’m sorry to lose a reader, but for every one that leaves a couple of others join the list, so I accept that it’s just a part of life and move on. This time, however, was different: there was the second message. This was titled “Information overload – why I unsubscribed”, and.. Read more

Insight Article: How to Leave the Cube Farm

Posted on June 19, 2014 · Posted in Off-topic

The move from a stable corporate job to a self-employed new career is complex both practically and emotionally, and when seen from the comfort of a cubicle can seem forbidding indeed; yet I’ve taken that step five years ago – and what a fascinating adventure it’s been! I experimented in many directions, won some, lost some, and figured out how to create value and deliver it for the benefit of my clients. My recent insight article, How to Leave the Cube Farm and Go it Solo, shares some advice, caveats and observations from these five amazing years. If you plan.. Read more