Blog. Insight, issues, opinions and productivity solutions

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

Oh, the Horror: What if You Miss an Important Message?!

Posted on June 6, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion, Impact and Symptoms

In a world where knowledge workers may receive 300 emails a day, and have thousands of unread messages in their inbox, one of the best pieces of advice I can give them in my workshops may be Be quick with that Delete button! Unfortunately, people are so loath to heed this advice, that I often don’t even try. What’s keeping them from deleting with a vengeance it the mortifying fear that they will accidentally delete an important message. Oh, the horror!… The implicit assumption There may be two underlying assumptions at play here: one assumes deleting the message harms its.. Read more

Urgency and Email

Posted on May 21, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

It’s less than three weeks to Overloaded 2014, IORG’s June 7 conference in San Francsico. I’m going – are you? Have you registered yet? I was discussing email overload solutions with a team of managers and we were considering how to differentiate urgent messages, when one guy asked: What is an urgent message? And who decides it’s urgent, anyway? Now, that is a deceptively simple question, one well worthy of some thought. What do we mean by Urgent? Although people seem to have a gut feeling of what “Urgent” means, once you open it for discussion you get different viewpoints… Read more

New Insight Article: How to Reduce Meeting Footprint in Your Organization

Posted on May 14, 2014 · Posted in Organizational Solutions

  Meeting load is a problem in many enterprises, and a good way to improve productivity in them is to have less of people’s time spent on meetings, freeing them to do other work. At first this seems to mean holding fewer meetings, but of course that is an oversimplification: meetings are a vital part of doing business. What you really need is to optimize what I like to call the footprint of the meetings you hold. My recent insight article, titled How to Reduce Meeting Footprint in Your Organization, analyzes the many ways this can be effected. Enjoy!

“Overloaded 2014” Conference Coming Up! Will You Be There?

Posted on May 2, 2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

The Information Overload Research Group (IORG) will host Overloaded 2014, a one-day conference focusing on Information Overload, on June 7, 2014 in beautiful San Francisco. As in past years, this will be an intimate one-day gathering of thought leaders working together in the heart of San Francisco. We will hear interesting talks, create a lively dialog, and develop together new insight into the state of information overload and the latest solutions. The event will bring together academic researchers, solution developers, consultants, analysts and industry practitioners – crossing the boundaries between these domains has always been my favorite part of IORG’s.. Read more

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