Archive for January, 2010

Leave your Blackberries at the door!

Posted on January 29th, 2010 · Posted in Organizational Solutions

Blackberries and other Smartphones have On/Off switches, and the ability to put them in Silent or Vibrate modes; yet few people have the presence of mind, or willpower, or even awareness, to use these capabilities when entering a location where the ringing and buzzing may be harmful – notably classrooms and meetings. Something stronger is required, and I saw it recently. I went to give a workshop to a management staff at a large company, and I observed a delightful act of conscious control: when going into the room, everyone left their phones on a table at the door, placing.. Read more

Clarity in TLA land

Posted on January 18th, 2010 · Posted in Organizational Solutions

Three letter acronyms (TLAs) are all over the corporate world; it would take an anthropologist (or perhaps a historical linguist) to track their evolution and speciation in the diverse niches of the organizational landscape. One could argue that they are of benefit in reducing writing and reading time (and the destruction of rainforest); on the other hand, a large company has so many acronyms that a dictionary is required (and in some companies, provided) to keep track of their meanings, which tend to be quite complex, and of their origins, which may be almost forgotten. I sometimes spend an idle.. Read more

Preemptive Escalation and Email Overload

Posted on January 13th, 2010 · Posted in Impact and Symptoms

Being Preemptive is usually good: for example, preemptive maintenance beats reactive repair any day, right? But recently I encountered an organization where people were using Preemptive Escalation. What was going on is that when someone sent a coworker an email asking them to do something, the recipient’s boss would be added to the message, as pressure on the recipient to respond. Of course escalation – letting the boss know that someone is unresponsive – is an old device, and a useful one; but usually it is a second level method, applied after the direct message had failed to achieve its.. Read more

Telemarketing and Interruptions

Posted on January 7th, 2010 · Posted in Impact and Symptoms

Telemarketers are one of the annoyances we all live with, and contribute their part to the overall flow of interruptions that it damaging our ability to concentrate on what we want to do. I find it interesting that these days, at any rate here in Israel, these rascals are following in the footsteps of our work-related information overload into the evening hours. Today I got two calls in my evening – one from a  car rental company stating its desire to improve its service to me (actually, they simply wanted to verify my contact information) and one from a health.. Read more

And now, Undersea Cellphone Interruptions

Posted on January 2nd, 2010 · Posted in Impact and Symptoms

We’ve heard how man-made noise pollution from ship propellers and sonar disturbs the lives of whales and damages their famous whale song communications. It seems that underwater distractions and interruptions are now destined to affect humans as well… I saw this while flipping pages in the ubiquitous SkyMall magazine on a plane: an ad for a NEW! Underwater cellular phone system. It leads with the question “Have you ever wanted to make or receive a phone call underwater?” Why, of course! Happens to all of us, all the time! What the ad  doesn’t ask, perhaps because it assumes this is.. Read more