Archive for July, 2010

The curse of being in the know

Posted on July 28th, 2010 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

The desire to “Be in the Know” has no doubt been around since our stone age ancestors had developed language. In addition to the actual value of the information, it meant being close to the seat of power, to where the decisions of the tribe or village or city-state were being made or influenced. It was a heady feeling and a powerful practical tool in social interactions; it could even be a survival skill. Unfortunately, this desire to share in the flow of information has taken a nasty turn when Information Overload came around. It used to be that in.. Read more

A blast from the past: weekly status updates

Posted on July 22nd, 2010 · Posted in Organizational Solutions

Periodic status reports are one area where you would do well to look for information overload improvement opportunities. In many organizations the network hums with daily reports, weekly reports, and monthly reports, often with large amounts of redundancy. Just take a critical look around you, or in the mirror… But something reminded me the other day of an extreme example of such redundancy, going back to 1982. I had just joined Intel and relocated to Silicon Valley for some on-the-job training, and among the many wonders of the American Way I was introduced to a wonderful method of sharing status.. Read more

Facebook encroaches on email and blog interaction

Posted on July 18th, 2010 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

I observed in my April newsletter that we may be approaching an inflection point: the next generation of workers may not be as eager as their predecessors to “Live in their Email” – they may well choose to live in Facebook, or some equivalent, instead. Some of the younger generation already forgo using email today: they want to talk to their social circle, and doing so in Facebook, where they do indeed live, comes naturally. Whether this will also happen (at least in part) in the workplace is still unknown, but it’s worth considering – is being considered, I’ve seen,.. Read more

The napping crusade

Posted on July 13th, 2010 · Posted in Individual Solutions

I had the pleasure of being interviewed for an article on Multitasking by Thea O’Connor, an Australian journalist and health promotion consultant. Of course I visited her web site and I discovered a refreshingly different campaign Thea is crusading for: the Napping Project. The idea being, that “napping is a refreshing and proven solution to tiredness in a time-poor world” – and thus, her intent is to establish the mini-siesta as a socially acceptable and valued practice in our personal and working lives. At first glance sleeping on the job sounded weird, but then I realized that unless you’re a.. Read more

Brevity is the soul of Wit… so where is the soul of Email?

Posted on July 8th, 2010 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion, Individual Solutions

If Brevity is the soul of Wit (as Shakespeake has Polonius tell us), how much of this soul can we expect in the age of electronic communication? Not much, probably. Brevity requires more investment than verbosity. Blaise Pascal once wrote, “I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter”. Since in today’s overloaded work culture nobody has any time for anything, the tendency is to make emails longer than necessary, to the detriment of the hapless recipient. There are three places where you see a combination of brevity and.. Read more

The decay to the rest state

Posted on July 4th, 2010 · Posted in Organizational Solutions

Happy independence day to our American friends!… Today I want to draw your attention to a phenomenon that is quite familiar to us physicists, but has a place in driving solutions to information overload as well. I refer to the decay to a rest state. In physics, this is often seen when a system is pushed up to a high energy state: it will lose energy and “decay” to its state of equilibrium. Thus, a mug of hot coffee – a critical item in a knowledge worker’s routine – will lose heat and eventually reach room temperature if you don’t.. Read more