Archive for April, 2011

Ask your users!

Posted on April 30th, 2011 · Posted in Off-topic

Today I was writing my monthly Newsletter (this always seems to slide to the last day of the month 😉 ) and as I was re-reading it – I always do, aware of Murphy lurking in the shadows – I noted this passage, relating to choosing a video conferencing system: Talk to your IT people about your options; but remember that the key thing is user perception and willingness. You may want to raise the subject in a group or staff meeting, and identify what the best usage model would be in the context of their collaboration needs. Then work.. Read more

Royalty, too, has Information Overload!

Posted on April 23rd, 2011 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

In the film Her majesty Mrs. Brown, we see a grieving Queen Victoria refusing to return to her duties in the years following the death of her husband, Prince Albert. The film has much else to recommend it, but as an Information Overload practitioner I couldn’t help but enjoy the moment when the Queen – played by Dame Judi Dench – angrily exclaims “my ministers send me letters to read – boxes and boxes of letters!“ This was before email, before Facebook, before our BlackBerry-distracted modern existence; and yet even then Management involved Information Overload – and even then, senior.. Read more

The price of extreme mobility

Posted on April 16th, 2011 · Posted in Impact and Symptoms

Our desire for extreme mobility is both enabled by and a motive of the impressive progress in powerful mobile devices like the iPhone, Blackberry and their clones. We can now read our email messages anytime, anywhere, on these tiny marvels. But there is a price – because the small form factor is inherently unsuited to reading many of those messages. This was pointed out by an attendee at one of my information overload sessions. This guy, a manager at a hi-tech company, was very familiar with the use of handhelds to communicate; and he pointed out that a consequence of.. Read more

What comes first – email or a phone call?

Posted on April 7th, 2011 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

I was giving a workshop on Information Overload and an attendee   proposed that email is more effective when you precede it with a phone call. His thinking was this: if you first discuss the matter at hand on the phone, and only then send an email to confirm or flesh out details, then there will be no lack of clarity because both parties are aligned. This means less back-and-forth emails to seek clarification or correct misunderstandings. Now, this actually makes a lot of sense, and in fact I use this system when I need to broach a subject or a.. Read more