Archive for May, 2011

Respect and Telephony

Posted on May 30th, 2011 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

A manager at a small company told me over coffee of a job interview she gave a young candidate, in the middle of which he received a cellphone call from his wife (who wanted, with the wrong timing, to wish him luck in the coming interview). I was curious how this had affected her attitude to the candidate. After all, on one hand, it is nice that he’d answer his wife – he proved to be a considerate spouse. Yet on the other hand he had interrupted the interview and did not have the courtesy to either shut the phone.. Read more

Made my day!

Posted on May 22nd, 2011 · Posted in Individual Solutions

My lectures on Information Overload invariably elicit an applause, which is gratifying but leaves open the question: what is the real impact on attendees in the long term? With long-term organizational interventions, we can collect data; but a lecture is a one-time encounter! I was therefore pleased when I gave a lecture at a venue I revisit every few weeks, and a technician who was there to support the IT stuff came to me and said he’s heard me the previous month and had taken my advice to heart. He’d taken stock of his communication habits, gotten off lists, created.. Read more

Email Overload and Organizational structure

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

I was discussing email overload with two VPs in a hi-tech company, and one of them   shared the observation that he had been suffering from heavy email loads until an auspicious event happened: he had appointed a more junior person to manage part of his activity, and the overload disappeared. Of course one hopes he had good cause to appoint the subordinate to the role, other than to ease his own Inbox nightmare; but even so, it is interesting to consider what has been talking place here. There can be a number of mechanisms at play: The VP had been.. Read more

A sad vignette of family life in the email era

Posted on May 5th, 2011 · Posted in Impact and Symptoms

An Information Overload sighting at a technology conference I enjoyed today: One speaker, a senior manager in a hi-tech multinational, made use of the TV series “House” to illustrate a point. Then he confessed: I don’t watch House. My wife does watch it, and I do mail at the same time. A lovely domestic  tableau, that: husband and wife sitting serenely in the living room, close in space but totally apart in spirit, thanks to the 24×7 demands of email overload. By contrast, I recall the early years of Television in the sixties, when our entire family would flock once.. Read more