Archive for December, 2011

Volkswagen shields its employees from its own Blackberries

Posted on December 24th, 2011 · Posted in Organizational Solutions

The proliferation of Blackberries and similar Smartphones has contributed significantly to the erosion of the Work/Life barrier, and has caused knowledge Workers to assume – erroneously, perhaps, but with conviction – that they must be on call 24×7. I’ve seen it happen repeatedly among my clients: people send and receive emails at all hours, and make a habit of checking their Blackberry every few minutes. Convincing these people to stop this addictive behavior is hopeless: I’ve run an experiment along these lines a few years back with a group of engineers and despite all exhortations to the contrary their behaviors.. Read more

The iPad and the card file

Posted on December 18th, 2011 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

I visited a doctor’s office and was surprised when his secretary pulled out a card – a ruled cardboard rectangle – to fill in my data. She had boxes of such patient cards in her office. A natural first reaction would be that this doctor must be pretty old and behind the times… Then I saw the doctor, and he was neither old nor behind – in fact he not only had a computer on his desk, but after a few minutes he whipped out an iPad, which he seemed very happy with and used with speed and effectiveness to.. Read more

What would Socrates think of Google?

Posted on December 8th, 2011 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

I was discussing with a college student I’ve been advising whether it was a good or a bad thing that Google makes access to answers so easy. To my surprise, she opined that it’s a bad thing – because people who use Google to answer a question are more likely to forget the answer they find, whereas if they have to think the problem through and discover the answer for themselves they will remember it in the long term. An interesting insight from a Gen Y. But what struck me as remarkable was the fact that this is not a.. Read more