Archive for December, 2012

Why Cutting Corners in Risky for Knowledge Workers

Posted on December 24th, 2012 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

Cutting corners: the special case of Knowledge Work The Wiktionary gives the following usage example  for “Cutting Corners”: The guy who built the fence cut corners when sinking the posts, and the fence fell over in the last storm. Not surprising: when we think of the risks of cutting corners, we naturally turn to construction and manufacturing, where any use of substandard materials or processes can easily lead to catastrophic failure. But in Knowledge Work, that wide domain many of us spend our careers in, cutting corners can be just as risky, and the outcomes can be harmful in insidious.. Read more

Join us at IORG’s “Overloaded 2013” in San Francisco!

Posted on December 21st, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

The Information Overload Research Group (IORG) will host Overloaded 2013, a one-day conference focusing on Information Overload, on February 9, 2013 in beautiful San Francisco. Overloaded 2013 will revolve around a day-long and lively dialog amongst attendees, all focusing on addressing the costly problem of Information Overload. If you share our passion, we’d love your attendance in San Francisco on on Feb. 9, 2013.  We invite you to reserve your place by registering at . This event will follow the model that worked so well in the successful Overloaded 2012 gathering last year. We will have a couple of.. Read more

How YOU Can Achieve Work/Life Balance in the Face of Information Overload

Posted on December 18th, 2012 · Posted in Individual Solutions, Organizational Solutions

Work/Life Balance and Email: an irreconcilable contradiction? We all know the facts (if you don’t, check out my articles). Your typical knowledge worker receives 50 – 300 email messages daily of which 30% are useless, and spends some 20 hours a week dealing with them (The Israel Internet Association passed out a survey before my lecture there the other day, and the results affirm these facts once again). These numbers mean that people are trying to overcome their overflowing Inbox around the clock, including evenings, nights, weekends and vacations. Any pretense at Work/Life Balance has disappeared with the arrival of.. Read more

How You Can Deploy “Quiet Time” to Increase Your Group’s Productivity

Posted on December 13th, 2012 · Posted in Individual Solutions, Organizational Solutions

When I speak to knowledge workers about solving information overload, I mention some fairly hi-tech solutions: software products that prevent, reduce or help combat the infoglut they all struggle with. And while those are useful, some of the most effective solutions are entirely lo-tech. I already wrote here about No Email Day; let me now tell you about the solution called Quiet Time. How to disconnect and (maybe) win a Nobel prize As everyone knows, William Shockley won a Nobel Prize  as one of the team that invented the Point Contact Transistor at Bell Labs. As many don’t know, he.. Read more

Crafting Effective PowerPoint Presentations: Food for Thought

Posted on December 10th, 2012 · Posted in Individual Solutions

In a previous post I promised you to write about how to craft great PowerPoint presentations. I was planning to give you a list of “do this, do that” tips, but I found myself thinking about some underlying factors that make a slide presentation effective (or not). This turned out much more interesting than just a list of tips, so I’ll share my conclusions with you as food for thought. The conclusions pretty much agree with the way I write presentations for my lectures; I will give you some pointers at the end. Do you really need a “Great PowerPoint.. Read more

New Insight Article: How Work Processes are Degraded by Information Overload

Posted on December 6th, 2012 · Posted in Impact and Symptoms

I’m continuing to write the series of articles that analyze the negative effects of Information Overload in an enterprise setting (though many of the points noted apply to individual knowledge workers, such as small business owners, as well). The third of these articles discusses the damage information overload does to key processes in the organization, including effective meetings, team communications, work planning and people management (remember when meetings used to be about thinking and creating value together, not about ignoring each other and surreptitiously doing email?) The article reviews the ways that too much email and constant interruptions have degraded.. Read more

How to Improve Your Company Culture by the Judicious Use of Coffee

Posted on December 3rd, 2012 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

How coffee is provided and used in a workplace is intimately linked to the local company culture, and can be used to assess it and to steer it for better or for worse. Coffee is used universally by workers of every kind, and you’d think it doesn’t matter how it is consumed. But looking back over a long career in a variety of workplace scenarios, I realize just how much you can learn from observing how coffee is served in a company, and how the choices that you – as a manager – make in this matter can influence the.. Read more