Archive for the 'Analysis and Opinion' Category

New Insight Article: The Importance of Having an Effective Action Culture

Posted on February 19th, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

Organizational culture is a fascinating subject – elusive yet critical to a company’s success. A crucial aspect of this is what I’ll call (for lack of a better name) Action Culture. By this I mean the norms and expectations governing how action – the tasks required by the company’s business – is determined, assigned, owned, and tracked to completion. Having a well formed action culture can make a huge difference to a company’s success; over the years I’ve seen quite interesting good and bad examples. My recent insight article, titled The Importance of Having an Effective Action Culture, shares what.. Read more

The two Faces of Anytime, Anywhere

Posted on February 14th, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion, Individual Solutions, Organizational Solutions

A cool idea (or so we thought) … It really did sound like a great concept at the time: Work Anytime, Anywhere! Catchy slogans like that always sound good, like Andy Grove’s prediction in the nineties of “Free MIPS, Free Bauds” (which is pretty close to reality by now). And the concept of being able to do your work from anywhere as if you were in the office, and at any time of your choosing rather than 9-to-5, seemed particularly cool – so liberating and exhilarating! We in IT were certainly delivering the capability. Admittedly secure remote access was a.. Read more

Who Will Teach Oratory to our Employees?

Posted on January 23rd, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

An under-appreciated skill There is an art, or a skill, called Oratory, or Public Speaking, and in my current career it’s part of the required tool set: without the ability to speak well in a public setting I couldn’t make a living delivering interesting lectures, something I take great pleasure in doing. However, the art of eloquent speaking goes far beyond formal lecture delivery: it is what people do all the time in a business setting, whenever they present a PowerPoint presentation or just speak to assembled colleagues or managers in order to impart information and influence a decision. And.. Read more

New Insight Article: How You Can Instill a Culture of Innovation in Your Company

Posted on January 14th, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

Everybody, you’d think, likes Innovation. What’s not to like? And yet, as I’ve observed repeatedly, many companies pay lip service to innovation, but not that many walk the talk. Even hi-tech companies that thrive on making innovative products may not foster a culture of innovation internally. My latest insight article shares some thoughts and observations derived during my many years as a change agent within a large global enterprise. It discusses some critical success factors, some pitfalls to avoid, and a number of examples of proven techniques for making your company and in particular its workforce more innovation-enabled. Enjoy! [Image:.. Read more

A Disclaimer, Once And For All!

Posted on December 17th, 2013 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

An uncalled for dissonance As you know I lecture often on Information Overload in organizations, and I describe in these lectures the manifold damages of email overload in a workplace setting, followed by the available remedies. To my surprise, I sometimes encounter an indignant response: people declare that email is a vital tool, and I’m wrong to declare war on it! This always catches me by surprise, because my battle is with the abuse and misuse of email, not with the tool itself; and I’ve certainly never called for abandoning email – I benefit from its use as much as.. Read more

How Software Failed to Replace our Secretaries – and how it’s Getting Better

Posted on December 4th, 2013 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion, Individual Solutions

Check out my guest post on the Doodle blog: Everything but the coffee: The evolution of the automated secretary. In this post I discuss the hopes, back in the nineties, that MS Outlook and other Office tools could make the trusty secretaries of old redundant (you could type your own letters and set your own meetings, right?), and how we found before long that a an 80386 microprocessor with some 300,000 transistors was no match for a human with 100 billion neurons. I then discuss the case of setting meetings, and why Outlook in itself is incapable of doing it.. Read more

We Must Prevent Email From Hitting a Wall

Posted on November 20th, 2013 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

When technology hits a wall One thing about any mainstream technology: it can get so successful that it runs into a wall, and then another technology takes over. Take horse power: this worked great for millennia, but by the end of the 19th century there were hundreds of thousands of horses in New York City alone, and the manure they produced on the streets was becoming a huge problem. The issue was resolved only when the automobile was invented and took over (not, one may note, without creating its own environmental issues later on – and we’re waiting for the.. Read more

Startup Burnout – and What You Can Do About It

Posted on September 18th, 2013 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion, Startups

Guest post by Toby Ruckert (Twitter / LinkedIn) When I was 29 years old, I thought I had successfully ticked many boxes of things I wanted to achieve in life. I married the love of my life, became an accomplished pianist, had built and helped others to build several companies and realized my dream of living on an island in a house next to the beach with a view of the ocean. Happy. Right? Yes, happy. But everything comes at a price. The triple and sometimes quadruple responsibilities of the different ventures I was involved in, the wide variety of.. Read more

On the Volatility of Startups

Posted on August 25th, 2013 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion, Startups

        To a first approximation, all startups fail. This should never be a deterrent to starting one up. – I wish I could attribute this to some famous name, but hey, it’s all mine… and very true. As I mentioned before, these days I’m writing a white paper I call “Solutions to Information Overload: a Catalogue Raisonné”, being an encyclopedic compilation of every solution I know to Information Overload. Many of these are products from small startup companies, and I’m repeatedly delighted by the originality of thought and the positive energy characterizing these. Less delightful by far is the observation.. Read more

All Right! Email is Finally Adapting to the New Millennium!

Posted on August 14th, 2013 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion, Individual Solutions, Organizational Solutions

Email solutions for the era of Information Overload These days I’m hard at work on a major effort: I’m writing a white paper I call “Solutions to Information Overload: a Catalogue Raisonné”. It will be an encyclopedic compilation of every solution I know to Information Overload, from software to training tools, from behavior change drives to personal strategies, from commercial products to innovative ideas. And the more solutions I include, the more I find – there will likely be over 150 of them! While many of the solutions I include have been around for a decade or more, I am.. Read more