Archive for the 'Analysis and Opinion' Category

Unplugged Weddings: People are Pushing Back!

Posted on January 27th, 2015 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion, Organizational Solutions

At last: some pushback The “democratization” of photography in the smartphone age has wrested the role of the professional wedding photographer and distributed it among all the invited friends and family members; and this change happened almost overnight, in line with the exponential speedup of technology introduction in recent years. The relevance of this to information overload was the subject of my recent post, Wedding Photos and Managing Information Overload. Another interesting development, which came surprisingly close on the heels of the former, is the appearance of the Unplugged Wedding concept. This is a clear instance where people are beginning.. Read more

When Cultures Clash: Mission Orientation vs. Overwork

Posted on December 28th, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

As I wrote before, the causes of Information Overload are always tightly intertwined with organizational culture, which leads to interesting conflicts and forces critical tradeoffs. Well-meaning legislative efforts I was at a conference dedicated to the interdisciplinary examination of the rampant problem of destructive Overwork. Some of the speakers were academics who presented their research findings about the severe impact of overwork – say, working 60 or more hours a week – on employees’ health and well-being. Others were jurists, legislators and reformers who discussed present and proposed efforts to modify the laws of the land to reduce overwork by.. Read more

Call to Action: We Need a Benchmark of Email Classifier Performance!

Posted on December 10th, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion, Individual Solutions, Organizational Solutions

A vibrant menagerie of email classifiers If you look through  my Definitive Guide to Information Overload Solutions you will see an entire chapter dedicated to automation of incoming email classification – that is, software solutions that classify incoming messages by a variety of attributes to achieve two main goals: prioritize messages that are important to the recipient over those who are not, and aggregate messages into groups of a common nature. These solutions form a collection which is a wonder to behold. They define the outcome of message classification from a great many angles, including: Prioritizing messages by the assessed.. Read more

Five Things That Turn a Job into a DREAM Job

Posted on November 6th, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

Everybody would love to work in a Dream Job. Not everybody is so lucky; and not everybody realizes what the makings of such a job are. What makes a salaried position into a dream job? I’ve spent some 3 decades in a variety of positions before striking out on my own, and now as a consultant I get to see many workplaces and to talk to many workers. I’ve seen good jobs and bad, wonderful and horrible ones. Here is what I found. Perhaps you can find more (do share, if you do!). This is a subject you want to.. Read more

Should IT Customize Outlook to Reduce Information Overload?

Posted on October 24th, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion, Organizational Solutions

I was giving a workshop on Information Overload at a midsized hi-tech company where it was agreed to use a standard format for meeting invitations: in addition to the subject, time and place required by Outlook, each such invitation would contain an agenda with a timetable, a list of desired outcomes, and “homework” to be prepared ahead of the meeting. That’s an excellent idea, which I urge you to consider applying in your own group. But then one attendee asked: can we build this into the Outlook platform, so these added fields would be required and enforced automatically? And that.. Read more

Wedding Photos and Managing Information Overload

Posted on September 30th, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

Recently I attended a session at Haifa University, where the MA students of the Faculty of Management presented their research theses. I love these opportunites to hear bright young folks share their ideas! One presentation attracted my attention in particular: Dina Fridman talked about “Contemporary Wedding Photography: New photography Practices and digital wedding album management” (see her abstract here). The point is that today everyone has a camera in their phone, so the role of the traditional professional photographer is complemented by scores of amateurs who create a vast number of photos, then share them online. Dina wanted to research.. Read more

Information Overload and Innovation: a Vicious Circle

Posted on September 18th, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

An unusual lecture subject Yesterday I gave a somewhat unusual invited lecture at the Innovation as Culture conference in Tel Aviv. The lecture was about Information Overload, something I speak about often, but in this case I was asked to consider it from an Innovation point of view. After some thought I realized there were a number of points of congruence between these two subjects: after all, innovation requires thinking, and information overload is a major barrier to deep, focused thought. On the other hand, many solutions to information overload are extremely innovative. That’s two areas to explore already –.. Read more

New Insight Article: Want to Motivate Employees? Don’t Treat Them Like Children!

Posted on September 8th, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

A great deal has been written about how to motivate your workforce, and there are many valid ways to go about it. One method, however, is so simple and effective that it’s hard to understand why many companies miss out on applying it. The secret is simple: accord your employees – all of them, even the newest young hires – your unquestioning trust. In other words, show them that you trust their judgment, and that they have your permission to apply it as they see fit. No micro-management, no debilitating approval loops, no frustrating insistence on excessive control. You hire.. Read more

Is Information Overload a Symptom of Incorrect Staffing?

Posted on August 21st, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion, Organizational Solutions

Of the 164 solutions to information overload included in my Definitive Guide, the last one is probably the least likely to be implemented – and that’s truly a shame. The problem we seldom mention I was discussing Information Overload a while ago with a thoughtful executive at a Fortune 500. The guy agreed with me that things were out of control, but he wasn’t impressed with the fact that he was receiving some 250 work-related email messages a day, most of which were pretty much useless. He said to me, “The problem is not the 200-odd useless emails; those I.. Read more

Why Employee Badge Design Matters to Your Company

Posted on August 8th, 2014 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

What defines the design of the employee badges in your company? Who cares, you say? YOU should, I reply. Very much so. Read on. How it’s usually done The employee badge is a standard feature of the hi-tech workplace (and other security-aware establishments). It is usually issued to new employees by the security department, since its main raison d’être is to enhance security by highlighting intruders. Until full biometrics take over, it is also frequently used to open doors to restricted areas, to feed the employee in the plant cafeteria, and to charge and track other activities. Form follows function,.. Read more