Posts Tagged 'Culture'

Email, Digital Photography, and the Hole in our Historical Record

Posted on April 30th, 2017 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion, Impact and Symptoms

Letters from the past One fine day in the 20th century BCE Ilabrat-bani, an Assyrian merchant from Kültepe in Anatolia, wrote to one Amur-ili a letter concerning shipments of textiles, and providing advice for travel. The letter, written in cuneiform on a clay tablet, survived to reach present day historians and inform their research. On June 8th of 1511 Piero Venier, a merchant living in Sicily, penned a letter to his sisters in Venice. It contained his observations from an Auto de Fe he’d witnessed in Palermo, where the Spanish Inquisition burned at the stake conversos suspected of heresy amid.. Read more

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

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

When Cultures Clash: Open Door Policy vs. Information Overload

Posted on October 29th, 2014 · Posted in Organizational Solutions

The causes of Information Overload are always tightly intertwined with organizational culture, so it is small wonder that solving the first requires messing with the second… and there are times when my work to help organizations mitigate information overload runs into apparent conflicts with existing cultural values. When that happens, we must tread carefully! One such case is the contradiction with the Open Door policy that is quite common in progressive organizations in the western world. The conflict The basic idea of Open Door is that managers are available to their subordinates whenever the latter feel they have something to.. 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

Solving Information Overload: Technology Assisted Behavior Change

Posted on March 19th, 2014 · Posted in Individual Solutions, Organizational Solutions

An interesting hybrid If you scan the Definitive Guide to Information Overload Solutions you will see two prominent classes of solutions: Behaviour change solutions and Technology based solutions. The former class contains a variety of methods for making people change the way they communicate so they become more effective, and help their coworkers do the same. You want people to send less mail, compose it more skillfully, process it more judiciously, avoid interrupting others and themselves (a sizable part of the interruptions people undergo are self-induced!), and so on. These solutions may involve training, educating, and informing people through multiple.. Read more

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

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

The Thousand Faces of Email – 2. Launch, Forget, and CYA!

Posted on July 24th, 2013 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

Continuing the series about the numerous unplanned uses to which email has been put since its humble origins in the sixties, let’s take a look at a shady pair of practices: using email to pass the buck, while covering one’s back end in case of trouble. The wrong kind of delegation That people use email to delegate tasks is hardly surprising;  many tasks need to be delegated by their nature, after all. Things become interesting when the delegation is unwarranted, but is pursued notwithstanding. It turns out that email is especially handy for this situation. Before email, you’d have to.. Read more