Posts Tagged 'People'

Wearable Devices: Cool Tech or Big Brother?

Posted on August 21st, 2015 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

How to measure knowledge worker productivity  is a recurrent question, and in my business of reducing information overload my clients often ask me how we can characterize the benefit of my recommendations for action. For years I used to reply, “Easy! You fix a Productometer gizmo to every employee’s skull, and it senses how productive they are!” Of course, that was nonsense: Characterizing the impact of a productivity program in domains as complex as knowledge work is a challenge requiring less direct means. It may not remain nonsense for long, though… Not just a cute gadget Wearable sensing technology has.. Read more

The Importance of Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth is

Posted on March 18th, 2015 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

A key component of leadership A major challenge all managers face is how to motivate their employees to do the best job they can. This is problematic because – despite the usual corporate values of “we respect our employees” and “open door policy” – there is always an element of mistrust between management and employees (I discuss it in the context of Information Overload in this article); and mistrust is a major demotivator. So, managers need to assure employees that they are sincere in what they tell them – and, until someone invents a mind reading device, this is tough. Of.. Read more

Mixed Blessings of Technology: Insights From a Family Physician

Posted on February 17th, 2015 · Posted in Impact and Symptoms

Given my focus on mitigating Information Overload, I often discuss it with people I meet in other contexts; many interesting insights usually result. Especially interesting are discussions with those people who are responsible for executing literally life-saving jobs under extreme pressure: medical practitioners. I was visiting a family doctor and raised the subject. This doctor had a computer on her desk, where she was required by the HMO she works for to type in details of everything she did, from patients’ complaints to diagnoses to prescriptions. What’s more, this was a progressive HMO and it allowed patients to communicate with.. 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

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

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

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

Why Business Travel Freezes are Bad for Your Business

Posted on October 15th, 2012 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

A familiar knee-jerk reaction We’ve all been there. The economy goes into the down side of one of its never-ending spasmodic cycles and the word comes down: Freeze all business travel! The urge to batten the hatches when times get rough is understandable and necessary; that’s how responsibly-managed companies survive the hard times. It’s just that a sweeping ban on business travel makes no sense at all in the context of survival, because such travel has an important role in securing the future of the very company you’re trying to help. It never ceases to amaze me how the significance.. Read more

What’s in a Name? Name Diversity as a Factor in Global Collaboration

Posted on September 14th, 2012 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion

Countless studies have been made of factors affecting Global Collaboration… but one factor seems absent from them. This is the cultural diversity of personal names. It’s as if this factor is a non-issue; which has always surprised me, because in my long career in a global corporation I’ve concluded that it definitely matters. Read on… Strange names leave you clueless in so many ways! If you work in a global corporation you are likely to be communicating routinely with remote team mates named, say, Ayelet Gilboa, Szendrey Erzsébet, John McDonald, SK Wong, Dögg Jónsdóttir, Phan Tấn Dũng and Pavel Andreyevich.. Read more