Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category

Thinking about Outcomes

9 March 2006

It’s interesting how themes keep coming up again and again. One that keeps popping up for me is the importance of considering outcomes for any activity, project, action or even life.
One of my professors at Fuller Seminary consistently challenged everyone to "finish well" and "begin with the end in mind".
In What’s the Perfect Outcome, Jeffrey Phillips riffs on the theme as does David Allen in Outcome thinking rocks. Of course planning and thinking of the desired outcome ("What does success look like for this project?" and "What does complete mean for this project?") is a critical part of the whole GTD workflow as well.
One of the strongest calls for the importance of outcome thinking is in the book Start with No! by Jim Camp. I’ll have a review and a mind map of the book up next week.

The Interactive Desktop?

7 March 2006

Take a look at the video here:

Vic Divecha’s Tech Blog has some interesting comment threads about this "next generation" input/output device coming out of Jeff Han’s lab at NYU. The comments are interesting in the back-and-forth from "what’s it for" to "gee, I could really use that".

O’Reilly radar has a good writeup too.

Meetings are a hassle

18 January 2006

The findings of a research study are reported in | Research | Bored meetings:

"It is impressive," Luong and Rogelberg write in their summary, "that a general relationship between meeting load and the employee’s level of fatigue and subjective workload was found". Their central insight, they say, is the concept of "the meeting as one more type of hassle or interruption that can occur for individuals".

Ya think?!

Interesting review of _Solving Tough Problems_

5 January 2006

In How to Save the World, Dave Pollard quotes from Solving Tough Problems:

I’ve worked with these senior managers for decades. They have no energy. They have turned into turnips. They don’t want to do anything. They like having excuses. They are all making big salaries and feeling no pain. They have the perfect cover for anything: Our bosses won’t let us do anything.

and goes on with a lot of other interesting observations about meetings and participant archetypes.

Repetitive Information Injury

5 December 2005

See Rands In Repose: Repetitive Information Injury

Interesting looking tool here…SynchroEdit

5 December 2005


SynchroEdit is a browser-based simultaneous multiuser editor, a form of same-time, different-place groupware. It allows multiple users to edit a single web-based document at the same time, and it continuously synchronizes all changes so that users always have the same version.

Yet more on measurment & innovation

5 December 2005

IdeaFestival: How to discourage innovation: measure everything

Do total quality management, six sigma and ISO 9000 programs discourage innovation?

More on Process vs. Innovation

5 December 2005

Process is an embedded reaction to prior stupidity. Many-to-Many:

Six or seven years ago, ATT asked me to spend some time helping them figure out their web hosting offerings, and after some preliminary work, it became clear that there would be no mainstream hosting business, because the cost to the customer would be too high to be competitive. This was not because ATT was buying expensive hardware; it was because their minimum hosting processes imagined layers and layers of dev, stage, and live servers, and a complex array of user management interfaces. When ATT asked how the existing hosting companies could provide their services so cheaply, I said that the competition was simply offering shell access, and that people could FTP anything they liked to the server or telnet in and write stuff directly on a live box.

ATT was aghast, of course, at such laxity, but in fact, it was this kind of simple, process-lite attitude that helped the net spread generally, and it was ATT’s "Quality of Service" attitude that marginalized them.

Glad we don’t have that problem here…

Processes vs. Innovation

5 December 2005

Ross Mayfield’s Weblog: The End of Process

Organizations are trapped in a spiral of declining innovation led by the false promise of efficiency.

Managers have the false belief engineered process and hoarding information is a substitute for good leadership. Processes fail and silos persist despite dysfunctional matrices. Executives are so far removed from exceptions and objections that all they get are carefully packaged reports of good news and numbers that reveal the bad when it’s too late.

Hmmm…sounds like some systems we have at Agilent…