Tag Archives: management

Information overload: it’s not just filter failure

I posted previously on Clay Shirkey’s assertion that there is no information overload, just filter failure. I pointed out that filtering is only half of the attention management picture (pulling information forward is the other part).

It is not that there’s a lot of information; it is that there’s a lot more information that we are expected to read than we have time to read it in … And this is why Email Overload is a problem and RSS feed overload is much less so: there is an expectation (express or implied) that you must go through all the mail in your Inbox; there is no such expectation for an RSS reader.

Read more at knowledgeforward.wordpress.com


Complexity and management

We talk too easily about “tools and techniques” as though we have the answers in our wee bag of tools… and then we’re baffled as to why they don’t work. Ralph Stacy argues that despite all the “science” of management, “managers, consultants, politicians and policy makers simply do not know what is currently going on, let alone what might happen as the consequence of their action and inaction” – and we therefore need to think about management in new ways.

The Demand for Management Tools and Techniques

Some of the responses to previous postings on this blog reflect the widespread insistence on providing managers with a set of tools and techniques that will produce success. I think it is widely believed that there is a received body of knowledge on management concerned with the ‘big picture’ over the ‘long term’ for the ‘whole organisation’. What people usually mean when they talk about the long term, big picture for a whole organisation is a clear view of the purpose of that organisation and the direction in which ‘it’ is intended to ‘move’, ‘going forward into the future’, so that its ‘resources’, ‘capabilities’ and ‘competences’ are ‘optimally’ ‘aligned’ to the sources of competitive advantage in its environment as ‘the way’ to achieve ‘successful’ performance. It is also widely believed that there is a set of ‘tools and techniques’ which can be ‘applied’ to an organisation to yield ‘success’ and that there is ‘evidence’ that these tools and techniques actually do the job required of them. The tools and techniques are persuasive if ‘case studies’ can be presented of major organisations which have achieved success through applying them. When anyone critiques or dismisses accepted its tools and techniques then there is a powerful expectation that the critic will replace them with new ones in the belief that if managers do not have tools and techniques they will simply have to muddle through in ways that are completely unacceptable in a modern world. The expectation is that we need to focus on what decision makers ‘should’ be doing to make decisions in certain kinds of problem situations in order to ‘improve’ their organisation’s performance. This is taken for granted as obvious common sense and if a critic fails to comply then the critique is dismissed as impractical and so useless.

Read more at complexityandmanagement.wordpress.com