Do companies need a VP of Electricity? http://t.co/s4g23GBvBz Many did in 1900. Today, we should retire the idea of a CIO, and soon.— Stowe Boyd (@stoweboyd) June 21, 2014
By Bonnie Berkowitz and Patterson Clark
We know sitting too much is bad, and most of us intuitively feel a little guilty after a long TV binge. But what exactly goes wrong in our bodies when we park ourselves for nearly eight hours per day, the average for a U.S. adult? Many things, say four experts, who detailed a chain of problems from head to toe.
Paul Krugman, The Hype Behind the Health Care Scandal
Rejecting the ‘office as a playground’ approach to office design http://t.co/OrG0ZMrOa1 The workplace can be a huge force multiplier, or not— Stowe Boyd (@stoweboyd) June 19, 2014
Voice mail is stupid:
Teddy Wayne, Millennials Shy Away from Voice Mail
One factor behind the decline of voice mail is that it represents a gesture of vulnerable intimacy among otherwise alienated modes of communication.
Ms. [Kate] Greathead agrees: “It seems more practical to text or email. The only reason you leave a voice mail is so the person can hear the sound of your voice. It almost seems presumptuous, for that reason.”
As she suggested, there’s also the understandable matter of efficiency. A missed-call notification on a cellphone can be its own request for a call back. A “Call me” text will likely be read more quickly than a voice mail message will be heard, and if the matter is urgent, multiple missed calls may declare that most vociferously.
Voice mail greetings, too, have grown increasingly tedious on mobile phones. At the start of the gauntlet is the cellphone provider’s slowly read message that “your call has been forwarded to an automated voice-messaging system.” Then you must wait through either the robotic reading of the phone number, or the recipient’s personalized greeting, which also often includes the number (information that seemed superfluous in the landline era, unless it was given in lieu of one’s name, but even more so now, when the phone’s screen already indicates the number).
I’m tired of the geezerish etiquette lessons about voice mail. the quote above, by Kate Greathead hits the issue perfectly: The only reason you leave a voice mail is so the person can hear the sound of your voice.
What we lack is a convention — that phone companies would agree to — where instead of having to go through the whole drill with the voice mail machinery, we could instead hit a standard code — like *99 — and then be allowed to type a short message, or *999 to leave audio. Then we could avoid the enormous time waste of millions of people bailing when they hear ‘your call has been forwarded…’, and then later send a text message.
James S.H. Lee’s paperclip armrest, designed in 2009, still is not in use.
I’ve known Valdis Krebs for over 15 years, back to the time when I was immersed in a foray into knowledge management. I’m uncertain when we first met, but I’ve followed his work closely since then. We’ve shared a passionate interest in understanding social networks since before that term meant Facebook and Twitter, and instead was a scientific discipline based on graph theory and the work of sociologists. And now, we are socialogists!
About Valdis Krebs
Valdis Krebs is the Founder, and Chief Scientist, at Orgnet, LLC. Valdis is a management consultant, researcher, trainer, author, and the developer of InFlow software for social and organizational network analysis [SNA/ONA]. InFlow maps and measures knowledge exchange, information flow, emergent communities, networks of alliances and other connections within and between organizations and communities. Since 1987, Valdis has participated in over 500 SNA/ONA projects.
Before starting his own business, Valdis held various HR management positions at Disney, TRW, Toyota, and Ford. Valdis works from his office in Cleveland, Ohio with a network of colleagues in the USA, Canada and Europe.
Stowe Boyd: I like the concept of the AAA organization that you cooked up to cut through the fog of scientific terminology when working with business people. It stands for Awareness, Alternatives and Action. Could you explain that notion, and describe the reception you’ve had?
Leadership that is too focused on one or a few individuals is actually constraining for self-organizing, adaptive local learning behavior. - Valdis Krebs
Valdis Krebs: The idea of the AAA Organization is to reveal three critical attributes that modern organizations need, in a language that their management understands. Further, if an organization executes well on each of the three attributes, it becomes a Triple A Organization — triple A usually associated with best in class.
The AAA Organization model emerges from Organizational Network Analysis [ONA] which is an adaptation of Social Network Analysis [SNA], a field that has a lot of academic terminology — betweenness, eigenvector centrality, homophily. These concepts and terms do not go over well with business clients. In addition, SNA and ONA academic measures have never been shown to be correlated with actual organizational performance. The three As each describe a key attribute/behavior of successful business organizations. In addition, Awareness, Alternatives, and Action are measurable with network metrics and can be improved with new network behaviors which can be taught.
Orgnet, LLC was working with the IBM Consulting Group (now IBM Global Services) in the mid 1990s. IBM was using our InFlow ONA software internally, and externally with their clients. IBM had just recovered from a big downturn in the early 1990s and were nervously looking looking forward to the next century. They wondered:
will we be able to adapt to the changes that seem to be coming faster and faster with each decade? How do we need to be structured to handle constant change and adapt effectively to the increasingly ‘hard-to-predict’ marketplace? Will we be able to master change in the 21st Century?
They did not want to go through another scare like we survived in the early 1990s.
Every age has a theory of rising and falling, of growth and decay, of bloom and wilt: a theory of nature. Every age also has a theory about the past and the present, of what was and what is, a notion of time: a theory of history. Theories of history used to be supernatural: the divine ruled time; the hand of God, a special providence, lay behind the fall of each sparrow. If the present differed from the past, it was usually worse: supernatural theories of history tend to involve decline, a fall from grace, the loss of God’s favor, corruption. Beginning in the eighteenth century, as the intellectual historian Dorothy Ross once pointed out, theories of history became secular; then they started something new—historicism, the idea “that all events in historical time can be explained by prior events in historical time.” Things began looking up. First, there was that, then there was this, and this is better than that. The eighteenth century embraced the idea of progress; the nineteenth century had evolution; the twentieth century had growth and then innovation. Our era has disruption, which, despite its futurism, is atavistic. It’s a theory of history founded on a profound anxiety about financial collapse, an apocalyptic fear of global devastation, and shaky evidence.
Most big ideas have loud critics. Not disruption. Disruptive innovation as the explanation for how change happens has been subject to little serious criticism, partly because it’s headlong, while critical inquiry is unhurried; partly because disrupters ridicule doubters by charging them with fogyism, as if to criticize a theory of change were identical to decrying change; and partly because, in its modern usage, innovation is the idea of progress jammed into a criticism-proof jack-in-the-box.
Google sees you as a user, Amazon sees you as a consumer, Microsoft sees you as an employee (though they’re trying to change that).
Apple sees you as a person, but one at leisure who doesn’t want to be using a computer in the first place.