Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Humble Contributor to the Age of Conversation 3

The Age of Conversation 3 will soon be available. I am both humble and proud to be a contributor to the effort and want to express my gratitude and appreciation to Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton for pulling it together.

The authors list is below. Each of these thought leaders contributed a chapter to the effort. Some of the contributors are names that have been cited on Lead Quietly before. However, there are others that are new to me.

In the spirit of the blogosphere and in recognition of each contributor, I have set a personal challenge for me to visit the blogs or site of every single contributor. I'll post about the highlights that I discover.

As for my contribution, I wrote a chapter on influence for introverts where I identify six ways that introverts can have an impact with their teams without leaving the introvert zone. Stay tuned for more information about the Age of Conversation 3.

Adam Joseph

Priyanka Sachar

Mark Earls

Cory Coley-Christakos

Stefan Erschwendner

Paul Hebert

Jeff De Cagna

Thomas Clifford

Phil Gerbyshak

Jon Burg

Toby Bloomberg

Shambhu Neil Vineberg

Joseph Jaffe

Uwe Hook

Steve Roesler

Michael E. Rubin

anibal casso

Steve Woodruff

Steve Sponder

Becky Carroll

Tim Tyler

Chris Wilson

Beth Harte

Tinu Abayomi-Paul

Dan Schawbel

Carol Bodensteiner

Trey Pennington

David Weinfeld

Dan Sitter

Vanessa DiMauro

Ed Brenegar

David Zinger

Brett T. T. Macfarlane

Efrain Mendicuti

Deb Brown

Brian Reich

Gaurav Mishra

Dennis Deery

C.B. Whittemore

Gordon Whitehead

Heather Rast

Cam Beck

Hajj E. Flemings

Joan Endicott

Cathryn Hrudicka

Jeroen Verkroost

Karen D. Swim

Christopher Morris

Joe Pulizzi

Leah Otto

Corentin Monot

Karalee Evans

Leigh Durst

David Berkowitz

Kevin Jessop

Lesley Lambert

Duane Brown

Peter Korchnak

Mark Price

Dustin Jacobsen

Piet Wulleman

Mike Maddaloni

Ernie Mosteller

Scott Townsend

Nick Burcher

Frank Stiefler

Steve Olenski

Rich Nadworny

John Rosen

Tim Jackson

Suzanne Hull

Len Kendall

Amber Naslund

Wayne Buckhanan

Mark McGuinness

Caroline Melberg

Andy Drish

Oleksandr Skorokhod

Claire Grinton

Angela Maiers

Paul Williams

Gary Cohen

Armando Alves

Sam Ismail

Gautam Ramdurai

B.J. Smith

Tamera Kremer

Eaon Pritchard

Brendan Tripp

Adelino de Almeida

Jacob Morgan

Casey Hibbard

Andy Hunter

Julian Cole

Debra Helwig

Anjali Ramachandran

Jye Smith

Drew McLellan

Craig Wilson

Karin Hermans

Emily Reed

David Petherick

Katie Harris

Gavin Heaton

Dennis Price

Mark Levy

George Jenkins

Doug Mitchell

Mark W. Schaefer

Helge Tenno

Douglas Hanna

Marshall Sponder

James Stevens

Ian Lurie

Ryan Hanser

Jenny Meade

Jeff Larche

Sacha Tueni and Katherine Maher

David Svet

Jessica Hagy

Simon Payn

Joanne Austin-Olsen

Mark Avnet

Stanley Johnson

Marilyn Pratt

Mark Hancock

Steve Kellogg

Michelle Beckham-Corbin

Michelle Chmielewski

Amy Mengel

Veronique Rabuteau

Peter Komendowski

Andrea Vascellari

Timothy L Johnson

Phil Osborne

Beth Wampler

Amy Jussel

Rick Liebling

Eric Brody

Arun Rajagopal

Dr Letitia Wright

Hugh de Winton

David Koopmans

Aki Spicer

Jeff Wallace

Don Frederiksen

Charles Sipe

Katie McIntyre

James G Lindberg & Sandra Renshaw

David Reich

Lynae Johnson

Jasmin Tragas

Deborah Chaddock Brown

Mike O'Toole

Jeanne Dininni

Iqbal Mohammed

Morriss M. Partee

Katie Chatfield

Jeff Cutler

Pete Jones

Riku Vassinen

Jeff Garrison

Kevin Dugan

Tiphereth Gloria

Mike Sansone

Lori Magno

Valerie Simon

Nettie Hartsock

Mark Goren

Peter Salvitti

Thanks for reading. Please keep Meshing.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I'm Meshing Up

In January, I proposed that my themeword for 2010 was Mesh.

I was, and am still inspired by a Seth Godin ditty titled, What Matters Now (download the ebook). Lisa Gansky wrote a section titled Mesh that called for a change in how we relate to things in our lives. She called for us to reshape how we work, plan, embrace, and engage.

I liked the concept immediately and made Mesh my #themeword for 2010. I expanded the idea of mesh in my blog post. I am Meshing Up and as Gansky meshes, "Some things are best shared."

I am sharing my mesh on a new blog hosted at Posterous where I plan to share my discoveries and experiments. I have been intrigued by Posterous as a blogging platform for my mesh lifestreams. I like its email interface that seems to have the capability to receive just about anything, e.g. photos, text, video, audio, etc. that you send it's direction. I am still learning and experimenting. I guess you could say that it's a mesh!

The site name is, of course, At MeshingUp I intend to explore the intersections of my mesh. I'm a data geek in my day job and have interests in data, information, analytics, learning, innovation, and of course, leadership.

I will continue to explore leadership here at Lead Quietly. But I invite you to come and mesh with me at Let's get in a Mesh of trouble!

Thanks for reading. Please mesh and, of course, lead quietly.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Perils of Distracted Work - It should be illegal. I'm on a rant.

Call your Legislator, your Representative. Call the President. Let's rally the Tea Party, any party, its a bipartisan issue. The deadly impact of distracted work isn't getting enough recognition.

On the other hand, distracted driving is getting appropriate attention. The news that legislatures around the country are recognizing the dangers of distracted driving and passing legislation that would outlaw activities like texting, phoning, eating, and general fiddling is based on the same science that suggests that distracted work is equally perilous. The actions of our legislative bodies are well supported by research and science. There is danger in distracted driving.

However, I'm really talking about multitasking at work. And just like there are many who would adamantly brag about their ability to drive and use their cell phone, there are many managers who insist that multitasking is a prerequisite to today's demanding workplace. However, there is a cost and a danger associated with multitasking and it is not getting attention.

I'm on a rant here because I have been frustrated in my ability make the point that there is peril in multitasking. We know we have to multitask to succeed in today's environment. However there is a myth about multitasking not supported by research, science, and results.

Others are also meshing with this topic in agreement. Blogger Terry Starbucker in The Secret To A Lifetime Of Productivity - And Five Ways to Find It when he wrote that one of the five keys to is:
Reduce the multitasking - severely. Think about how hard it is to have a meaningful phone conversation while you are answering e-mail or Tweeting at the same time. Now add the critical task of prioritization on top of that. Tilt!! Our minds are a marvel of nature, but there not that good!

Further meshing of the concept came as I read Gary Woodill's post Stop Multitasking and Start Working on Workplace Learning Today blog where he cited a New York Times article Meet the Life Hackers. I could only laugh as the article noted that, "And each time a worker was distracted from a task, it would take, on average, 25 minutes to return to that task." Don't they know that many of us have work days that typically includes 3 to 4 hours of meetings with 30 or 60 minutes blocks of time between those meetings. The calendar image is my actual schedule for tomorrow and I don't think that it is unusual in my work.

Let's do some simply math. If you have 60 minutes between meetings to work on an ongoing task, you spend the first 25 minutes reacquainting yourself with your work. That leave's 35 minutes to focus. But 35 minutes assumes that there were no colleagues looking for you to return from your meeting and waiting to "GAM" you. (GAM is the acronym that I use to frame the outcome of when a colleague says those three magic words, "got a minute?")

I'm on an uncharacteristic Lead Quietly rant. I first brought up the challenges of multitasking almost exactly one year ago when I reviewed the wonderful book Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by Dr. John Medina. In Brain Rules, Medina's cautions about multitasking. His approach is much more scientific in proposing that, in reality, the brain simply cannot multitask.

In fact, as I was searching today, I failed to find a single proponent of multitasking. But I'll keep looking. In the meantime consider two quotes from a PBS Frontline interview with Standford professor, Clifford Nass:

We have not yet found something that [multitaskers] are definitely better at than people who don't multitask.

we could be essentially undermining the thinking ability of our society....Multitasking is one of the most dominant trends in the use of media, so we could be essentially dumbing down the world.

I'm looking for opinions on multitasking via comments. Do you feel that your workplace encourages you to take on more and more tasks in parallel? Can you cite instances of successful multitasking. Perhaps most importantly, do you have recommendations that would help quiet leaders resist the demand for multitasking.

Thanks for reading. Please stay focused, keep meshing, and lead quietly.