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June 10, 2011


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Bruce Lewin

Hi Bill, a very interesting observation that reminds me more and more of the 'one-size fits all' approach that was so successful for Henry's black cars but which now (ironically) seems more and more paradoxical in this increasingly networked world...

Btw, check out which is a new project i'm working on. It looks at sustainable performance and the organisation as an ecosystem...

Enjoy the weekend :-)

John Maloney

Hi - Easy to agree on a very superficial level. However, there are fundamental problems. For example, this remark set of the alarm bells: "control over when I want to concentrate and when I want to be social." Concentration and socializing are NOT mutually exclusive. In fact, they are critically co-dependent today.

Social interaction is CONCENTRATION and 'work' in the modern enterprise!

Pinhead MBA-style managers, hell-bent on cost-savings, have gravely over-deployed collaborative technology. This has caused the severe patterns of chronic dysfunction you describe. Reject this idiotic 'race to the bottom.'

The faulty bifurcation of concentration and socialization is a legacy of the 20th Century models of Fordism and ol' Fred Taylor.

Also, humans are a tribal species, we require face time to achieve!

One pathetic manifestation is the sole worker having a sandwich at their desk. In Switzerland where this is forbidden, workers are mandated to have a 'social' lunch period. It's the most productive part of the day.

Face-2-face socialization allows for thinking of the highest order, its the highest levels of concentration and is by far among the MOST productive activities in any workday.

Authentic f2f conversation is in desperately short supply. Always plan social work breaks meals. Don't EVER buy the dopey argument that 'technology saves on travel.' Above all, start concentrating by having an authentic f2f conversation, NEVER discussion!


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