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McGee's Musings



"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." - Dorothy Parker



Last Build Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2017 19:40:58 +0000

 



Smart people doing smarter work

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 19:40:58 +0000

For today’s organizations, success depends on the effective care, feeding, and management of smart people. This is not the same thing as managing the ideas these smart people produce, which is where too many organizations get stuck. Ideas may be the basic output of the knowledge economy but you can’t manage by focusing on these … Continue reading Smart people doing smarter work

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Free and cheap technology is killing organizational effectiveness

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 04:14:27 +0000

Technologies supporting knowledge work are deceptive, especially for knowledge work shared among groups and teams. The ease of getting started obscures the challenge of learning to be effective. We focus on the details of particular features and functions at the expense of ignoring the cognitive challenges of deep thought and collaborative work. I’ve been participating … Continue reading Free and cheap technology is killing organizational effectiveness

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Repeatable Processes and Magic Boxes

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 21:47:12 +0000

There is a trap hidden in most efforts to create repeatable processes and systems that try to guarantee predictable results in doing knowledge work. To avoid that trap, you must learn to recognize and manage the magic box. The promise of repeatable processes is to identify, design, and sequence all of the activities that go … Continue reading Repeatable Processes and Magic Boxes

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Project management for the rest of us

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 03:42:56 +0000

We operate in a world of projects, yet few of us are trained in how to think about or manage them. Management education focuses on designing for the routine and predictable. Today’s environment is neither. Projects remain foreign to the bulk of managers in organizations who are accustomed to running ongoing operations. What differentiates success … Continue reading Project management for the rest of us

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Staying in the question – shifting from problem identification to framing

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 18:00:43 +0000

“Don’t come to me with a problem, unless you also have a solution.” I got a version of that advice early in my career and I’ve dispensed it as well. It’s become bad advice. The good part of the advice is that simply pointing at a problem isn’t terribly helpful. The trickier part is that … Continue reading Staying in the question – shifting from problem identification to framing

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Review – Only Humans Need Apply

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 18:21:27 +0000

 Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines Thomas H. Davenport, Julia Kirby In his most recent book, Tom Davenport, along with co-author Julia Kirby, provides an excellent entry point and framework for understanding the evolving relationship between smart people and smart machines. There’s a great deal of hand-wringing … Continue reading Review – Only Humans Need Apply

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Lowering the costs of context switching

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 18:58:06 +0000

Context switching is expensive yet inevitable in our multi-tasking world. If you are a knowledge worker, lowering the costs of context switching may be one of the highest payoff investments you can make. How should we go about thinking about the problem of context switching to reduce those costs? Switching contexts vs. switching tasks A … Continue reading Lowering the costs of context switching

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Technology in the Classroom

Fri, 03 Mar 2017 19:55:11 +0000

There’s a nice piece over at Studypool talking to a dozen “experts” about effective use of technology in the classroom. I put experts in quotes mostly because I was deemed one of those experts. Kidding aside, the end result is a nice overview of productive ways to think about incorporating technology into teaching and learning … Continue reading Technology in the Classroom

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The costs of context switching

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 21:59:15 +0000

Multi-tasking doesn’t work but our lives demand it anyway. This leaves us with the problem of how to compensate for the productivity and quality losses generated by work environments that demand parallel processing our brains can’t handle. Why can’t our brains multi-task and what happens when we try? Left brain/right brain discussions aside, we only … Continue reading The costs of context switching

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Review – The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 20:53:38 +0000

The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing, Perry, John I began my formal relationship with the notion of procrastination at the age of 12. I was in my room working on a model plane instead of my homework. My dad came in and asked me to look up the word … Continue reading Review – The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing

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