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McGee's Musings



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



Last Build Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2017 21:47:12 +0000

 



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



Making knowledge work visible

Sat, 04 Feb 2017 18:01:36 +0000

Invisibility is an accidental and troublesome characteristic of knowledge work in a digital world. What makes it invisible? Why does it matter? What can you do about it? How did knowledge work become invisible? As a knowledge worker, I get paid for what happens inside my head but not until I get the work outside … Continue reading Making knowledge work visible



Knowledge management matters more to you than to your organization

Mon, 12 Dec 2016 16:25:28 +0000

I gave a talk on Saturday for ChicagoLand PMI about why knowledge workers needed to develop strategies and the supporting habits and practices to manage and develop their know how across organizations and across time. If you’re interested you can find a copy of my slides on Slideshare. Knowledge management as buzzword and practice originated … Continue reading Knowledge management matters more to you than to your organization