Monday, November 26, 2012

What's the real issue with Information Overload?

What's the real problem underlying information overload? Nathan Zeldes has been finding answers to this question for years. Recently he wrote a must-read post on the answers he found. There are all kinds of reasons we keep on using email in an unproductive way. But the underlying issue, according to Zeldes, is mistrust. To solve the information overload problem within organizations we need to address this "dark side" of overload. If we don't we'll never structurally solve the problem. Address this dark side and change the underlying culture, Zeldes advises.

I agree this is a way to fundamentally root out mistrust. But what if this is not possible? What if the company just doesn't see the problem and therefore does not want to spend time on this extermination process?
I think every person can start by settting an example. Be counter-cultural! Show how the way you use email is more effective and productive. It's the long bottom-up approach, but this road empowers you, instead of waiting and complaining until "the rest of the company" gets it and starts the "improve trust program".

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