“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging of an uncompleted task.”

William James was an American philosopher and psychologist, often referred to as the “Father of American Psychology”.

This quote resonates quite vividly for me as it echoes one of the main lean principles : to get things done, reduce work in progress.Why is it so fatiguing ? My take is that until it is completely done a task uses some of your background cognitive power.

A principle also referred to as “Stop starting and start finishing or “Multitasking is the first step in multi-failing”. I sometimes feel multi-tasking could be considered as self-inflicting the Sisyphus curse : going back to an uncompleted task is somehow like having to roll the boulder all the way up the hill, again.

There is some sort of mythology about alleged millenials ability to multi-task but this is just wishful thinking. I am currently enjoying reading Brain Rules and the author John Medina makes it clear that the brain is not able to share attention on two different tasks.

On top of an expert newbie, I rate myself a rather productive person, able to achieve things. [humblebrag] As an example in 2013 : one massive project, one e-book, one new album with my band and a major change in my professional career all the while attempting to have my family not to hate me too much [/humblebrag].

This principle is my north star. I try my best not to keep tasks hanging around and to complete them before moving to something else. How about you ?

The Expert Newbie

August 20, 2014

Hossegor 2-600

This has been a rather complicated post to write. I still feel there are some flaws and that may sound somehow clumsy.  Yet, here it is : I have a problem with expertise.

During the 25 years of my professional career, I have changed jobs, mission, specialties and professional activities on a regular basis, every two or three years, often while remaining in the same company and without getting any pay rise.

One reason is that I love discovering new work culture and environment while meeting new co-workers. But I think the most important one is I am afraid of looking like sitting in my comfort zone while patronizing from my expert position.

Experts are seen as the super-heroes of today’s organization and, for one, I don’t buy into that assertion. Quite the opposite, actually : I tend to see expertise culture as an obstacle to setting up a healthy one. Which makes me comfortable being a newbie and becoming expert at it …

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base sous marine

(Originally published on Kinder Wiser collaborative blog)

I’m an IT guy. I’ve been working for 25 years in this business doing just about any job you can think of. I’ve been working in different industries, different countries, using different types of technologies, from IBM Mainframe technology built in the 60s to 00’s avant-garde mobile start-ups.

My strategy to survive in this fast-pace changing business has been to think in patterns. This comes from IT industry standards called Design Patterns. The baseline is : for every problem that will slow you down you while designing a software solution, someone has already bumped into it and standardized a generic design solution.

This is both a bless and a curse and here’s why … Read the rest of this entry »

Like most fears, our fear of wrongness is half real, half spectral. It’s not exactly true there is nothing to fear but fear itself, since wrongness really can have clifflike consequences for our lives. But it is true that the fear of wrongness does nothing but hurt us. It makes it harder to avoid errors (…) and harder to forgive ourselves and others for making them. For everyone involved, then, looking closely at the experience of wrongness is far better than refusing to look at all.

This is a glorious book about the way we are making decisions and how afraid and unrealistic we are with the idea of making mistakes. This was offered by Octo Technology during the USI 2012 Conference [FR] where Kathryn Schulz made a great keynote. so thanks to them for contributing to Les Citations du Dimanche.

This is a awesome talk by Sherry Turkle. Turkle is a professor in the Program in Science, Technology and Society at MIT and the founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self.

She is the author Alone Together : Why we expect more from technology and less from each other and this talk introduces the book.

The pitch here : mobile and social take us away from real time conversation. It helps us setting enough distance with each others so that we can control conversation while editing our texting, posts, emails. We can therefore control the image we present about ourselves. As such, these tools not only change the way we do but they also change the way we are.

Profound and powerful it is strongly recommended. I recognized myself in some of the examples and I’m sure you also will. The second part (as of 09:30mns) is scary in how people wish devices could become more human.

A question to my Social Business Activists friends : how do we deal with this on a personal level and on an enterprise one ?

Some transcripts one click away. Read the rest of this entry »

Un ouvrage rapidement évoqué lors de sa sortie et plus longuement chroniqué aujourd’hui après sa lecture.

Christian Roudaut est journaliste et vit en Angleterre depuis une dizaine d’années. L’objectif de cet ouvrage consacré aux français du dehors, ceux qui ont décidé d’émigrer, est d’offrir des pistes de réflexions sur ce qui peut être amélioré en ayant l’humilité nécessaire pour s’inspirer sans nécessairement copier de ce qui se fait hors de nos frontières.

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(English version)

Scott Berkun est une des inspirations majeures de #hypertextual depuis la création de ce blog il y’a plus de 4 ans maintenant.

Auteur, conférencier, éditorialiste, ces travaux ont été publiés par le New York Times, le Washington Post, le Wall Street Journal, The Economist ou dans la Harvard Business Review. Un frondeur solitaire, en quête perpétuelle de vérité. Armé d’un esprit tranchant, d’une culture encyclopédique et d’un humour féroce, il pourfend les faux semblants, les jeux de pouvoir ou de représentation dans les organisations et se dresse en défenseur des idées, du bon sens et d’une éthique du travail très Weberienne.

Ses livres ont tous été passés en revue ici : The Art of Project Management (EN), The Myths of Innovation (EN), Confessions of a public Speaker (FR).  Chacun apporte une perspective éclairante sur le monde de l’entreprise avec un accent particulier sur le management, l’innovation et la créativité.  On pourrait les définir comme «des guides de survie» au sein de l’entreprise du 21ème siècle.

Scott vient tout juste d’auto-publier son quatrième livre:  Mindfire, Big ideas for Curious Minds, un florilège des meilleurs idées de son fameux blog. C’est un immense plaisir pour #hypertextual d’interviewer ce Trafiquant d’Idées, tel qu’il se définit dans Confessions of a Public speakerRead the rest of this entry »

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