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Archive for March, 2009

This is the start of some ramblings on Attention Management and Attention Economics.

An issue for Executives both with themselves and all employees within the organisation is ‘Attention Management and the Economics of Attention’ – indeed attention management is a requisite for all human beings and businesses must start to think very carefully about the economics of attention.

I’ve been experimenting with Twitter (you can find me here http://www.twitter.com/ColinUdeLewis).

Twitter is a great place to share information and build a community. I won’t labour over how business can benefit from Twitter now but follow @zappos and you will get a great idea.

The marriage of the computer with telecommunications (Internet and now mobiles) and now Twitter results in movement of information at the speed of light and to enormous audiences which opens up great potential for organisations but it also can cause an attention deficit or overload – So how do you Manage that Attention and create the Attention Economy for your company.

Twitter Economics are interesting. I have a parcel of thought and feeling (information). I package it up send it to my followers. They unwrap it and use it. If they think it is useful they ReTweet it to their followers and so the community expands. Through these ReTweets I get credit

But sometimes on twitter I feel I am sitting in a fighter plane. The problem avionics designers face is the same problem all of us face in daily life. The data comes at you so thick and fast that the mind cannot make sense of it. For the fighter pilot, a careful orchestration of digital systems, images and noise is essential to buffer this overload.

That’s what you get with Twitter there is a constant stream of data and noise, some of it chit-chat, but depending upon whom you are following, much of it rich and informative but often because of overload it is difficult to keep one’s attention on this information.

There are various terms used for information, depending on how much attention is devoted to it. No attention gives you “raw data.” Some attention gives you “massaged data.” Lots of attention gives you “useful information.” Maximal attention gives you “wisdom”and so on.

For simplicity let’s use three terms: Data, Information, and Wisdom. Which of these three do we feel is in shortest supply in our daily lives? Starting on the humble level of our day-to-day lives, surely it must be Information and Wisdom.

We are drowning in Data. Magazines accumulate. Catalogues inundate. Email messages pile up. Our “books to read” lists expand geometrically, articles bookmarked to favourites never get read . We do not have time, as we say, to “make sense of it.” That is, we do not have time, or do not know how, to construct our human-attention structures that would make the data useful to us.

Instant communication does not in and of itself create understanding nor does it produce wisdom. It does not change human nature nor make our problems go away. But it does change the way in which businesses can operate both within and outside the enterprise. It gives a closer link to the customers, cuts down boundaries within organisations and creates new paths to market – above all used wisely it can educate and learning is something we all need to do continuously.

In future posts I will expand upon these important topics – have I whetted your appetite enough to keep your attention?

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Based on two years of research and analysis of approximately one million data elements, Bersin found that the following 22 talent management processes drive highest business impact. Use this list as a priority list to guide your talent management strategy.

Top 22 Talent Management Practices

Top 22 Talent Management Practices

http://www.bersin.com/Resources/Content.aspx?id=6150

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Leadership Development, a priority for organizations in tough economic times, gets a boost as Executive Coaching is seen to be delivering on its promise of improving Leadership Skills says new report from MindTram.

Whether your ERP systems were designed by Oracle or SAP; whether your trucks were built by Volvo or Isuzu; whether your tractors were made by Caterpillar or Komatsu; the true competitive difference for all companies is the people that moves the business forward. Recognizing this global organizations are increasingly turning to Executive Coaches to develop star talent.

The majority of the Executives that have received Coaching indicate that they are ‘extremely satisfied’ with the development and knowledge gained from Coaching. Indicating increased Leadership Skills, improved Self-Awareness and better life balance as the 3 areas where they gained the most benefits.

Human Resource Professional and Supervisors (CEO’s, etc) of the individuals being coached indicated a wide increase in skills development essential to an executives day-to-day tasks and acknowledged a high degree of satisfaction from the Coaching process.

The survey indicates that the vast majority of Coaching assignments are based on recommendations and therefore the value speaks for itself as providing a return on investment.

Furthermore the MindTram Executive Coach survey provides insight from Coaches as well as the Organizations recruiting the Coach, thereby offering opinions from buyers and suppliers of Coaching.

In these difficult economic times it would appear that Leadership Development and people skills are one area that organizations would seem to need more of.

Survey Information available for download at: http://www.mindtram.com

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I was brainstorming with a group of clients last week during a training seminar about why they ‘bought’ Coaching. Here’s a summary of the key points:

In the first instance we looked at what resonates with the buyer.

  • The perfect solution to a specific problem
  • A service that people want to buy without being coerced
  • An idea that people immediately understand has value to them, even
    if they have never heard of your company or its products and services

Thinking of those bullets we expanded onto the top 3 items they said they came to Coaching to solve:

  1. Leadership Development – improving interpersonal and team leadership skills.
  2. Self-awareness – becoming more aware of there shortcomings and understanding the origins and history of behavior at home and work and its impact on others.
  3. Life balance – balancing personal and professional roles more effectively

What they all agreed upon was that Coaching first and foremost helps leaders find their authentic self – by doing this they gain more credibility in the workplace and see an increase in productivity both from themselves and their direct reports.

Please contact me if you want to know more. (colin(dot)udelewis(at)mindtram(dot)com

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At the end of each week I post the Executive Coach Tip of the Day from my twitters stream – Here are the Tips from last week:

  1. Eagerness to Please – Winning the popularity contest should be the last thing on your mind.
  2. If you want to be a Leader of People show them that you have an open mind and a willing heart.
  3. Anything is possible if you share the glory. Giving others a chance to claim credit is an easy and effective way to get results.
  4. Confide in someone you trust. Solitary introspection will only carry you so far.
  5. Develop Courage, By courage, I mean state the facts, speak the truth, and do the right thing.
  6. under pressure—in the loneliness of leadership—the only values you can count on are those you have tested.

Please follow me on Twitter if you want to get daily quotes and tips, have fun and relax a little.

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