Help build the GTD Wiki

Looks as though it's just getting off the ground, but it could easily develop into an important resource. Check it out.

Help build the GTD Wiki. Jeff Sandquist and some of his buddies at Microsoft just had a visit from David Allen.
Coming to the realization that there are so many sources of information
about the Getting Things Done system scattered about the net, they
decided a wiki would be a good idea. And they also decided that keeping
it tucked behind a firewall at Microsoft would limit the potential
value it might offer. So Jeff has issued a public call to help build
the GTD Wiki he's hosting.

I know many readers of this blog are avid GTD'ers. Please stop by Jeff's Wiki and see what you can contribute. [Marc's Outlook on Productivity]

Lippman and Reed on Viral Networking

Let me add my recommendation to Martin’s and add that the paper is authored by David Reed and Andy Lippman of MIT. I’ve mentioned David’s work from time to time and Andy is equally brilliant and insightful.

A fatal infection. I would urge readers to drop the baby, turn off the oven, sit down and read this MIT paper on viral networking. In a nutshell, it describes the future of mesh networks. There are two core results: Throughput increases with… [Telepocalypse]

How to read a business book

Solid advice from Brendon on how to get the most out of any non-fiction
book. Some tips and tricks I will want to incorporate into my habits.

How to read a business book.
I'll be honest here, this isn't just for reading business books. What
I'm going to cover ought to suffice for pretty much any physical text
from which you wish to squeeze maximum value. This isn't a how-to on
studying though…there… [Slacker Manager]

UPDATE: Through a cut and paste error (mine) the original title on this made no sense – so I fixed it

More on the IT cultural divide

I agree. This is a pointer to an excellent piece on technology and business change, full of insight and good advice.

Spooky Action: Seldom updated, often re-readMi…

Spooky Action: Seldom updated, often re-read

Mike DeWitt is a guy who needs a kick in the ass. He writes such good stuff, then gets taken prisoner by work for 6 months at a stretch.
(Disclaimer: We chat from time to time, but I’m serious, this is not blogrolling.) This here
post alone will sort the boyz from the men, girlz from the women on an executive mangement team. And – gasp – it’s fun to read.

Spooky Action Predicts: Nick Carr has your number! (.8 probability)

If you re in IT management or consulting, your blood pressure is now 40 points higher than before you got here. If you re a CEO/CFO/CXO whose span of control includes IT, you may have one of those wry, one-corner-of-your-mouth-turned-up smiles on your face. If you re none of the above,

a) Hi Mom kids!, or

b) thanks for stopping by randomly; I hope I make it worth your while….


Donate your unused CPU time to cancer research

Worth a few cycles of your time to decide whether you've got some resources worth sharing.

Are you one of those people who has one or more computers running all the time? Check out the story posted on
The Cancer Blog today about a new effort to use
spare CPU cycles to assist the Human Proteome Folding Project, which will bring many insights into cancer

Contracting, clarity, and requirements

I’ve certainly been guilty of this kind of approach at multiple points throughout my career. The best techniques I’ve encountered for dealing with these challenges are the “contracting” conversations that Peter Block advocates so strongly in his excellent Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used. Regardless of which side of the table you are on, you had better become more adept at Block’s contracting or you will be building or paying for
entirely too many custom-made drywall saws.

Clarity, Junior Engineers, Requirements, and Frustration.

There’s an amazing essay at The Spurious Pundit on “Picture Hanging.” It’s an allegory that explores how simple requirements in software aren’t that obvious to folks who may not have context. The writing is wonderful, do check it out, it’s worth your time. Subscribed.

A highlight:

You tell him to hang the photo of your pet dog, and he comes back a week later,asking if you could “just double-check” his design for a drywall saw. “Why are you designing a drywall saw?”
“Well, the wood saw in the office toolbox isn’t good for cutting drywall.”
“What, you think you’re the first person on earth to try and cut drywall? You can buy a saw for that at Home Depot.”
“Okay, cool, I’ll go get one.”
“Wait, why are you cutting drywall in the first place?”
“Well, I wasn’t sure what the best practices for hanging pictures were, so I went online and found a newsgroup for gallery designers. And they said that the right way to do it was to cut through the wall, and build the frame into it. That way, you put the picture in from the back, and you can make the glass much more secure since you don’t have to move it. It’s a much more elegant solution than that whole nail thing.”

This metaphor may be starting to sound particularly fuzzy, but trust me – there
are very real parallels to draw here. If you haven’t seen them yet in your professional
life, you will. [Spurious Pundit]

[ – Scott Hanselman’s Weblog]

The perfectionist definition of “good enough”

I have worked for entirely too many perfectionists in my life. That includes times when I’ve worked for myself. In a world of potentially open-ended assignments, we all need to be giving a lot more thought to how we define and recognize “good enough.”

The perfectionist definition of “good enough”.
A while back I was working with a client who had a serious
perfectionist streak. One session, as we were talking about the lack of
satisfaction with anything this client did, I said, “Do you know what I
think your… [The Occupational Adventure (sm)]

BlogWalk Chicago Reflections

I spent an excellent day Saturday with both old and new blogging friends at BlogWalk Chicago. Jack Vinson and AKMA have good overview posts and more can be found at BlogWalk TopicExchange and Technorati tag:BlogWalk. With some luck I will find some time to process much of the excellent conversation and output of the day.

One conversation thread that wound in and out of the day was the relation of blogs and social
software to large organizations. Tom Sherman struggled with this discussion and I thought it worth taking a few moments to try and articulate my perspective.One reality for most of us is that we can expect to spend a substantial portion of our time in and around large organizations. I believe they will be part of our work landscape for some time to come. The nature of the work expected of many of us is evolving rapidly. It’s more fluid and less well-defined. Job descriptions, when they are available, don’t provide a lot of guidance.

At the same time the mythology around organizations and work is that there should
be clear guidelines around what is expected of us. I know that I struggle with these uncertainties routinely. Most of the day to day work that leads up to knowledge products and deliverables is fundamentally invisible. The bits that make up email and draft documents and spreadsheet models are hidden and shared only among a handful of people until they are completed. More than anything else, what blogs and social software do is make it drop dead simple to make the conduct of knowledge work visible. To me this is of fundamental importance. Knowledge work depends on our ability to learn and improve as we go. That depends on being able to see what is going on and social software makes that feasible.

Organizations struggle with the notion that they need to learn. Too often, learning is something that someone else in the organization needs to do. Moreover, real learning (as opposed to what passes for learning in too many training environments) is a social activity. These tools will be
central to creating the environment in which necessary learning can take place. Today, that learning activity is almost exclusively the province of those who’ve retained their natural curiosity and inquisitiveness in spite of eduational and organizational systems that work overtime to suppress these natural instincts. The work that needs to be done will force the rest of us to adapt as well. Seems to me that working out this transition presents some interesting work to be done inside organizations.