Plans, structures and illusions

 Here are some of the insights and ideas that were shared via Twitter this past week.

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face ~ Mike Tyson – via @DickBeveridge

Working Wikily: “It is ultimately to everyone’s benefit when we see ourselves as a node within a network …”

Say goodbye to the organisational hierarchies please – by @sig

This focus on efficiency over effectiveness should remind us of what Peter Drucker once said: “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” And today, thanks to modern IT we do things very efficiently, especially the 60% that which need not to be done at all.

@DavePollard – The Metamovement: Moving Beyond Marches and People in the Street


From what I have seen, the major challenge the Occupy groups are dealing with is about who is authorized to do what on behalf of, or binding upon, participants, without infringing on individual participants’ autonomy. For example, if someone wants to organize a march, does it need to be put forward as a proposal and agreed to by consensus of the whole? Since it only needs to be agreed to by consensus if it is put forward as a proposal at a General Assembly, does this encourage people to circumvent the collective decision-making process by just saying “I’m going to do this — who’s with me?” instead of putting forward a proposal to the group?

@JeffMerrell – WSJ: Peter Cappelli on why companies aren’t getting employees they need. “The problem is an illusion”

Some of the complaints about skill shortages boil down to the fact that employers can’t get candidates to accept jobs at the wages offered. That’s an affordability problem, not a skill shortage. A real shortage means not being able to find appropriate candidates at market-clearing wages. We wouldn’t say there is a shortage of diamonds when they are incredibly expensive; we can buy all we want at the prevailing prices.

The real problem, then, is more appropriately an inflexibility problem. Finding candidates to fit jobs is not like finding pistons to fit engines, where the requirements are precise and can’t be varied. Jobs can be organized in many different ways so that candidates who have very different credentials can do them successfully.

like a horse and carriage – by @snowded

“Economists and workplace consultants regard it as almost unquestioned dogma that people are motivated by rewards, so they don’t feel the need to test this. It has the status more of religious truth than scientific hypothesis.”

“The facts are absolutely clear.
There is no question that in virtually all circumstances in which people are doing things in order to get rewards, extrinsic tangible rewards undermine intrinsic motivation” (New Scientist, 9 April 2011)

Here again is why I do Friday’s Finds. It’s part of my sense-making process:

I added a sense-making activity about two years ago when I realized I was losing track of what I was finding on Twitter. I could have saved interesting tweets to my social bookmarks but instead I decided to do a weekly review of what I had found. This requires little effort during the week, other than clicking the “favorite” star. At the end of the week, I re-read these tweets and their links and then decide which ones are still of interest. The activity of reading, writing and perhaps commenting helps to internalize some of the knowledge. The result is Friday’s Finds and a byproduct is that some other people find them interesting and useful as well.

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