I was up early enough today to get to Caffe Nero for my first hour of focussed reading, followed by a walk (in the rain) and then another hour at the Beach Terrace Cafe, not normally worthy of comment apart from the fact that as so often happens the theme that appeared in today’s reading and then played out in today’s meetings was focus.
As always my full reading list can be found at @steveisreading on twitter, but the focus theme is summarised nicely by this post Mastering The Fine Art Of Getting To The Point the main ‘point’ of which was that
“We only truly focus for six hours a week. Endless meetings and wordy emails are chipping away at our dwindling attention spans”.
As someone who only works 16 hours a week I was encouraged by the fact that most weeks I’m sure I manage more than 6 hours of focussed work. For those in need of some light relief the issue is demonstrated very powerfully by this video illustrating the painful experience of conference calls that consume too much of our working lives.
This afternoon was a face to face workshop with @sdownes1972 discussing our devices and services strategy. The discussion was very wide ranging, but one interesting topic that emerged was the usefulness of short phrases to summarise some of the key strategic themes, I’ve outlined a few of them here:
The rise of smart interfaces, to smart devices and things, powered by the cloud and mediated by intelligent personal assistants
The increasing pressure on enterprise knowledge workers, due to the combined effects of competition from lower cost workers, specialist agencies, free agents, automation and the challenges of information overload, attention starvation and the paradox of too much choice.
The need for enterprises to balance their business needs and the wants of their increasingly demanding and well equipped employees
I’d planned to go and walk around Astley park, enjoying the last hour of sunshine and listening to podcasts, but unfortunately the gates were closed, so I headed home instead and wrote this blog post and had a good chat on the phone with @robblythe_w, so the afternoon ended well. I now have to get my steps in by a less enjoyable trek to the supermarket.