Business Overwhelms LO13107
Thu, 3 Apr 1997 08:49:04 -0500

Replying to LO13085 --

Organized learners - can that be when serendipity constantly adds to

The overwhelm tread is very interesting. As life appears to be an open
system, it appears unlikely that I'll ever get it all organized in my

A recent ad I saw for brain work, some hemi-sync tapes that were to
exercise the mind were offered. I didn't buy, but was intrigued by the
explanation of how it worked. The sounds provided the brain essentially
overloaded it and caused it to reorganize at a higher level.

My view, after observing growth and change for 25 years as a regional
planner, is that although the goal of the back to the mother earth news
generation was - Thoreau - to live simply, voluntary simplicity, we have
gotten involuntary complexity.

This is a function of global population grown and in some cases an
exponential rise in the number of transactions. Banks are leading users of
technology because of the millions of transactions they deal with. The
U.S. Bureau of the Census contracted for development of the first large
computer to deal with the data of the 1950 census. It was beyond what
could be done manually and produce results.

To simplify is not the answer, as though it only need be done once. The
overwhelmed brain must re-simplify. Depending upon the rate of growth of
issues, transactions, whatever.

I saw a Honda Accord ad that expressed this idea well. Under a picture of
the Accord was the single word: "simplify" Having reliable, complex
subsystems saves time. So our exponentially growing complex global culture
becomes service oriented - because people have more money than time.

Now, to the practical - e-mail as a new overwhelm. There appears to be a
learning curve in organizations for effective use of e-mail. I've seen two
course outlines on the use of e-mail, but in the interest of saving time,
I wonder if there are organizations which have developed protocols, like
this list, which systematize subject lines, have format guides, content
rules, whatever?

A local university president adopted e-mail. He said it was very
efficient, but people had trouble getting used to short responses. They
expected the more formal and flowery courtesies of a letter. The systems
manager for this small institution did a great job of technology
integration for this school. He will put the entire message in the
subject line.

Technique formalized in conventions - cultivating the oyster bed.


Thomas J. Christoffel, AICP ("Tom") - email: TJCdesigns Box 1444 Front Royal, VA 22630-1444 Ph: (540)635-8582 TJC: "All life is risk management." JC: "Choose life."

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