The Brain is the Bottleneck
Subconsciously, I think I came up with a blog title that is in the style of a Ryan Holiday book.
Modern information systems are totally failing individuals and organizations. Information is certainly being processed, but what is the process creating. We have PCs, laptops, tablets, smart phones, specialized devices and nascent metaverses to make sure we don’t miss a beat. There are collaboration tools and apps to enable teamwork, but are we really getting more productive.
Information is being created, shared, tracked and routed. There are dashboards, alerts, notifications, queues and databases, but are communication and knowledge sharing really enhanced.
Brilliant people have created these systems. There is incredible hardware sending information across the world almost instantly. There are tools analyzing all of the data scurrying across the Internet in real time looking for and blocking threats using clever heuristics.
From a technical point of view, the tools work well. Sure there are technical bottlenecks sometimes that hinder your ability to get things done, but information productivity is about something much bigger than the speed of the software and the hardware.
Productivity is all about timing, sequencing, qualified resources, working around constraints and strategic queues. When these elements are aligned work just seems to flow. But getting all these elements in sync, is a monumental task. And keeping the elements in sync takes even more effort.
Creativity and productivity in knowledge work is not linear. It is iterative. It has fits and starts. And knowledge systems don’t adequately capture the nuance.
And even if the nuance is captured perfectly, how much of that richness of information received and understood further downstream.
The game of telephone plays itself over and over again. While this seems unfortunate on many levels, the mutation of information can lead to unanticipated innovation.