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June 23, 2006

Corporate Attention Deficit Disorder

“The scarcest resource for today’s business leaders is no longer just land, capital or human labor, and it certainly isn’t information. Attention is what’s in short supply,” say authors Thomas H. Davenport and John C. Beck in their book The Attention Economy: Understanding the New Currency of Business (Harvard Business School Press, 2001).

-- Link - Worthwhile Magazine

In their post titled Hey! Look Here - Worthwhile Magzazine talks about Corporate Attention Deficit Disorder - a term used to describe the difficulty in holding attention spans of corporate executives long enough to get something done.

In other words, it's not about managing time effectively, its about managing attention spans. I may have the time, but I dont have the attention span required to scan a 4 pager. So make it a 1 - pager. Or better still, make it two power point slides.

I'm all for bulleted pointers and crisp narratives. The problem arises when I need dialogue. I need more authentic responses than just a quick glance sealed with a stroke of the pen across the paper. The approval that is doled out is what the oranization needs, I need involvement.

While the article suggest a toolbox of actions that can hep reduce Corporate ADD - i think this one question there has both the problem and the solution -

If all of these “get in touch” devices are so integral to our sense of worth, why does it feel like nobody’s listening?

Its nothing but the world we have created for ourselves.


  • I think it's a problem being faced by most of us who are living in the corporate jungle.

    Attention deficit or even premature response syndrome is something which we are going to see more in this information rich but less appreciative world.

    By Blogger Ajit Chouhan, at Friday, 07 July, 2006  

  • I really like this post Anuradha. I see it even in my own behavior. The whole "check the headlines and change the channel" thing!

    Technology is creating too much noise. I guess we need to figure out how to command our new tools, control our time- instead of being controlled.

    By Anonymous Astha, at Sunday, 13 August, 2006  

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