Causes of EAM

January 15, 2007 at 3:50 pm | Posted in Attention Management | Leave a comment

I’m leaving for vacation tomorrow, but wanted to post up one more entry before I leave. I got the following question from a reporter doing an e-mail based interview. I thought I’d post the answer here too:

Q: Do you have a sense of the cause of EAM? You mention too much input (such as emails), but is any of EAM also traced to staff cuts, portfolio overloads, outsourcing or even that IT may be in the midst of a build-out or refresh cycle with technologies that are so new that no one on staff is an expert (Ajax, RIA, SOA, Identity/Security)

A: A continual increase in competitiveness (which covers all the causes you mention) is partially to blame. Making content creation easier has enabled everyone, not just content experts, to be prolific. But another part of the problem is that expectations for responsiveness continually creep upwards over time. Each new communication technology, such as when pagers were introduced or cell phones or email, increases how quickly we can respond which puts us ahead of the expectations. For a short time. If you’re the first one on the block with a Blackberry this works out well since you can be as responsive as everyone else with less effort or more responsive with the same effort. But then everyone gets one and the arms race continues. What you want is a technology that makes you – and only you – more responsive, but that isn’t going to happen.

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