Infobesity is all around us and it’s killing creativity. So is, in a nutshell, what one coud say of Too fast to think, the latest book written by Chris Lewis. Chris is an ex-journalist, and the founder and CEO of one of the largest independent communications companies in the World (Lewis employs 700 people in 27 countries). I met Chris virtually over Skype a few weeks ago and I had a chat with him about his book, infobesity, our quest for information and our ability – or inability – to process it and foster innovation. In this insightful video interview, and in his book, I found many lessons which could be useful to you, with regard to your own usage of digital and possibly the way one could try and manage multitasking employees. Above all, you will learn that thinking too fast, may be a really bad idea.
Too fast to think, too slow to edit
I can’t be blamed for thinking too fast, Chris will have to give me credit for that . I interviewed him on January 19, 2017 and it took me nearly 3 weeks to edit this video and a few more hours to compose this blog post. This is without taking into account the fact that 2 months were necessary for us to synchronise our diaries. That being said, I really enjoyed Chris’s point about what he called the “conceit of speed”. One is thrown into a world where communications has never been so easy and plentiful but this only gives us the illusion of communications. And speed. That takes us back to the organisation of our interview I should say.
So we take refuge in our phones and our screens but what is left of our ability to converse and truly socialise? (To that effect I also point you to a video interview of Simon Sinek which is dedicated to millennials but applies to all of us).
Tools should be our servants and infobesity is making it hard for us to think
“Tools should be our servants, we should not serve [them]” (this quote of Chris’s should be passed on to my students and without doubt it will).
My video interview with Chris Lewis, CEO (Oops! Sorry, “Grand Enchilada”) of Lewis
At the heart of Chris Lewis’s thinking there is the fact that infobesity is all around us. An endless flow of RSS feeds, headlines and breaking news to which he himself confesses being a slave. Looking for examples of bad habits in information consumption he admits that he embodies it (“you are looking at it” he said facetiously). He’s a “news junkie and a workaholic” and therefore, he can easily describe what affects our inability to analyse and, as he rightfully puts it, “connect the dots”.
Information overload, he went on, means we are trying to keep up, and as a consequence, his conclusion is that today’s “level of ideas and conceptualisation is diminishing” and that “information overload and infobesity are beginning to erode our fundamental inate ability to solve problems”.
That doesn’t bode too well. So what should we do about it? Read more