Monthly Archives: November 2010

Growing up Distracted. Where is this leading to?

Often flustered parents will ask me about the effects constant social networking has on their children’s developing minds. This is certainly an issue of growing concern for many of us. Yesterday’s New York Timescover story was a deep dive on adolescents growing up in the age of perpetual distraction.

Some highlights:

*The Kaiser Family Foundation found that 56% of young people (8 to 18) are using technology “some” or “most” of the time.

*Among lower socio-economic classes, computers were used as a form of escape rather than as a tool for education.

*Playing video games negatively affected sleep and learning much more so than the technological bad boy of yesterday—television.

*The brain requires rest and downtime to “synthesize information, make connections between ideas and even develop the sense of self.” ‘Downtime is to the brain what sleep is to the body,’ said Dr. Rich of Harvard Medical School.”

Kids couldn’t pull themselves away from Facebooking or video games to devote focused attention to their studies and were struggling academically as a result. The effects were not just intellectual—one young man admitted he hadn’t exercised in two years.

The quiet question the article kept asking was where was all this frenetic connected action leading to?

One solution which wasn’t discussed was using attention-developing tools like meditation to calm the inner frenzy and cultivate focus. Its my hope that instead of being pushed along by the tide of unrelenting information that we proactively develop ourselves to have a more assertive relationship with the technological forces that surround us.

What do you think?

The whole article is here.

“Levels of stress we’ve never experienced before.”

The past few weeks have been extraordinarily busy. I’ve been in conversations with representatives of many kinds of organizations—public agencies, private companies, law firms, health care, and the military. A common phrase kept showing up in each conversation: “We’ve got levels of stress we’ve never experienced before.”

The intensity of stress that many people are encountering, brought on by things like the poor economy, regulatory changes, and limited resources, are pushing organizations to their limits. This cascades into frenetic action, poor decisions, wasted resources, and a burned-out work force.

I’m curious to know what others’ have witnessing and experiencing.

How do you deal with this and move forward effectively?

New Take Charge! leadership class starts in February!

Starting February 1, 2011, I’ll be offering a 6-week course through the Southern California Leadership Network in downtown Los Angeles.

The class will center on effectively managing yourself in difficult times, increasing performance, productivity and well-being.

Classes are enjoyable, practical and profound.

Class size is limited to insure a high quality experience. Meals and parking will be provided.

Please join us!

Chapter from “The Drucker Difference” about mindfulness and management

Last year, in celebration of Peter Drucker’s centennial, the Drucker School faculty collaborated on a volume that explores Drucker’s continuing relevance in the 21st Century.

Scott Scherer and I co-wrote a chapter about how mindfulness and other inner skills are essential to helping knowledge workers be productive in this ever changing landscape of work.

There’s growing interest in how skills like mindfulness can be used in work settings. We attempt to lay out the arguments why. If you’re interested, please feel free to download the chapter below:

Hunter Scherer Knowledge Worker Productivity and Self Management from The Drucker Difference

If you’d like to have a copy of The Drucker Difference, link here to Amazon.

Link here to the British edition.

Link here to the Japanese edition.

Welcome to my new blog!


This is the inaugural post of my new blog. Thanks to my great design team Tomoko Ogino, Osamu Shishime, Tony DiZinno and Adam Mefford for putting it together!

The purpose of this blog is to explore emerging issues related to living and working well in the 21st century. My primary focus is helping knowledge workers live strong, purposeful and productive lives.

I am interested in how we can develop ourselves internally to meet mounting external challenges that we face in society, the economy, and the environment. My work focuses on teaching knowledge workers these inner skills. We will explore them in future posts. I’ll do my best to offer up useful resources as well.

I’m also interested in quality of life issues and their relationship to how we use space, resources like water, and food. Expect explorations around architecture, food culture and travel and how these topics relate to living well.

I’m looking forward to engaging a thoughtful, global dialogue in this forum!