Abhijit BhaduriGuest Author

New to role? New team members? New Boss? New Employer? Read this…

By | Abhijit Bhaduri |Keynote speaker, Author and Columnist

You may have received a copy of Michael Watkins book The First 90 Days. When you are new to a role or have new team members or in a new organization, you get bombarded with information all the time. Leveraging it to make better decisions is an important ability, especially in the early days.

Cartoon by @AbhijitBhaduri explaining the transitions around us and how that impacts what we know

Information can overwhelm

All of us consume lots of information any way. In 2020, the World Wide Web had 500 billion web pages available for 5 billion internet users to surf and forward. Sixty-four zettabytes of data (ie 64 with 21 zeros after it) was added to this along with millions of books, whitepapers and emails that were forwarded. You may have got enough to get overwhelmed.

Managing information helps transitions

Everyone is experiencing transitions at multiple levels. You may be in a new role or in a new organization. You may have a new boss or new members. Your stakeholder group may be seeing changes too. Even if you are a freelancer, your clients are going through many transitions. <Read more about The Great Transition>

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Thriving on Overload

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Ross Dawson is a futurist and the author of Thriving on Overload. This book describes how to change your relationship with information. Instead of getting overwhelmed by it, think of it as a resource you have in abundance. Think of it as the way you manage food. Binge eating or starving can be equally harmful. Managing calories can help you stay healthy. The same applies to information. You need to translate the information to knowledge that you can use.

Writing a book is a good exercise in finding information, processing it and making it available in a useful format to the reader. I think of it in terms of these three stages.

  1. Divergent stage: Gather many different points of view
  2. Convergent stage: Connect the dots, create groups of data
  3. Synthesis and sense-making: Implement it in your work

Listen to the conversation I had with Ross

Here are some of the other guests on the podcast <click this>

Tip 1: Why do you n

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Be clear about why you need this information. Purpose can help determine the depth and breadth of the information.

Tip 2: What is the question that is being answered

A well written book can often be summarized as the answer to a single question. The question also serves to filter and classify the information as it comes up. The brain finds it easy if you build connections through visuals.

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Tip 3: Manage the polarity – Focus vs Explore

We need to balance focus and exploration. Without exploration, we do not build a diversity of sources and viewpoints. Use the phase of deep focus to categorize and filter out information. A tiny group of high impact information and a big pile of the rest that you can discard.

Tip 4: Sharing helps

Sharing the information can be yet another powerful way in which you create a win-win situation. Teaching someone can be a powerful way to synthesize and simplify what you have learned. I use sketchnotes to keep a track of the key insights of books that I read. Visuals are easy to recall. Try it.

Here is a #sketchnote of the framework Ross Dawson suggests in this book

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Why I recommend this book

This book gave me a very usable framework of making sense of all the information I am getting in the early days of my new role.

Building a network of diverse relationships helps transitions. Asking people for advice is a powerful way to learn about what to focus on as the tsunami of information is unleashed on you. Overall, this is a terrific book to buy if you are in the middle of your own transition. Even if you are a veteran in your role and have it all worked out, this book can help you make sense of the increasing pile of information we all have to deal with.

Republished with permission and originally published at Abhijit Bhaduri’s LinkedIn

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