The Dangers of Real-Time Data [...]

Talk to your students and you will see two threads, the ones whose parents were checking the portal obsessively, and those whose parents barely knew the portal existed.[2] Ask these different categories of student how they feel about school and I think you will see that those who were monitored are “good” students, show up to class prepared, turn their work in on time and the like. They probably get better grades.I bet you will also find that they are more anxious than their peers, that they are deferential to authority to a fault, and that they desire what many of us at the college level believe to be an unreasonable amount of guidance.They are the opposite of entitled, but instead desperately eager to please the other. (Source)

Extrinsic Rewards and Costly Sharing [...]

Extrinsic motivation is subject to the overjustification effect. People who receive a reward for good behavior often come to believe that they exhibited the behavior for the reward, rather than due to internal motivation. This understanding in turn undermines intrinsic motivations. This study examines the overjustification effect in the realm of prosocial sharing, and finds similar results.

Two studies investigated the influence of external rewards and social praise in young children's fairness-related behavior. The motivation of ninety-six 3-year-olds' to equalize unfair resource allocations was measured in three scenarios (collaboration, windfall, and dictator game) following three different treatments (material reward, verbal praise, and neutral response). In all scenarios, children's willingness to engage in costly sharing was negatively influenced when they had received a reward for equal sharing during treatment than when they had received praise or no reward. The negative effect of material rewards was not due to subjects responding in kind to their partner's termination of rewards. These results provide new evidence for the intrinsic motivation of prosociality—in this case, costly sharing behavior—in preschool children. (Source)

See also: Rewarding Creativity

Schedule Meeting Margins [...]

The key is that you’re not extending the time of the meeting itself. That is, you still attend the meeting for the originally proposed time. The extra 50% on your calendar is a meeting margin protected for your own personal use. (Source)

The Garden and the Stream [...]

Social media as we have experienced it is often about building an agenda, generally not about building understanding. The overwhelming stream affords surface understanding, whereas cultivating a personal (but public) knowledge space can help us take a more measured, deeper approach to understanding.


Connecting dots and building understanding of an issue either takes a lot of prior expert knowledge, or the time and space to grow ideas, and tools and environments that make it easier to develop those connections.

Note how different this sort of meaning making is from what we generally see on today’s web. The excitement here is in building complexity, not reducing it. More importantly note how meaning changes here. We probably know what the tweet would have “meant”, and what a blog post would have “meant”, but meaning here is something different. Instead of building an argument about the issue this attempts to build a model of the issue that can generate new understandings. (Source)


Wikity is a WordPress plugin that can help (this site is running on it). The Wikity guide is linked here (Site)

This garden cultivation takes time and focus, and an environment that supports that; see The Deep Discussion Strategy.

The Deep Discussion Strategy [...]

If deep work is going to be a realistic possibility in the modern "knowledge worker" office, leadership has to stand behind the idea.


I suggest in my book that employees interested in depth should discuss the topic with their boss. In more detail, during this respectful conversation you should try to accomplish the following:

Explain the concepts of deep and shallow work, noting, of course, that both are important. Ask what ratio of deep to shallow work hours you should be aiming for in your job. Then promise to measure and report back regularly. (Most bosses will be interested to gain these extra data points.) (Source)

A local office climate open to this idea goes a long way towards making this possible, but that climate would have to stand shoulder to shoulder to help communicate the importance of these values to constituents, stakeholders, and colleagues outside the immediate organization.


Deep Work would likely would tend to favor the Garden over the Stream. See The Garden and The Stream.