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Book Review                                                 Page 53

 

Overload! 

How Too Much Information Is Hazardous to Your Organization   

by Jonathan B. Spira, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, N.J., 2011, 260 pp., $45 hardcover

BookOverload!

How often have you felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information available on whatever subject? When you need clarity in the data for decisions, the massive time commitment it takes to assess the research, websites, vendor promotions, e-mail traffic and phone calls often burdens the decision-making process. Information overload actually makes decision-making less efficient.

Jonathan B. Spira, CEO of Basex (a consulting firm that helps organization deal with the knowledge economy), documents major technological advancements in information creation and sharing from the use of clay tablets in 4000 BCE to the Apple iPad today. The speed of change is accelerating and the demands on individuals to manage data, information and the traffic associated with information flow creates incredible stress in pursuit of productivity.

In Overload! How Too Much Information Is Hazardous to Your Organization, Spira describes the demands that information management, retrieval and use create for educators in today’s fast-paced, technologically enriched environment. He offers guidance on when to use various forms of technology to communicate.

While sometimes laboriously repeating explanations about how information overload adversely affects productivity, Spira advises readers to exercise discipline and judgment to maximize the effectiveness of the available technology tools.

Productive workers allocate time to projects by limiting interruptions and devoting time to their priorities rather than the routine messages that masquerade as urgent. His work provides education leaders with thoughtful concepts for the wise use of the technology tools at their disposal.

Reviewed by Brian L. Benzel, vice president for finance and administration, Whitworth University, Spokane, Wash.

 

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