Sunday, October 29, 2006

Been a while...

Seems like I've been here before... LLLOOONNNGGG gaps between postings. I'd love to apologise and say that I had a damned good reason for not posting but the simple fact is I don't! Spending quality time with my kids, working and just plain enjoying the place I am at in my life keeps me busy enough.

Call it laziness, lack of drive, whatever... It's not as if I don't have a lot to talk about... hell, complaining about the irrationality of that person some bloggers refer to as the maven of the local radio talk shows could keep me going forever...

And the only comment I am ever going to make on that subject is this: Sue, if you want to help Newfoundland so much then pick up the torch in the next provincial election for one of the MAINSTREAM parties and get yourself elected - otherwise stop polluting the airways and cyberspace with your own brand of spin doctoring... frankly every Newfoundlander I know is sick of it and of hearing your voice on the radio everytime I turn it on at night...

Now that's out of my system... on with the show!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Workplace Secrecy....

Copied with thanks and sincere apologies to and the Globe & Mail...

However much we like to think we're team players, a surprising number of us withhold information from co-workers, researchers have found.

Moreover, we tend to deceive ourselves about what we are doing.

People who are asked for assistance will often play dumb, say they will help out, but stall as long as possible.

Some give co-workers a little information, but not enough to run with.

Many would deny they do any of this, but are quick to identify others who engage in such "knowledge hiding"

In reality, few of us are as helpful as we pretend to be, say the authors of new research to be released this week.

"It's funny, everyone thinks they are an excellent actor and can hide their own knowledge-hiding performance," says McMaster University researcher Catherine Connelly, who has surveyed more than 1,200 Canadians on how they have been treated, and how they have treated their colleagues' requests for help or information.

Prof. Connelly found that it is "quite common" for employees to withhold or conceal information that has been requested by others, but it is also common for them to try to give the appearance of being helpful when they are actually stonewalling.

"The No. 1 thing that really comes into play is this strategy what we call playing dumb. Someone asks for help and you say, 'I'd love to help, but I really don't know anything about it,' and it's not true," said Prof. Connelly, who will present her findings with two co-researchers at a conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology in Dallas on Friday.

Prof. Connelly said organizations that want to instill a culture of co-operation and sharing need to delve into some of the reasons that employees deliberately withhold information.

"Knowledge management has emerged as one of the most popular initiatives over the last decade to enhance organizational competitiveness . . . and researchers and practitioners alike have touted knowledge management systems as the method for capturing and transferring knowledge and transforming this knowledge into a competitive advantage," Prof. Connelly and her co-authors wrote.

"Everyone is talking about teams, about how everybody is going to share. It's this happy rainbow world of Romper Room," Prof. Connelly said. "That's very unrealistic."

Her research disclosed that more ambitious employees tend to avoid playing dumb -- it would hurt their advancement prospects -- but they will employ other strategies.

"They might give you a little information, but not the real story," said Prof. Connelly, an assistant professor at McMaster University's DeGroote School of Business.

"Or they will give you an explanation: 'I'd love to help you, but it's confidential. Only certain people are allowed to have this information.' That makes them look important. At the same time, it also keeps the information for themselves."

Prof. Connelly and co-researchers David Zweig of the University of Toronto and Jane Webster of Queen's University uncovered a number of motives for employees withholding information: The person asking for the information has never done anything to help them, they have been burned in the past by others taking credit for their knowledge, or they simply don't have time to tutor colleagues in complicated concepts.

Many study participants reported reluctance to help someone who had been rude to them, some cited a desire to appear smarter by being the acknowledged expert in a certain area and some were "surprisingly candid" in expressing fears that the person they shared the information with might actually do a better job and show them up, Prof. Connelly said.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Morning Radio

I'd like to meet the person who's responsible for deciding that radio morning shows should involve a lot of talk, inane contests, manic hosts, and a lot of bad jokes rather than music conducive to waking up. Yes, I'd like to meet that person. And then I'd like to punch him in the face.

The breaking point came this morning as I was waiting on a left hand turn, when the guy talking (I won't grace him with the title of "DJ") made a joke about Billy Ray Cyrus getting on the gay cowboy bandwagon with a new song "Brokey-Backy Heart."

And as if that wasn't bad enough, he sang it.

Why can't morning DJs just play music? And if they must talk, instead of acting as if we lived in a ritalin-free world, why can't they be briefly comiserative of the fact that everyone's tired and in need of coffee, and then continue with the music?

Anyone remember the episode of WKRP in Cincinnati when Johnny Fever had left the station for another job and come back, but his regular slot had been filled so they gave him the 1-5am slot? And he spoke in dull, fatigued tones and went by the air-name "Heavy Early"? That's my ideal morning DJ -- someone who'll just accept that we're all still half asleep and greatly irritated by manic men-children who think crank calls and topical song parodies are the height of human wit, and who'll just play another fucking song.