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Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 08/09/2021

Alan Weiss's Monday Morning Memo

Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 08/09/2021


It’s not whether you have acquired and saved the things you need, like certain addresses, or tools, or information about change management. No, the point is whether they are accessible when you need them!

We’re spoiled by Alexa, and Hey, Google, and Siri, but they are purveyors of general information and not personal knowledge. I’ve constantly asked myself where a certain photo that I know exists currently resides, but I wind up finding it when I no longer need it (and don’t make a note about where it is). I’ve searched my garage for a particular funnel or cleaning product that I know is in there, but despite believing I carefully stocked it in an obvious place, it’s not there.

The same applies to our knowledge base about our work. I do have the ability to provide an example or metaphor with a client exactly when it’s necessary. I don’t have to stutter or say, “Let me get back to you.” My brain is better organized than my workbench, thank God. This is called “making extrinsic knowledge (about the world) intrinsic (usable by an individual).” My wife constantly buys special occasion cards for me well in advance, but then forgets where she’s put them. I forgive her and the card turns up months later.

I doubt a client would be that forgiving if I forgot the major steps in succession planning or talent retention. Or where his office is.


Of course, I love tools. I also love arranging them, to the point where I came up with a name for my organizing metric: first-order retrievability. —Adam Savage

Organizing is about discipline and focus (and also staying light on your feet). —Alan Weiss

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Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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