Home > Toys & Tools, Uncategorized > Grafitter: Smiley Award Winner – Carnegie Mellon University

Grafitter: Smiley Award Winner – Carnegie Mellon University

I don’t twitter, or twit, or whatever it is that people do nowadays other than facebook their life away (disclaimer: I’m one such guy who’s in need of a FB 12-step program).

In answering an email from my alma mater to participate in some studies for their researchers, I clicked about and landed in Homepage Stories -> Next-Generation Computing where the twitter based tool called Grafitter grabbed my eye ’cause it said it could make weight-loss easier….  Any tool that can help me change my behaviors is definitely worth checking out.  That’s what innovation is really about — effecting human change.  And any manager and leader would definitely welcome something to help make his or her life easier in this aspect in the work-place.  The last technology that I know which could really change behavior was the gizmo that shocked Pavlov’s dog….  Hopefully we’ve moved on since then.

Well-done Ian Li!  Check out his winner HERE.

Now, having read this, I think I’m forced to eat my words because on another forum, I had written that in my job, one aspect I do alot of, is managing business change and proclaimed that technology tools can’t do it.  Maybe I was a bit too hasty in firing away before engaging my brain because it’s axiomatic that in the corporate life, people aren’t moved by technology.  Business processes and people’s mind-sets must first be changed before introduction of technology tools (to support the changes).  Tools such as software and other business systems so often end up being white elephants because users simply don’t use them… and the business tries again and invests more money and effort into making business improvements through technology.  Probably true, but here we might have a simpler tool that’s more focused to doing one thing rather than many things, according to Ian:

Keeping track of one’s activities detracts from actual work, but awareness of activities can help in managing productivity. I created a system that tracks activities around the work table and correlated them with self-reported measurements of productivity.*

Anything that can make us more effective and more results oriented can’t be all that bad.

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