Customer Reviews


21 Reviews
5 star:
 (12)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5.0 out of 5 stars Seminal - A Paradigm Changing Book
A book which is not only well paced and well written, but most importantly, has something to say which does not echo the 'me too' mantra of most recent management books.
A truly insightful book, I recommend you pause to listen to its message and judge its insight against your personal experience.
Davenport et al present a new paradigm, a new way of viewing the...
Published on Oct. 27 2002 by Amazon Customer

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars It didn't hold my attention
I found this book disappointing. Attention (and lack thereof) is on a lot of peoples' minds these days. The book highlights the distinction between time and attention. It also does a reasonable job of describing the increasing prevalence of attention deficit among individuals and organizations.
I suspect however that anyone reading the book is already well aware...
Published on Jan. 2 2002 by Mary Ellen Gordon


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly fluffy, Jan. 5 2003
By 
Maarten (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Attention Economy: Understanding the New Currency of Business (Paperback)
The book sets out in a bad direction, and never really recovers. There's some interesting survey material for those who are completely unfamiliar with the issues, but also many random unsubstantiated claims, much that's illogical or contradictory, and a ream of chapters later in the book with what seems to me to be vague management advice.
The initial bad direction comes in the form of a broken definition of attention: the authors claim attention is a narrowing of perception (sensory input), followed by an action decision. The latter part of this is completely bogus from a psychological perspective, and only there to support the marketing/advertising-oriented slant of the book. Yes, attention does involve a focus on a subset of sensory input, but no decision making needs to be attached. Think of watching a movie: it has your full attention; you're blocking out surrounding stimuli to some extent. But when the movie is effective, you're along for the ride, not making decisions. Furthermore, the authors *claim* that attention-management is different from time-management, but are very sloppy in distinguishing between attention, time, mind share, effort, persuasion, and a variety of other measures. It's maddening.
An example of the contradictory nature of the authors' advice is that they both advise managers to be creative in seeking their employees' attention (including multimedia messages, clowning in meetings, and other nonsense) AND advise that companies deploy "attention guards" to keep employees focused. Well, which is it? Distractions or focus? The sheer enthusiasm with which the authors endorse the arms race for attention (more and more baroque packaging of messages (ads) to get your attention) is disturbing.
The graphic design of the book makes a point and is amusing at first, but when you're trying to stick to the flow of the main text, the sidebars and tangential blurbs become very distracting. They becgome more distracting as the amount of real information in the main text decreases in later chapters.
I read this as a bookclub book to discuss it with a few (high-tech focused) friends, and we unanimously hated the book. I recommend taking a good look at it before spending your money.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Seminal - A Paradigm Changing Book, Oct. 27 2002
A book which is not only well paced and well written, but most importantly, has something to say which does not echo the 'me too' mantra of most recent management books.
A truly insightful book, I recommend you pause to listen to its message and judge its insight against your personal experience.
Davenport et al present a new paradigm, a new way of viewing the causality of corporate thinking, and for that he should be applauded.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating!, Oct. 16 2002
By 
Roger E. Herman (Greensboro, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book is a delightfully interesting combination of academic and general audience writing that makes it quite readable and holds your attention page after page. The content is nicely woven into twelve chapters that explain more aspects of attention, gaining attention, and holding attention than you could imagine. You'll learn a lot from these pages. An abundance of footnotes will give you more resources to pursue to expand your learning even further.
I turned down more pages than usual in this volume. I marked all sorts of things to share with others and to go back to. I even wrote notes on some of the pages, which I don't usually do when reading a book like this. The authors explain that "attention is the real currency of business and individuals...In post-industrial societies, attention has become a more valuable currency than the kind you store in bank accounts."
The official definition: "Attention is focused mental engagement on a particular item of information. Items come into our awareness, we attend to a particular item, and then we decide whether to act." There's more, but I don't want to spoil this delicious read for you. You'll gain valuable insight into the role of attention in all aspects of our lives, how the ability to manage our attention is all-powerful . . . and how we struggle with our own personal challenge of managing the tremendous volume of information and other stimulants that bombard our senses. Part of the attention process is filtering and sorting, which is difficult for some people and can be overwhelming. There is so much in this book that I have no hesitation in giving it very high marks. Have your highlighter ready!
The one negative-if it even is a negative-is the quotes and illustrative comments that appear in smaller type at the bottom of many of the pages. They distracted my attention from the flow of the text, making the book consciously a bit more difficult to read. Ah! The authors have made their point! Recommended for people in all walks of life; this is a book about us, not just an economy or business treatise.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars It didn't hold my attention, Jan. 2 2002
By 
I found this book disappointing. Attention (and lack thereof) is on a lot of peoples' minds these days. The book highlights the distinction between time and attention. It also does a reasonable job of describing the increasing prevalence of attention deficit among individuals and organizations.
I suspect however that anyone reading the book is already well aware of the problem and is looking for solutions. The book offers few that are particularly new or useful. The book itself looks new. It has a 'weby' feel in that chunks of text and 'factoids' are scattered around the pages. No doubt this was intended to be attention-getting but in book format I found it distracting.
Given the ever-increasing demand for our attention, it seems more important than ever to get to the point quickly and avoid tangents. This book violates that principle by squandering the readers' attention on ideas that are old (e.g.: Maslow's Hierarchy), of questionable relevance to this topic (e.g.: mergers and acquisitions) or dealt with more comprehensively elsewhere (e.g.: how to structure documents to maximize attention)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Attention, attention, attention..., Nov. 1 2001
By 
Martin Schray (West Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This was an intriguing read and I would highly recommend it. This will be of interest to business managers as well as knowledge works and web site designer. From a business managers perspective it highlights a growing trend that the attention of employees in under attack. It raises the challenge for crisp clear and meaningful communication. It also challenges managers to not overload the communication channels with unrelated, unfocused and disconnected communication. Once again Jack Welch is used as an example of a simple message (i.e.,number one or number two) delivered over multiple channels with enough repetition to get on the workers attention channel.
The authors provide an extremely useful tool named AttentionScape that measures where attention is being directed. It could be used to find were management, employee, customer and supplier attention is being focused. The book provides several examples of companies using (or ignoring to their determent) the AttentionScape information. The ideas the AttentionScape tool bring to fore make it worth the price of the book!
As a knowledge worker the book highlights the importance of realizing attention is a key resource in completing any task and as such it should be protected and leveraged to get important task complete. As with management it also indicates the need for clear communication. The book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity might be a good way to explore practical techniques for focusing and managing attention.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Organizational ADD - what an intriguing concept..., Sept. 25 2001
The war for eyeballs and attention can only grow fiercer over the next few years. In the Information Economy we all suffer from overload and the need to multitask through the day. Tom Davenport and John Beck makes the case that in the future we will need to 'attention manage' as a metric. They ask whether 'we are the first society with ADD' (attention deficit disorder), and they list symptoms of organizational ADD.
As mentioned in the editorial review the Attention Economy is littered with anecdotal pull-outs and "overheard" comments; as well as random factoids such as that the Sunday edition of the New York Times contains more written factual information than was available to reader in the 15th century. Though these factoids are intriguing they can be distracting as they are not always connected to the main body of material. But in some ways they exemplify the attention problem as you are often drawn to reading them.
The main body of the book is devoted to looking at tactics for companies to achieve and manage attention both on an internal basis and with their customers and partners. Softer issues such as personal time management are looked at in the context of the wider picture and have implications for both people and organizations. I found the book however to be missing a 'model' or framework that companies could really use. Aside from having an in-depth awareness of the issue, I am unsure what I would do/have done differently after reading it.
The book is well written and engaging, and the authors present an excellent perspective on this most-precious resource.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Could be a Repport - too long..., Sept. 13 2001
By 
"augustorosauro" (Brazil - Sao Paulo) - See all my reviews
They could have written a repport with the material. It is good, has good insights, but far extensive than necessary.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars The Realities and Consequences of Information Overload, Aug. 3 2001
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)    (REAL NAME)   
This is a fascinating subject: ADD in the business world. Almost everyone continues to experience information overload. Some who have studied this phenomenon invoke metaphors such as "blizzards" of data. Meanwhile, information providers struggle to get through "blizzards" to reach those who are most important to them. How to attract their attention? Then, how to capture that attention with what has been described as "stickiness"? After conducting an extensive research project, Davenport and Beck conclude that attention is "the new currency of business." Perhaps Wolf agrees, having written a brilliant book about "the entertainment economy"; perhaps Pine and Gilmore also agree, having written a book about "the experience economy."
At the beginning of most of his plays, Shakespeare uses various devices to attract an audience's attention so that its members could then be entertained. (The play Hamlet begins with a question "Who's there?" The audience settles down, curious to learn the answer.) In today's marketplace, merchants such as Starbucks and Williams-Sonoma do everything possible (and appropriate) to attract attention by appealing to several of the senses. (The fragrant aroma of Starbucks' gourmet coffee can be experienced by many of those in the bookstore nearby.) Especially now with so many people online, there is what so many have observed as "too much information" or at least "not enough time" to absorb and digest the information available.
Davenport and Beck organize their material within 12 chapters which range from "A New Perspective on Business (Welcome to the Attention Economy)" to "From Myopia to Utopia (The Future of the Attention Economy)." They explain why understanding and managing attention is now the single most important determinant of business success. They examine with rigor and eloquence three different types of "attention technologies": attention-getting, attention-structuring, and attention-protecting. They explain why companies will no longer be proud of how extensive their knowledge portals are, but rather of how targeted an information environment they create. (Davenport and Beck fully understand that "targets" are constantly moving; also, that the prioritization of "targets" is an on-going process to accommodate change.) Throughout the book, they also insert dozens of "Principles." Here are three examples:
"Types Principle: Six basic units of currency are exchanged in an attention market, each emphasizing a specific target of focused mental engagement."
NOTE: These "basic units" are Captive and Voluntary, Aversive and Attractive, and finally, Front-of-Mind and Back-of-Mind. They are discussed in detail in Chapter 2, one of the book's most thought-provoking chapters.
"Tap or Bottle Principle: The most important function of attention isn't taking information in, but screening it out."
"Action! Principle: Hollywood studio executives understand their audience before they make a play for their attention, and they manipulate setting, segmentation, and culture to hold onto it."
The authors suggest that the trend of more information competing for less attention cannot go on forever. "Ultimately, people will begin to withdraw from the stress of an attention-devouring world, and information providers will begin to focus on quality, not quantity." Each delivery day, I immediately toss (unopened) all unwanted items in the U.S. mail; I systematically delete (unread) all unwanted e-mail messages, and politely but quickly end all telephone solicitations. Everyone I know responds the same way in these situations. Davenport and Beck conclude their brilliant book noting "In the end, the greatest prize for being able to capture attention will be the freedom to avoid it." Many (most?) information providers will continue to waste truly valuable "currency" unless and until they become insolvent or until they finally understand the basic principles of "the attention economy." Davenport and Beck wrote the book for them but also for other information providers who can increase even more the ROI on the same "new currency."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars One of Top 25 Books on Information Fundamentals, July 25 2001
By 
Robert David STEELE Vivas (Oakton, VA United States) - See all my reviews
I rank this book as easily one of the top 25 books on information fundamentals, and quite possibly in the top 10. While there are other books on attention qua economic good, this one focuses on us, the attention providers, and not on the media or entertainment or other attention thieves.
The book is well-presented and what some might see as showmanship I consider to be good editing and publishing. The book starts strong, focusing on "attention deficit" in both individuals and organizations, and the consequences of failing to pay attention to the right things at the right time--corporate CEOs and their business intelligence professionals, as well as government leaders and their national intelligence professionals, can learn a great deal from this book.
Especially useful to me, and a major reason why I rank this book so highly, was its distinction between:
1) Global Coverage for AWARENESS
2) Surge local focus for ATTENTION
3) Domestic political focus for ACTION
At a national level, I found myself thinking that this book could be the first step in an evaluation of how we spend our time--and how we compensate ourselves for spending our time. Of course others have observed that we spend too much time in front of the television or eating fast food or whatever, but I found this book extremely helpful in thinking about the economics of personal and organizational information management. Applying this book's lessons, for example, might cause any manager to forbid Internet access because of the very high negative return on investment--searches should be done by specialists who can be relied to avoid personal browsing on company time. The author's specifically note that the Western culture is less well equipped to manage "attention" than other cultures.
Also helpful to me were the book's focus on the fact that client attention and teamwork *compete* with innovation, and that some form of time management guidance is needed that permits employees to focus on just one of these as a primary duty.
The author's identification of relevance, community, engagement, and convenience as the four key factors in attracting and holding attention from individuals--and the lengthy discussion in the book on each of these--is very worthwhile. So also is their specification of four "attention tracks" that each individual must manage: focusing one's own attention; attracting the right kind of attention to oneself; directing the attention of those under one's oversight; and maintaining the attention of one's customers and clients (and one could add, one's family).
This book is a vital contribution to correcting our long-standing overemphasis on collecting information (or ignoring information) without regard to what we do with it in human terms. For me, the key sentence in this entire book, one that government and corporate managers would do well to "pay attention to" was, on page 216: "Increasingly, managerial success will rely on the ability to ignore or at least filter the vast stream of information that hits the desk, ears, and eyeballs. The ability to prioritize information, to focus and reflect on it, and to exclude extraneous data will be at least as important as acquiring it." Their book is *not* a variation on the many confused knowledge management treatises (making the most of what you already know). It goes well beyond the current state of the art and outlines new ideas that could and should have a fundamental impact on how we spend our time, what information services we buy, and how we use information technology.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Not enough, June 20 2001
By 
"electricbob" (Chicago, IL USA) - See all my reviews
This book contained a lot of preliminary material describing attention and providing one measurement technique developed at the author's workplace, Accenture. From that point on, all problems were dealt with using this one technique. This book provided no useful ideas for managing attention better.
If you want an intro to attention, this book isn't too bad, but if you're looking for a book with practical ways to help you manage how your attention is distributed, look elsewhere.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Attention Economy: Understanding the New Currency of Business
Attention Economy: Understanding the New Currency of Business by John C. Beck (Paperback - July 23 2002)
CDN$ 16.95 CDN$ 12.24
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews