The much heralded information age and the corresponding growth of the knowledge worker has certainly brought its share of
advantages. However, it is not without problems. Research by respected business thought leaders reveals exponential increases
in both business complexity and information overload. Consider the following:
- The most conservative estimates show business information doubling every 3 years. (Source: Simplicity by Bill Jensen)
- The Sunday New York Times contains more factual information in one edition than all the written material available to a
reader in the 15th century. (Source: The Attention Economy by Davenport and Beck)
To determine the effect of this growing problem one study put participants in an environment where they were purposely overloaded
with information and complexity. Researchers observed the results and found participants consistently developed irritability,
boredom and apathy. In addition, and most worrisome for businesses, a significant number of participants demonstrated repeated
indecision and inaction.
So what’s the impact of worker inertia caused by confusion due to complexity and information overload?
- Work complexity's drain on the economy is estimated to be greater than $890 Billion. (Source: Simplicity by Bill Jensen)