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Old 11-18-2005, 08:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default "When Blackberrys Become Poisonous" -- Blackberry overuse?

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Check out this brand new column on IndustryWeek:

"When BlackBerrys Become Poisonous"
Used improperly, they introduce chaos and quash good ideas
http://www.industryweek.com/ReadArti...rticleID=10994

What do you think? Do some people use their Blackberry TOO much? I've been thinking about it, and as much as I like Blackberrys, I think Tonya is right in this article. There's definitely a line you need to draw somewhere.
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Old 11-18-2005, 08:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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That's why they have a power off button. Everyone has a choice.
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Old 11-18-2005, 08:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default missed the point

I think you missed the point of the article.....to your own point, "SOME" people may use their BlackBerry too much...if SOME means manufacturing managers. For people whose main focus is managing other people, a BlackBerry is overkill.

I'm in Marketing and am one of those people who stare into my BlackBerry at the airport...but I have to. My response to that email could be the difference in a million dollar sale (or prevention of a million dollar error).

Our company has been pretty good about handing out the BlackBerrys to the more sales/marketing area....and, to steal someone else's quote, "it's a good thing."
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Old 11-18-2005, 09:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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How is managing other people using a blackberry over kill. I use it to manage 15 builders in the field, if we didnt have blackberrys we wouldnt get anything done due to how most of all our POs and Change orders are done through email. Its a requirement that for every phone conversation you have with some one, you send and email to that person as a follow up and a BCC copy is sent to your own box as proof that you did it.

So to our company and myself they are invaluable. Its has freed up so much of our time in the field that I have seen the quality of work go up by a 20% margin in the year we have had them. We have less home owner warranty items than we did a year ago because my field personel can stay in the homes and not in the trailer tied to a pc all day.
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Old 11-18-2005, 10:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawg
...Its a requirement that for every phone conversation you have with some one, you send and email to that person as a follow up and a BCC copy is sent to your own box as proof that you did it..
The rule at our company is if it ain't in writing it never happened. None of this verbally agreed crap. BB has extended my desktop beyond my cubicle walls which makes me a more mobile, still in touch manager.
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Old 11-18-2005, 11:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawg
I use it to manage 15 builders in the field, if we didnt have blackberrys we wouldnt get anything done due to how most of all our POs and Change orders are done through email.
Agreed, if you're managing a lot of remote people. In your situation it sounds like you need to use it a lot. I think this article is saying "don't ignore the people and situations in front of you" rather than telling you not to use it at all.
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Old 11-18-2005, 01:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom_paciorek
Agreed, if you're managing a lot of remote people. In your situation it sounds like you need to use it a lot. I think this article is saying "don't ignore the people and situations in front of you" rather than telling you not to use it at all.
okay....but that was not what the article was talking about.

The head of a manufacturing plant over 800 people does NOT need a BlackBerry under most circumstances. A pager at most.
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Old 11-18-2005, 01:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry 7520: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0) BlackBerry7520/4.0.2 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1)

The type of behavior he is describing in that article is the result of poor coaching. That is just plain bad management. It is no different from the manager who gives a performance review from the other side of their desk with one eye on the pc the whole time. Don't blame the tool. We too have a culture of crackberry addicts where I work but I always model the behavior of ignoring it when in meetings or in conversation. Sometimes people even apologize and ask "do you need to answer that" when I pop it out and in the holster to stop the vibrating.

The day I find myself ignoring a human to appease the "baby in my pocket" is the day it goes into the lake. If you see a crackberry addict, do them a big favor and call them on their bad behavir...but don't blame the tool.
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Old 11-18-2005, 01:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The only drawback I see with Blackberry is the expectation of employees to respond to email "24x7". Otherwise, I disagree that they introduce "chaos and quash good ideas".
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Old 11-18-2005, 01:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I earn $300 an hour in my trade. Reading and responding to an email while at the airport means I can earn some decent cash while stuck iat an airport. So no, as for me, I don't use my Berry too much. At $300 bucks per hour, I only wish I could use it more.
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Old 11-18-2005, 01:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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This is just a classic example of people who can't understand why anyone would do things differently than they would. Apparently, this writer has no need for a BlackBerry, so she can't understand why almost anyone else would, either. I agree that there are probably lots of BB users who could get by without them, but if you don't know the facts about this person (or any other specific situation), then all you're doing is announcing your own prejudices.
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Old 11-18-2005, 01:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Yeah, I totally agree with the managing part.

When we dispatch someone, we call them on the nextel and tell them and follow it up with an email.

Before the blackberry I would get so many workorders and then get stuck on a current job and forget about the new one that just came in.

Plus, everyone here talks with the owners, so if one person talks to them we shoot out a quick summary of what we discussed with the owner so everyone is in the "Know".

It makes everything so much easier, are we addicts? In my opinion, No. We do use the blackberry more then a regular phone, but that's expected, it's got more features.

So when our wives and girlfriends yell at us for answering that 11pm email, we just tell them it gets us out earlier the next day.
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Old 11-18-2005, 04:03 PM   #13 (permalink)
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It is not the tool that is the problem. We still need to respond to the humans in front of us. It is rude to stop talking to someone just so we can answer an email. But, there is a lot of time where I am not engaged with someone where I can be productive with the tool.
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Old 11-18-2005, 04:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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^^ That's a good point, Corman. Unfortunately some folks give priority to their communications devices and forget common courtesy.
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Old 11-18-2005, 06:14 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corman
It is not the tool that is the problem. We still need to respond to the humans in front of us. It is rude to stop talking to someone just so we can answer an email. But, there is a lot of time where I am not engaged with someone where I can be productive with the tool.

Yeah, I didn't think about that, it is a good point.
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Old 11-18-2005, 07:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corman
It is not the tool that is the problem. We still need to respond to the humans in front of us. It is rude to stop talking to someone just so we can answer an email. But, there is a lot of time where I am not engaged with someone where I can be productive with the tool.
There are two sides of this statement, if the person you are speaking with has their mind on their BB then they are checked out of your conversation anyhow. Why do you keep them tied up when their mind is elsewhere? I get so much information per day that I prefer you give me the summary and not the long version. It's no different than if you're waiting on a call. Sometimes the other person needs to understand.
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Old 11-19-2005, 04:49 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Soapm,
True, but when humans communicate with each other then they should pay attention. That also places a responsibility on the sender to make the information clear and concise. I am with you on getting the short version vs the long one. That is also how I prefer it. "To make a long story short" usually means "To make a short story long blah blah blah..."
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