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March 13, 2012

News & Opinion: LeaveSmarter with Christopher J Frank and Paul Magnone

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 12:40 AM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture


We were very excited to have Christopher Frank and Paul Magnone in town last week for our ongoing LeaveSmarter series. And, apparently, we weren't the only ones, as it was our most well attended event yet.

The coauthors of Drinking from the Fire Hose: Making Smarter Decisions Without Drowning in Information, they know that we're all overwhelmed with a deluge of data and information overload—and they know that when it's not filtered properly, it makes us less productive instead of more efficient.
The old cliche "What gets measured gets done" might have been accurate once, but in today's data-driven, digital world it seems that everything in quantified, tracked, and recorded. And to what end? Wasn't having all that data at your fingertips supposed to make you better informed? Wasn't it supposed to make you more confident and more certain of your direction. ... Today, instead, it seems that everything is measured, and nothing gets done.


Now, Frank and Magnone are in no way anti-data. As businesspeople, they know that measurements and metrics are important and that the access to information critical. But, as authors, they know we need a filter for all that data, and that is what they provide in their book—proposing a series of "Fire Hose Questions" with which to tease the useful information out of the excess of data coming in. We were fortunate to have them here in Milwaukee to get their message firsthand, to "drink straight from the well," as it were.

But the authors can't be everywhere, and if you can't see them in person I'd highly recommend Drinking from the Fire Hose. The solutions they provide, the questions they give us are invaluable, and the time you put into the book will be repaid with time saved, insights gleaned, and clarity gained.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.