Thursday, November 5, 2020

Influence at a distance


The energy from a transmitting antenna decreases as the square of the distance from the transmitter to the receiver -- if the distance increases by a factor of 2, the energy decreases by a factor of 4. Light obeys the same rule. 
 
And all of the above only applies if the bandwidth is infinite and the transmission is in a vacuum. If the bandwidth is high restricted, as in a filter, or the media of transmission is not clear, then there are more losses of energy and there is a time-delay as well. 
 
The fact is, even an enormous energy source may have little effect at long distance, and increasingly less as the distance lengthens.
 
So that's the physics for the day.
How do these physics apply to the PMO? 

Influence at a distance
The plain fact is: if you want to maximize your influence, you have to be close to the flag pole -- be at the center of decision making and in the room, at the table.

Now you say, remote video conferences are all the rage, and so how does distance make a difference?
And I say:
  • No virtual conference setting is as clear as being there; there are losses
  • A good deal of communication is lost in the restricted bandwidth, particularly the informal communications during breaks and the body language exchanged off camera
  • If you're really far away, everyone knows you can't get to the flag pole in a hurry, so your influence is discounted
  • All the power of the "casual" encounter at just the right moment is lost
So, how to have influence at a distance
  • Create intimacy and familiarity by being a frequent communicator
  • Be up front and noisy about your points of view
  • Give feedback on everything so they know you are listening and thinking
  • Be a contributor; be consequential -- get things done. Avoid the empty suit "all talk"
  • Innovate where possible. Be the source, rather than the sink for energy

 



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2 comments:

  1. The "energy" is reduce as inverse square of the distance
    "Information" is not
    Claude Shannon laid this all out in http://people.math.harvard.edu/~ctm/home/text/others/shannon/entropy/entropy.pdf

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    Replies
    1. Glen: quite right
      Shannon showed the limitations of bandwidth and noise on information throughput. Noise can be overcome by increased energy, information coding, or redundancy. The ultimate limitation of bandwidth ... as theorized by Shannon ... is only remedied by more bandwidth.

      So, in the PMO world, one way to get more bandwidth ... and thus have a greater opportunity for information exchange and influence ... is to get physically closer, such that technology limitations, like video conferencing, email, etc, are less restricting

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