Response to Eric Mack on GTD 2.0

The man they call Eric Mack is wondering whether we need GTD 2.0, and if so, what it would look like. In particular, Eric’s postulating whether the methodology needs to expand to include more on managing the information and communication side of doing cool stuff (or “DCS”, did you hear it here first?). Eric’s thoughts are in line with a discussion he and I had back in May of this year, when I asked him what comes after GTD … as in, if we get to black belt and master all of the disciplines of GTD, what’s the next quantum improvement area? (Actually, it’s the same question I asked Jason Womack the same day, although his answer was different to Eric’s).

Now Eric’s gone on record with the answer he told me back in May: personal knowledge management, or PKM.

Well, I think that personal information and knowledge management will play a big part of GTD 2.0. In fact, I believe so strongly that the practice of Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) will become such a big part of whatever one might call GTD 2.0 that I’m taking some big steps personally and professionally, to enhance my understanding and skills in this area. In addition to PKM, however, I think there are other skills that probably ought to be considered for a GTD 2.0 tool to take personal productivity to the next level. These include: collaborative tools & skills, social networking, group action management, and information management skills, to name a few.

I don’t disagree with the man, particularly since three of his items in the “what else” list align with pillars in my 7 Pillars model, and I do look forward to Eric (finally) writing up his “7 Pillars of PKM”, or however many there will be.

So here’s my contribution. Firstly, yes, we need to start thinking about complementary areas to maximizing our GTD abilities, and expansionary areas for doing things better in the core of GTD, eg, GTD within teams. My graphical visualization of the next horizon for quantum improvement is this:

Thus we’ve got:

  • Vision and Mission … Clarity on what we do and who we are at the very core … PVM, or “Personal Vision and Mission”
  • Projects / Actions … Having the disciplines to get things done with as little stress as possible … GTD.
  • Knowledge Management … Having the disciplines to manage our current knowledge and learn new things … PKM, for “Personal Knowledge Management”.
  • Team Work … Mastering effective paradigms for working well with others … GCC, or “Group Collaboration Competencies”.
  • Sustained Energy … Knowing how to muster suitable levels of energy for the demands of each day, and how to cultivate increased energy for going forward … CSE, or “Cultivate Sustained Energy”
  • Serendipitous Collaboration … For having sensors “out there” to let us know about cool people and cool projects that we could be involved with … SCO, or “Serendipitous Collaboration Opportunities”

What do you think? What’s the number one area of quantum improvement for you going forward?

0 thoughts on “Response to Eric Mack on GTD 2.0

  1. Very neat graph! I love graphs!
    This is really intriguing and thought provoking!
    I would have thought that both PVM and PKM were already part of GTD.
    … back to the drawing board? ;^)

  2. Pascal, I agree that PVM is part of GTD today, but it’s not the only way of defining PVM and can be done in different ways. Hence the separation.
    And in terms of what Eric’s talking about with PKM, I believe it goes into waters that GTD doesn’t charter.
    I do love your graphic, though!

  3. I think GTD takes care of all of these elements well. The more one does GTD the more one becomes instinctively aware of the Personal Values & Mission at the core. Personal Knowledge Management takes place when you define your learning outcomes *as* projects and attach relevant new information to them. A collaborative project is one where multiple participants agree on the purpose, standards, and outcomes; and the moving parts of the project have been assigned and are tracked as “Waiting Fors.”
    In the end we all have a subtle desire to speed up the GTD process — to make it faster, more automatic — with less for us to think about or do — more of the thinking done in advance for us by smart systems. But GTD makes it clear that everything — every little thing — has to be picked up, defined, placed, and reviewed. There’s no way around that, and there’s no automating it. We just simply have to do it. The hardest part of GTD — not surprisingly — is getting things done 😉

  4. Hmmm…the graphic, although a bit scfi @ first and daunting bcauseof all the acronyms, is interesting and thought provoking.
    TO my feeble mind,and I am a keen enthusiast of GTD, tho by no means a convert ( not for want of trying !) – these are extensions of the GTD area / space.
    Anyone who has a Someday / Maybe in his or her GTD could easily see that morph into the PKM quadrant and similarly the Waiting For’s on some really larg-ish issues or projects can equally become a part of the GCC quadrant.
    The one thats left me a bit perplexed is CSE and am unsure how that fits or why isnt that so integral a part of GTD – unless it is a completely separate way of living which lends itself to some greater energy and sense of well being….Greatful for some nsights . Finally SCO…again I would see that as a part of PKM ….but that’s me with my pea szed vision, maybe missing some bigger picture stuff here

  5. @Todd … interesting perspective that GTD covers it all. I’m not arguing for automating “it all” with the above, but rather seeking to point out that there are different disciplines and areas of improvement that intersect with GTD. I don’t believe, for example, that GTD (as per David’s book) defines best practices for personal knowledge management (PKM) in a highly digital world, not does he deal with all that’s involved in creating and sustaining energy. He talks about some things … but not the whole picture.
    So … a GTD practitioner could create a set of “common sense” (for them) extensions to GTD to cover the other items, but … I think there’s more of an opportunity for codifying that common sense across a population of people.

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