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The Principle of Relevance [Paperback]

Stefania Lucchetti
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

Review

If you often find yourself in information overload, this Principle, when mastered can change your life. As a logical, linear thinker, I had to laugh at how the author pegged my actions and the urgency of my distractions. Stefania provides tools to assist all of us in breaking the habits that keep us from being truly effective. --Judy Irving, Executive Coach, Moving On, USA

It's hard to define Stefania's work: it is not simply a book, certainly not a manual, for sure not a guide. This book is most of all an experience for those who recognize how hard is the job of living in a world where information does not match with knowledge and knowledge does not match with comprehension. Her way - the principle of relevance - is the key to convert information from a chaotic and shapeless mass into an instrument to empower ourselves, our capabilities and our ambitions, whatever they are, professional or private. However, Stefania went on and, starting from her own experience, poses a fundamental question to us: in the age of information, where everything is immediately accessible, what are we looking for, really? In a very easy way, she drives us back to our purposes and the true meaning of our searches, pushing ahead a fundamental concept: whatever the focus of our search is on and whatever its purpose is, we must always start from ourselves and not from external data. --Maria Cristina Ferradini, Director, Legal Department, Vodafone Italy

The book lives up to its name. To discover that it also excelled at offering practical, best practice advice was an absolute blessing. Navigating the streams of information that now cascade towards us is not realistic. With the aid of the ideas and solutions laid out in easy to follow steps, the readers will hone their new media; instincts. A fascinating and educational book. --Nick West, Head of Conferences and Events, Financial Times, Asia Pacific

Most of us are flooded with emails, text messages and phone calls at work everyday. Trying to respond to each and every one of them - perhaps out of the anxiety that we may miss something if we don't - often interrupts our train of thought and flow of concentration and that may render us less effective at work. Adapting to the times requires managing ever-expanding amounts of data. We need to learn how to filter out unnecessary information and select and use what is relevant, says Hong Kong-based solicitor Stefania Lucchetti in her book, The Principle of Relevance: The Essential Strategy to Navigate Through the Information Age. Through learning what she calls "the principle of relevance", we can train ourselves to expand our brain's capability to acquire and process multilayered information, and respond only to what is relevant. The first steps to mastering the principle are: developing a clear purpose, establishing criteria to determine when and whether it is attained, and gathering the resources necessary to reach the goal. Then, collect data that relates to the purpose from various points of view, and analyse and comprehend them. The final step is making a decision on if, how and when to respond to the information. Take replying emails as an example. "Whenever you feel like responding immediately to an email, go back to the purpose you have set," Lucchetti writes. "[Is] the content of this email relevant to effectively reaching your ultimate goal? Does it add content that is of real value, or do you feel the need to answer it merely to show your intent to communicate? What are you taking attention away from if you decide to answer the email?" You may then develop a reasonable time interval for checking email. But, ultimately, you have to be the "master of your own mind" to achieve your goal. "Breaking habits requires significant effort, but it can be done. It requires discipline, vision and self-mastery," Lucchetti says. Printed in a larger font size, and with extra spacing between lines and including chapter summaries, the book is designed to make reading easier and thereby help the process of information gathering by readers. The author also provides tools to help readers achieve the principle of relevance, from outcome checklists (on how to set a well-defined goal) and charts (to locate which piece of information is relevant), to pertinent questions and mind maps (in order to make sense of overwhelming information inflows). But the book is not intended to be a guide that offers a quick and easy way out. In fact, it takes time to learn how to use the tools and, as Lucchetti stresses, practice makes perfect. "[If] you... train yourself to use [the tools] habitually and instinctively, you will start processing information more quickly: this will enhance your ability to spot alternatives, expand your options, work with context and find a quicker and better way to reach your intended goal," she writes. --The South China Morning Post, 8 May 2010

From the Back Cover

It's hard to define Stefania's work: it is not simply a book, certainly not a manual, for sure not a guide.  This book is most of all an experience for those who recognize how hard is the job of living in a world where information does not match with knowledge and knowledge does not match with comprehension.

Her way - the principle of relevance - is the key to convert information from a chaotic and shapeless mass into an instrument to empower ourselves, our capabilities and our ambitions, whatever they are, professional or private.

However, Stefania went on and, starting from her own experience, poses a fundamental question to us: in the age of information, where everything is immediately accessible, what are we looking for, really? In a very easy way, she drives us back to our purposes and the true meaning of our searches, pushing ahead a fundamental concept: whatever the focus of our search is on and whatever its purpose is, we must always start from ourselves and not from external data.

Maria Cristina Ferradini, Director, Legal Department, Vodafone Italy

If you often find yourself in information overload,  this Principle, when mastered can change your life. As a logical, linear thinker, I had to laugh at how the author "pegged" my actions and the urgency of my distractions. Stefania provides tools to assist all of us in breaking the habits that keep us from being truly effective.

Judy Irving, Executive Coach, Moving On, USA

I was worried in the first instance that Relevance might prove to be exactly the opposite to me. However by the second page I got the feeling that  this would live up to its name. To discover that it also excelled at offering practical, best practice advice was an absolute blessing.

The idea that everyone can navigate the streams of information that now cascade towards us with unerring accuracy is not realistic. With the aid of the ideas and solutions laid out in easy to follow steps, the readers will hone their "new media" instincts.

A fascinating and educational book.

Nick West, Head of Conferences and Events, Financial Times, Asia Pacific --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.

About the Author

Stefania Lucchetti is an internationally renowned expert on leadership, productivity and making ideas happen.  Her first book The Principle of Relevance has been defined "the message of the times".
Stefania regularly speaks for Fortune 500 companies and teaches courses on leadership and entrepreneurship.  She is is the founder of the Women Leadership Project: a venture aimed at guiding women to become empowered, awakened, leaders.  Stefania is also Education Chair of Women in Finance Asia (WiFA).  
She is also a blogger on Technorati and the Huffington Post and is a member of the Information Overload Research Group (IORG).
Stefania is an accredited mediator with the Hong Kong International Arbitration Center and a Coach U graduate.  Stefania is also an attorney, qualified in 3 jurisdictions: she has been practicing corporate law for over 10 years in Europe and Asia focusing on the telecoms, IT, media and internet industries. She assisted internet pioneers such as Altavista and Yahoo in the early days of their penetration in EuropeStefania also works individually with clients who want to achieve their maximum potential through personal growth.
She has traveled extensively around the world throughout her life both as an adult and as a child with her family and now lives in Hong Kong with her husband and baby boy. She is enthusiastic and passionate, blending in the intuition and insight of her life experience with the knowledge and logical thinking developed in the corporate world.
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