Comment on “Stop Blaming the Tools when Collaboration Fails”

Another “down the rabbit hole” post and comment stream from Luis Suarez with a great contribution in the comments from Martin White There are some interesting papers to follow up in the comments (as an aside, shame how much of academic publishing is still locked behind paywalls) Martin comments: I think it is more about a view that academic research is not of value together with an inability or unwillingness to find the research.

Starting the Journey to a Social Business

What benefit are companies getting from social? A recent McKinsey survey found that use and integration of social tools have had most impact, perhaps unsurprisingly, on customer-facing activities. Based on the responses of the companies that were most committed to the use of social technology, there are also large benefits to be found in the more operational and back-office functions, but that to get there, companies “must become better at engaging more employees, customers, and external partners through social tools, then capturing new benefits and measuring them in a systematic way“.

Email makes you stupid – so what can we do about it?

Luis Suarez (@elsua), curator of the Life without eMail G+ community, has posted a Vodcast co-presented with Claire Burge (@claireburge) Here’s the full video: 30) Here are my notes on the highlights of what Luis and Claire think is wrong with email: “Email creates a dumber workforce” (3:02), because (4:02) the structure of email forces an obsession with emptying the inbox without action. Email is a selfish tool (4:59) – centred around individual, not team or company goals (because you cannot see the impact of your email on the other person’s workload).

Email – what’s right with it?

No tool is all good or all bad, so following on from “Email – what’s wrong with it?“, here are some of the reasons why it is useful: Email is almost ubiquitous … has been around a long time, so almost everyone (in a work world) knows how to use it (or thinks they do) … allows asynchronous communication, especially with offline workers (actually so do other technologies)

Email – what’s wrong with it?

Many have written on the issues that email causes, here are some highlights: Email soaks up time – e.g. McKinsey in 2012 reckoned 30% of average office worker’s week was spent reading and answering email … makes people feel they are being productive (when they are not) … locks up information in silos – a lot of company knowledge creation is carried out in email threads visible only to those involved, and almost impossible for anyone else to discover, leading to duplication of work, … is exclusive, with conversations only open to those who the sender sought to include which can lead to lower quality work, because the conversation does not necessarily include the right people and which completely prevents … is intrusive – when you send me an email you force my attention to your issue, interrupting my thoughts

Communication, Collaboration and Community

  A placeholder for some areas where I want to refresh my knowledge of current thinking Communication, collaboration and community in online networks – what builds social capital? And what else? Gamification as a tool for motivating productive behaviour in online networks The factors that balance individual skill / knowledge with social capital within organisations and professions