This video has made it's rounds and I've had a lot of wonderful comments. But I received one this week which is contrary. It is below.
I know what I will be responding with, but thought I would send it to all of you for your thoughts as well.
Tell me how you would respond.
"Actually, the idea that time is saved by using the message board instead of email, is ridiculous. Just think about it: how many lines of text does each person involved have to write and read in the email scenario? And how many in the second scenario? Right: exactly the same. The only gain in the second scenario has to do with digital space occupied by the messages. In the first scenario there is (too) much redundancy. So: good idea to switch to message boards, but please don't use the ridiculous 'hours saved' counter! By the way: the second scenario has the disadvantage that the one-to-one messages sent in the first scenario that were meant to be private, would need email as an additional means of communication in the second scenario."
Logistically, he has a case. But there is more to it than this. What are your thoughts?
It's 2014, everyone knows there are vast collaborative options available. All companies offer them to their employees.
My opinion is that Mr. red tie and blue shirt is none of those things. Rather, he is a thoughtful, caring, engaged and informed employee. He certainly gave some thought to the best way to reach a decision. (Since he wears a red tie and blue shirt, he is probably a manager.)
Mr. red tie and blue shirt wants the best for his company. He wants productivity. He wants employee engagement. He is clever and knows about wikis, discussion groups, audio-conferencing and social media. That's why he uses email... to achieve the best outcome for his company.
"We shape our tools and in turn they shape us." - Marshall McLuhan
Does email suck? Absolutely. Unfortunately, it does just doesn't suck enough yet. It doesn't 'refuse to die.' Rather, email refuses to stop growing!
What's un-dead are the 2000+ active collaboration suppliers. These zombies are determined to eat the flesh of email. Fortunately they may be dispatched with a simple head shot. Just like in the movies, they are not effective and never stop coming... Mr. red tie and blue shirt has killed his fair share.
A number of Colabria clients are startups. Often, they start with inexpensive, high-quality social network services. It has a major impact on email usage. Among the best is 37 Signals, now known as Basecamp.
Mr. red tie and blue shirt won't get fired for using email. If he does leave and joins a startup, let's hope they aren't email-based.
Pull-through for the advantages of improved collaboration will be from the bottom up, not the top down. Heed professor McLuhan.