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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Fear of e-mail

6:50:00 AM Posted by Oscar Berg , No comments
There once was a debate within many enterprises whether e-mail would make people do other things than work when at work, such as mailing with their friends and family. Then e-mail became a tool that almost no enterprise can survive without.

Now we have understood that e-mail maybe isn't the best communication tool for everything, although we use it for everything. We have other tools available to us, such as instant messaging, web conferencing, wikis, blogs and social software and need to consider how these can be used in an enterprise context to facilitate communication, collaboration and information exchange.

Still, many managers seem to fear that employees will spend their time using Facebook or blogging about their interests. And the IT department is afraid of Instant Messaging or allowing external RSS feeds to be displayed on the enterprise intranet (I’ve actually heard about that in one big company). So instead of adopting these tools and using them to the serve the enterprise, they ignore them or even ban them.

This is a mistake we often do. We don't separate the tool from how it is - and can be - used. Imagine if we would have banned word processors because of the risk that employees would spend all of their work time writing poems or letters to friends and family.

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