Corporate managers spend somewhere between 5 and 20 hours a week reading, writing and filing emails. Is it time for the Zero Email Company now Web 2.0 and social media combined with the development of compatible handsets enable us to always be aware of what happens?
In February 2011, when Thierry Breton, CEO of Atos Origin, set an ambitious target of becoming a “zero email company within 3 years”, he expressed vociferously the general feeling and concerns regarding email pollution.
Email as management tool seems to have come to an end, and communication must evolve into the next level. But how will that happen?
Corporate internal communication flows have barely evolved
What could replace today’s vital medium of communication and management?
A new breed of digital workers – end of the alphabet generation – are mixing with old early adopters of emails. However, corporate internal communication flows have barely evolved: emails, emails and emails.
A deep qualitative step regarding company information structuring and change in habits are required. Not only internal processes will have to be evolved but most fundamentally a coherent company data model is requested. In parallel to this, a cultural change – the company’s DNA – needs to be evolved to more collaboration, and sharing.
Digital collaboration and knowledge management; the social network way
Management must surf on the existing trends towards more digital collaboration by explicitly recognising the need. “What would be better, smoother, faster, if our company had a social network-like application allowing better and faster sharing of information and … substitution of email?” This question should be on top of any senior manager’s mind when reflecting on improving the company’s efficiency.
But the many answers would be given by the “troops”. They are already by-passing current corporate infrastructure with maverick attitudes.
Studies have shown that about half of the company-lead knowledge management initiatives failed to meet their objectives. Hence, email remains the information management “tool”. However, the transformation of the information sharing model will happen and new collaboration models will find their way. The question is where, when and how.
In my paper, “Zero Email Company” that you can read below, all these questions are treated. Do you consider moving towards a “Zero Email Company”?