Saturday, May 1, 2010

Stop putting everything in email



I did something radical this week. I sent an email to everyone in my organization to tell them about a learning snippet I recorded about one of our internal work tools. Here’s the radical part…I did not put a link to the snippet in the email. I just told everyone that I posted the link to it on my wall. Then, I finished the email with this statement:
"Please add comments to my post of any feedback you have. If you have questions, post those as well. Maybe your teammates have the answers."
Obviously, I am trying to move the party to our internal Community…and by party I mean, the conversation. We have excellent enterprise 2.0 tool inside our organization, and they are largely unused. I couldn’t understand why. Then it hit me. If we put everything in an email, people will use email to communicate.
So I started posting internal communications in our Community. The only thing I use email for is to tell people about messages posted in the Community. Yes, I slip…like a on a diet…but I keep at it. My dream is that I will no longer have to send an email telling them that I posted something. Dare to dream, indeed.
Adoption takes persistence and discipline
Are you trying to get more people to adopt new collaboration tools in your organization? Do not under estimate the persistence and discipline it takes to create a new habit. It will take time for people to adopt something new.
Try this technique…the next time someone asks you, “Did you get my email?” you respond, “Email? I check email less and less. Did you post the message (or document or presentation) on (name your organization’s tool)? I spend most of my time communicating there these days!” Say it as if email was as old fashioned as a Sony Walkman.  Repeat. Again and again.
They won’t get it at first. But they will. Eventually.