Workplace Communications

Alistair Coburn (2002), presented a wonderful graph that shows the effectiveness of communications versus the richness of communications.  At the top scale, the most effective and richest form of communication is face to face with a whiteboard.  At the lower end of the scale, are telephone calls and at the least rich and least effective is email.  So what tool do we use more than any other tool on a day-to-day basis?  Email I hear you shout.  According to the Radicatti Group, the number of corporate emails has grown year on year.  Where will it end?  How will social networking impact email usage?  If you take a look at what tools teenagers use, they do not use email.  They communicate using instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter.  People of my generation say that teenagers do not communicate as much as they did.  Do simply use and harness these communication tools?

If we spend so much time using emails, why don’t we get training on how to use these tools effectively?  How often does email management appear in a time management course?  It will be interesting to see how the email versus social networking race progresses over the next few years.

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