“I have seen war…. I hate war.” Whenever I see this FDR quote at his memorial in DC, I unwillingly substitute the word ‘e-mail’ for ‘war.’
I have seen e-mail. It’s blunt force and unwieldy – it turns brilliant discourse into foggy stew.
It’s the default when your processes don’t work.
It’s a panacea for our shy natures – we don’t have to talk to anyone.
It enables procrastination.
It helps us pass the buck – by sending an e-mail we claim we did something, when in fact we did nothing.
I could go on about all the negative sides of our nature enabled by e-mail, but I’ll spare you.
I hate e-mail.
What made me think of this today was a long e-mail string that started with some comment on a McKinsey Quarterly interview of KM guru, Don Tapscott. Dr. Tapscott wants us to use social and collaboration tools, instead of e-mail — which is fine, and for team project oriented work is well proven and perfectly acceptable.
But like it or not, and I don’t like it, e-mail is the default social collaboration tool for most workers these days, and that’s not likely to change even with the advent of social media — in fact, don’t most of us look at social media after we get an e-mail telling us that someone commented or poked us? Well, there ya go, folks.
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