I was working with a client in France yesterday. We were working on the challenges of managing competing priorities, multiple projects, imminent  deadlines and – inevitably – the volume and quality of internal Microsoft Outlook email traffic.

We were looking at how we could improve internal team communications through better internal email discipline and one of the team blew me away with her insight, she said ……

Well, I will sum it up as….

Online Forums could be a model for Internal Email

Here is the essence of the conversation: Most of us use online forums to share information.  All online forums have rules of engagement. Almost everybody understands those rules and etiquette of the forum and find that, when followed, they make accessing and sharing information relatively easy. The best online Forums have active Moderators who uphold the standards. Anything off topic or inappropriate on a thread is managed out. Good online forums generate loyalty, standards and – as a result – better information management.

Most internal business email, whether delivered through Outlook or other providers  has no where near the same standards as a good Forum. I won’t go into the issues here – you will know your own from your own experience.

The point is this. We can improve the quality of our internal email, indeed, I facilitate this on a very regular basis for my clients. Here’s my insight from yesterday …

online forums work best with good Moderators. Internal email works best when we are all moderators of agreed standards

If you want me to facilitate a practical, productive team communications and email management session for your team get in touch. Together we will deliver results worth talking about.

Till next time, Richard

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