I talk a lot about addressing structural issues that will slow or stop change. I had not thought of finding things at the individual level to improve to make change easier- until I found this post:
We need to fix what is currently broken for individuals before we can expect them to contribute back to our organizations in meaningful ways. Email inboxes are ground zero.
The post was meant as an operational ROI list, but would be an excellent tactical to do for the start of any enterprise initiative.
Some tasty tidbits:
- Cancel status update meetings. “Schedule meetings only when an issue cannot be resolved through the group conversation in the network.” Music to my ears!
- Post documents rather than sending as attachments. This is HUGE timesaver at the individual desktop organization level, for server space and collaboration (and transparency). You can still put access requirements on draft documents (I do that with SharePoint on many of my initiatives).
- Teach email. Email is one of those things that you are expected to understand. That perspective creates all the same patterns- bcc’s, disjointed conversations (change the subject for Outlook and the conversation thread is broken- most employees do not know that) and lots of repetition (not to mention unanswered questions).
My additions to the list:
- Create and use clean well designed templates that quickly show who is sending, what the message is and whether or not an action is in order.
- Set parameters for what kind and how much information needs to be shared. (A lot of email is the “cover your tracks” kind).
- If the information to be shared by email works better visually (as a video or screen grabs for example) then create that message, post it and avoid email all together.