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November 03, 2005


Lance Knobel

How about Mailstroms?

Mikko Ahonen

Collaboration really need skills, as you Andrew pointed out. The use of e-mail among those 'hot teams' can be either productive and counterproductive.

With my colleagues we have been observing, how a global company managed to improve their telework and communication practices.

Some (best) practices we found:

- Using as much as possible web conferencing and audio conferencing instead of e-mail -- less misunderstandings and flame wars

- Establishing an easy to grasp corporate policy for communication -- now people know which channel/media to use and how

- Integrating tightly e-mail, calendar, groupware and web-conferencing IT-systems to a continuous workflow -- focus on usability issues

- Minimising the amount of mailing lists and unnecessary system notifications by e-mail -- making e-mail personal again

- Providing enough support and training -- Web conferencing requires (of course) IT-skills but even more communication skills

- CEO initiating new work practices and acting as a lead user -- less resistance in the field

(Murto, H., Ikkala-Toiviainen, L. Ahonen, M. (2005) . eLearning, Telework and Web Conferencing Practices. Report. The Finnish Work Environment Fund. Helsinki)

I see these corporate collaboration topics connected to personal time management skills and how a person indicates his/her availability to other members of a team. As an innovation and creativity researcher, I could not help myself commenting this topic (See:
ent.html ). However, my view may be biased, these are cultural issues as well, the rhythm of life is really different around the globe ;-)

It would be great to hear more stories about communication practices, group creativity and/or use of time :-)

Arthritis  Blog Archive  Blogs connecting small worlds

[...] I have not been very systematic in my (people) networking strategies. Therefore, the article by Uzzi and Dunlap in the recent HBR was an eye-opener to me. It helped me to map my contact network and deficiencies in my networking strategies. It also brought valuable insights to my research and artefact building. I have earlier written about Technology Brokering and had interesting discussions with Andrew Hargadon. This brokering process is not always simple in a chaotic business/research world, therefore we had also discussions about teams and their time management. Techology Brokering is very much about utilising people networks as a source of new ideas. Similarly, Peter Denning wrote about Social Life of Innovation and his Personal Foundational Practices of Innovation may provide a functional networking strategy?! [...]

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