Because it’s Friday: Common MythConceptions

The internet is a great place to find information, but it’s also a wonderful place to watch idea propagate, even when those ideas are myths.

My favourite of the moment is the “we only use 10% of our brain” one, a number of people have said that to me recently, it’s not true.

This chart tries to correct a number of those MythConceptions:

Common MythConceptionsvia: Information is Beautiful


Mist in the Valley

British Council of Offices Awards 2014

It’s recently been the British Council of Office Awards so I thought I would highlight some of the places that made the awards; for no other reason than to remind myself that office spaces can be inspirational places to work:

Corporate Workplace - Brent Civic Centre -London&SouthEast - Joint Winner

Brent Civic Centre, Engineer’s Way, Wembley

FitOut of Workplace -  Motability - SouthWest Winner

Motability Operations, Bristol Business Park, Bristol

Innovation Nominee - The Council House Derby - Midlands&EastAnglia

RefurbishedRecycled - The Council House Derby - Midlands&EastAnglia Winner

The Council House, Corporation Street, Derby

RefurbishedRecycled - Carriage_Building - SouthWest Winner

The Carriage Building, Bruton Way, Gloucester

FitOut of Workplace - Exchange Station - Northern Winner

Exchange Station, Tithebarn Street, Liverpool, Merseyside

The full gallery of award winners is here.

Cutting the Grass

No Email Initiatives – In the Trough of Dissilusionment and Obsolete Before Plateau

No Email Initiatives are an approach taken by a number of organisations to improve communication be eliminating email. In many organisations email is used as if it were the only communication tool and applied to every problem even when there are far better ways of communicating. Rather than getting people to change the way they use email some organisations have decided that elimination is the only answer.

Proponents of this approach exist, some examples:

  • Luis Suarez has lived outside his inbox for many years now. He’s managed to dramatically reduce the amount of email he received and spent much more time utilising the value of social software in his time at IBM. Luis is no longer working at IBM, but is still a huge proponent of living outside the inbox.
  • Atos launched a zero email initiative in 2011 and received much press coverage because of it: “Its aim is to transform towards a social, collaborative enterprise where we share knowledge and find experts easily in order to respond to clients’ needs quickly and efficiently, delivering tangible business results.”

Reading the latest Gartner Hype Cycle for Unified Communications recently I was intrigued to note that they place No Email Initiatives in the Trough of Disillusionment and in the category Obsolete Before Plateau. Reading through the details they estimate that the Market Penetration will be Less than 1% of target audience. Talk about kicking an idea when it’s down!

I used to have a manager who called email BATS – Blame Allocation and Transfer System. Anyone who’s used email in a corporate setting can relate to that definition.

Jack Madden recently proposed banning attachments as an alternative approach with enterprise file sync and share (FSS) and collaborative document editing being a better way of collaborating. He does this whilst acknowledging that there is no escaping email.

The value and the challenge of email is that it is universal. It’s rarely the best answer, but it’s regularly the easiest answer. The alternatives are nowhere near as universal. Neither Twitter or Facebook; nor Google Drive, Office 365 or Dropbox; not even Skype, Lync or WhatsApp are as ubiquitous. With one piece of information you can send someone an email and be pretty confident that they will receive it; add a file and your level of confidence will remain high.

Email is embedded into so many processes; when was the last time you ordered something on-line and didn’t receive the receipt in your email?

To be clear, Gartner isn’t saying that organisations shouldn’t try to radically change the way that people work and to dramatically cut the amount of email but they are saying:

Given the ubiquity of internal email communications in businesses today, elimination of it would truly have a transformational effect, although we believe that few organizations will (or even should) actually achieve it.

The point being that it’s the transformation that organisations should be looking to, not the elimination of email. Organisations need to adopt new ways of collaborating and the result will be a drop in email. It is my belief that organisations that don’t will be overtaken by those that do.

The Roman

time.com: “Even Millennials Want Face Time at Work”

Time.com has highlighted a couple of studies that reference the desire for face-to-face meetings whatever the generation:

What both studies also demonstrate is that while technology may be wonderful, efficient, and convenient, the benefits are limited. We innately need to be around other people. As good as technology gets, we still value in-person meetings highly. No matter what generation we’re talking about, the vast majority of employees don’t want to be alone, isolated from coworkers and managers. I worked from home for four years, and it was a huge challenge as a business owner. So now I have an office, and the expense has been worth every penny.

Even Millennials Want Face Time at Work

There’s a broad assumption that as Generation-Y and Generation-Z (who are really the post-millenials) enter the workforce their use of technology will negate the need for meetings and workplaces where people can meet in person.

The future might look different, but for now, technology hasn’t replaced that deep-felt need for people to meet in person. Nor has it replaced the need for engaging workplaces.