Access to critical information has been closely associated with positional authority, leading to “Balkanization” of key data and suppressing the emergence of “natural” leaders within the organization.
Retraining of the organization as to the “culture” of e-mail, with expectation set that all e-mails are the beginning (first “thread”) of a company-wide forum, rather than a private conversation.
Development/licensing of a robust search methodology that allows users to perform contextual searches of e-mails, and to sort/filter results.
Development of an accompanying reputational capital system, allowing the relative value of people’s contributions and their degree of collaboration to be assessed and rewarded (i.e. those individuals whose e-mails were often searched and forwarded/replied to would be awarded a higher score).
Development of an e-mail scoring system, by which employees are scored on the efficiency and effectiveness of their e-mails.
Improved quality of decisions, by virtue of increased availability of critical information and Greater cooperation within organization, as information serves as the incentive.
Benefit: Increased cross-functional collaboration within organization
Metric: Increase in cross-functional e-mail traffic
Benefit: Reduction in unnecessary communication (due to ability for seekers of information to retrieve needed information on their own)
Metric: Reduction in overall e-mail traffic
Benefit: Increased employee trust levels, thanks to employees feeling they are being trusted with critical information
Metric: Increase in employee satisfaction levels
Benefit: Increased management visibility as to employee concerns, by virtue of ability to monitor the frequency of key searches
Develop limited search functionality (i.e. ability to search for e-mails but only view header information).
Release functionality for a few selected functions with less-sensitive data.
Paul Edelmann, Steve Jurvetson, Vivek Kapur, Andrew McAfee, Tom Malone, Leighton Read, Dan Simpson, James Surowiecki