How would you, as a managing director of an organization, be able to improve organizational communication without losing the advantages of e-mail?"
The process of using email to communicate is a big thing in our society today. Most businesses use this electronic process all the time. People in organizations don’t talk to one another anymore. Everything is e-mail, e-mail, e-mail. If you are mad at someone, you can just say it and then hide behind your computer.
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There are several ways to improve organizational communication. Although, as you point out, e-mail communication is extremely effective for certain tasks, such as broadcasting information that might effect many people (e.g. changes to parking, new standards or policies, etc.) it is no substitute for more active dialogue.
First, workgroups should have a regular meeting with a focused agenda on a weekly basis. Sophisticated video conferencing rooms allow for this to happen even if people are widely separated geographically. Next, it is worth establishing a small budget for a lunch, or at least coffee and snacks after the weekly meeting, perhaps once a month, to encourage informal "water cooler" style conversation during which work teams can bond and exchange ideas that might not fit in more structured communication.
Another major innovation in office planning involves having WiFi throughout the building, employees given tablets or netbooks, and group areas (perhaps with coffee and beverages) where people can work in informal clusters. Companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Facebook have pioneered these informal mechanisms of fostering idea exchange.
Corporate internal Wikis and social networking style sites allow for group communication in a way that is less monological than traditional e-mail. Easily accessible video communications (Skype, e.g.) allows conversations among people at remote sites.
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