In his talk on collaboration in the enterprise, IBM’s Luis Suarez told Meaning Conference delegates that the biggest problem in business is engagement, or lack of it. Suarez cited a Deloitte survey that said 70% of employees feel disengaged with work.
Three to four hours a day on average are spent processing emails. Suarez says email is no longer a useful tool for getting work done.
I am no longer the bottle neck, I use social tools to share and learn. In social networks you control the flow. I am more powerful with my networks than with my inbox. I now own the work that I do.
Suarez says he is challenging the status quo. We need to be open and transparent. If you want to change things you need to feel you can. Knowledge shared is power.
I have a huge sense of achievement from my work, he said. And social networks are my school – they are where I learn.
When it comes to helping colleagues change from using email, he said he plants the idea in their brain and supports them. If you want people to move out of their inboxes then show them how to step away from them ie use file sharing tools rather than email attachments. Lead by example, he said.
He told delegates that they can drop their email usage by 80% in five weeks by:
- Stopping responding to email – do it for a week. Respond through networks and create an expectation of where they can interact with you
- Draw up an A 4 sheet of paper with three columns – one for the type of emailer you are, one in which you map use cases of email against how you can use them using social tools and one to show the personal business benefit of using the social tool.
He said this method will work in five weeks or he would buy you dinner. He only had to buy one person dinner in four years.
Prior to his session I interviewed Luis about collaboration and enterprise learning.
Listen to the interview: