Andrew McAfee has been blogging recently on coexistence of email and enterprise 2.0/collaboration type tools in the enterprise. His hypothesis is: ‘Within organizations, collaboration technologies are dictated by the most powerful person involved in the collaboration’.
And following on from this, given the number of CEO’s wedded to email, would seem that email will continue to be the core communications/ collaboration tool for some time, in many organisations.
I think of the challenge differently. The CEO operates in a competitive environment, charged with delivering results for the shareholders. If there’s a better way to run a company many CEO’s will be open to the change. If there is a better way than email then it’s up to those who understand the alternatives to paint the picture. There are plenty of CEOs out there who will switch tool sets if they believe in the benefits.
I think the idea of ’email as the graveyard of knowledge’ would be well understood by many CEOs. In fact many would argue that email, computers, software, in general have been the graveyard of creativity, ‘spark’, stimulating interaction. Notwithstanding this level of frustration I think many can see the potential benefits of ‘wiki-type’ tools (incorporating social networking functionality) over some combination of email and Word/PowerPoint/ Excel.