I am often astounded by the way we collaborate in today’s high technology world.
We have tools like Instant Messaging, Email, WebEx, Blogs, Facebook, Knowledge Management Systems/Portals and many non-obtrusive technologies. These are great tools and allow for controlled interaction or gating. The sad part for me is that often we have trouble portraying the true concept of a discussion or question and we often have these technologies get in the way of the answer we need.
Take for instance an example with Graham a couple of weeks ago. He had been working hard trying to put together some information. He had used a variety of tools and channels to get the information, he decided to pick up the phone and call Doug. 5 minutes later he had the problem solved.
Other times, people feel that lobing a question via email will get them a prompt and accurate response. The sender will be sitting and waiting for the response and get frustrated, where a call would resolve the issue, followed up by a confirmation. Or worse they get an answer, but the question they asked was wrong.
I feel that the collaboration tools stop us from having live interactions. Whatever happened to the good old watercooler conversation, or the Coffee Conversation.