The Old Fashioned Conversation

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.

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