Everyday Corporate Email Nightmare

Next week, I will be talking to about 80 engineers about why they should start using Social Media in their work and how it can add value. I’ve got a lot of great examples, from BT’s Dare-to-Share to simple RSS feeds or using Pearltree to curate web-bookmarks on specific themes…


But to get their attention, I will share an everyday corporate email example of inefficiency, inbox-spamming and my general hate for the tool (or its users). I saw this in a video via Twitter some time ago, but after 2 hours trying to find it back today, I gave up and just re-worked it myself. It goes something like this:

  • A sends an email to B, C, D and E asking for input on a question
  • C forwards it to F, thinking he could help, copying in A, B, D and E
  • F replies to all, as do D and E
  • Meanwhile, A asks the same question to G, who replies to A only
  • B replies to A only and A replies to thank him for his input
  • In the end, A summarises the input from everyone

Total emails sent = 33


Does this sound familiar? Is it unrealistic?

I had fun this morning drawing it. It looks like this…


I’m hoping the engineers will see what’s wrong with this picture:

  • It’s inefficient and frustrating
  • It costs a lot of unnecessary email reading (or at least, filtering) time for everyone
  • It costs in server space
  • It is poorly restricted to a certain number of people who can supposedly provide input
  • … although ironically not restriced enough


Send me an email and I’ll tell you 🙂


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Thanks for reading!



About Dan Steer

Wandering corporate trainer, learning and development consultant, conference speaker and professional El-Magico. I help people get better at stuff by creating and facilitating Infinite Learning © opportunities. The world would be a better place if everyone was doing what he loved and doing it well. I am working to bring out the "El Magico" in everybody. Training in presentation and communication skills, leadership, social media for learning and marketing, learning and development management + personal effectiveness.

Posted on November 3, 2012, in Communication and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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