I'm preparing for an upcoming speech and I would like to collect some real stories of how bad or overactive management policy kills (or harms)  collaboration and knowledge worker productivity in organizations.

To get this discussion started, I've shared a tragic example along with my thoughts over on my Notes on Productivity blog.

Would you help me out by sharing a story of your experience? I understand the sensitive nature of this request, so anonymous posts are fine.

If you can, please spread the word. I'm sure I'll receive some very interesting examples. In a future post, I'd like to propose alternative responses that management could take to prevent a collaboration disaster.



Discussion/Comments (2):

How to kill collaboration and productivity with bad policy

Overly aggressive email deletion policies without giving employees any other means for archiving useful data. What happens is that legacy information is lost and people just recreate what could have been saved. I understand the legal concerns some companies have when enforcing these rules, but what can happen is that is swings so far into deleting the past that the future is just spent recreating it.

Posted at 08/31/2007 11:48:29 by Kelly

How to kill collaboration and productivity with bad policy

A few years ago, I visited a very large Lotus Notes client with tens of thousands of Notes users. Unfortunately, they had implemented a terribly unproductive policy: to automatically delete everything in the email in-box after 30 days - this included calendar and tasks. <br> When I went to show the users all the things they could do with Notes, they interrupted me and said that they would never use Notes to record their tasks or appontments because they did not trust Lotus Notes. So, rather than using a very capable system to get things done, they resorted to paper, external web apps, or personal solutions. This, of course, was not a Notes problem but a problem of bad policy. Even though management had invested in an excellent system a poorly thought out policy crippled it.

What a waste of a powerful tool.

Thanks for sharing, Kelly. I'll post this over on Notes On Productivity, too. { Link }

Posted at 08/31/2007 12:15:34 by Eric Mack

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