I know, you may be thinking, “there is just one leadership problem with email?”
While there may be more than one, I started thinking about one in particular this morning when I read a blog post titled I Don’t Know If I Want Email in my Company. While I hope you read that post, here is the short story:
A company president several years ago stated he didn’t want email in his company because he felt it led to a “defer-up” culture, and absolved people of making decisions and getting results.
In hindight, email has done this in many organizations, though I would bet that email is more a symptom than the cause of that problem.
Does your organization have a “defer-up” culture? If so, is that what you want?
Some leaders will say they want people to make decisions and be focused on execution and implementation, but behave in a different way completely.
If you really want to change your “defer-up” culture, make it a priority. Start communicating about it. Create a conversation about the behaviors you do want to see (and why they are important to your organizational health.)
In other words, treat it like the change effort that it is.
Email behavior, while likely not the cause, may be a contributing factor, so you can treat it that way. And you can start by cc’ing others consciously rather than automatically.