“Actually this is a misnomer, since email is not forbidden on the Friday; the idea is to solve the problem articulated by Intel CEO Paul Otellini in a recent interview in Financial Times, where he criticizes “the fact that engineers two cubicles apart send an e-mail rather than get up and talk. The whole nature of sitting down and hashing out ideas and collaborating is a bit stymied by the construct of the cubicles”. While other projects explore changes to the cubicle paradigm at Intel, we are testing a direct attack on the preference to use email rather than walk across the aisle and talk to one’s coworker.
In our new pilot, we encourage the members of an organic group to focus each Friday on direct conversation – face to face or by telephone – for interpersonal communication within the group. Processing email from other groups is OK; sending email within the group is also OK – when it is necessary. But as much as possible, they will try to walk across the aisle or pick up the phone.”
I think this is worth doing with a number of other organizations.
One lesson you may learn from Bulgaria, Russia and other East European countries, by the way, is that e-mail doesn’t work – meetings are what matters most. Second comes a phone call. E-mail? May be, at some point, with some people, will do something 🙂