All I Need to Know about Business I Learned from a Duck

Archive for April, 2010

How a lesson from honey bees can improve the performance of your top executives.

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Recent studies show that a typical executive spends 1 ½ days (30%) out of a 5-day work week sorting, reading, filing, writing, sending and recovering from email messages. Put another way, that time is money so if an executive’s salary is $150,000; he or she is being paid $45,000 for processing email messages.

What’s more, email volume is growing at a rate of 66% a year, according to the E-Policy Institute in part because of the avalanche of messaging that occurs on BlackBerrys and cell phones and the fact that more and more people are texting, and using Facebook or Twitter for work.

This email epidemic is reaching a crisis point at some companies, but in my opinion we won’t find the cure by relying on more and/or better technology (email organizing software, for example). Instead, let’s look in the exact opposite direction for a “nature inspired” solution – check out the video, below:

Communication specialists would categorize the Waggle Dance as 1-way communication. And as you can easily see, it’s a very powerful, pragmatic, concise method of sharing information. In my experience 50% to 70% of email messages are monologues that are mistakenly interpreted as dialogues. Why all the confusion? No one knows when an e-conversation is 1-way without an explicit signal! So if you want to increase the performance of the executives in your company, show them how to Waggle Dance by typing the following words in the subject line of their email messages if it applies: No Response Necessary!

Your thoughts?