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Workgroups and Communication Streams

As we move from sequentially processing email queues to periodically bathing in the stream of messages coming at us and past us via Twitter, Facebook, and still email, successful and high performing workgroups are adjusting towards a more collectivist* sense of shared responsibility. No single team member is responsible for the project, nor are they responsible for every message sent on that project. If something is of importance and a team member missed it, another team member pings them with it again - there is no penalty for missing the detail - it's how things work in these situations. It's a constant team process of "orient and adjust." And it moves the ball down the field.

Increasingly, in work group circumstances, the notion that one must catch every email is as out-dated as a 72 hour old invitation to lunch.

* I have reservations about the larger pattern towards collectivism in US American schools and workplaces and in how we organize online, but it's complicated. The subject for a future post.

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