Ferrari’s home office issued an edict that employees were not to send e-mails to more than three recipients simultaneously, according to a news report.
NBC News ran a story earlier this month about it, but I must have missed it, and it just today came across my inbox, for some reason– perhaps because others have been trying this whole “no mass e-mails” thing?
Anyway, according to the report, Ferrari Communications Vice President Stefano Lai said, “It is not a war or a battle against email. It’s more about making people think than punishing them. It is not a question of productivity, more a question of efficiency.
“Sometimes people are so flooded by e-mail that it is difficult to find what is important,” he added. “If it is important it is better to call rather than wait and see what the answer is?”
And there’s the rub: plausible deniability. If you’re a team leader who sends out an e-mail t oyour team, and you don’t hear back from some team members, you assume one of two things, depending on the situation: Either the people you e-mailed understood and are taking care of whatever issue you e-mailed them about, or they’re ignoring/didn’t receive your message. When a VP comes to you asking why your team didn’t get the job done, your scapegoat is, “I dunno, I sent out instructions and deadlines in an email. Guess they didn’t follow instructions too well.”
Having worked in a corporate environment for a few years, I can attest to how higher-ups often send out goals in e-mail form to large teams rather than meeting with those teams in-person. Confusion ensues when the e-mail gets lost in the shuffle of a team leader and/or team members don’t fully understand the instruction– then their own questions, sent back to leadership in e-mails, get lost in the shuffle as well.
Time will tell whether the folks at Ferrari’s home office work better under this new “no mass e-mails” rule. The article said Lai noted Ferrari “could not predict whether productivity would increase at their campus in the northern town of Maranello.”
A final note: Lest ye be confused, we here at In-Car Tech fully encourage you to mass e-mail our articles to your friends. Shameless, time-wastin’ fools, we are.