Showing items tagged with "Lucy Kellaway" - 3 found.

Business Email Management Articles of Note – July 2017

Posted Saturday July 22nd, 2017, 9:07 am by

This months business email management articles of note feature one by ourselves on how to manage the instant reply syndrome yet still make key clients feel loved.  There are three on business email etiquette and the importance of communicating clearly if you want people to notice your email without being pushy. There are two on various aspects of cyber crime from house deposits going to imposter’s bank accounts and the penalty for forwarding confidential emails and then trying to delete the evidence.

1. Managing the Instant Reply Syndrome. You are working on an important (maybe time critical) task, yet people still expect an instant reply to their email. Based on our recent work in the independent schools sector here are some ways to manage expectations including those of your most important clients and colleagues.

2. Use stories to highlight your companies purpose. From Erica Keswin my fellow member of the Information Overload Research Group  IORG this fascinating article highlights the importance on story telling to communicate your message clearly. Although emails should be short, using a client/colleague comment in the opening sentence can help your message stand out.

3. How I lost my 25 year battle against corporate claptrap. How can you commit 110%? It’s mathematical nonsense as Lucy Kellaway points out. Lucy has been the Financial Times business columnist who can be depended on to de-bunk current management guff. In her last column based on examples collected over the years she provides examples of how to write pure meaningless flannel. There are salient lessons on email etiquette to be drawn from this article. Never use long/complex words when a short one will do. Emails should be succinct and structured if you want to avoid endless rounds of email ping-pong and potential email wars. See Mesmo Consultancy’s recent video on the 5Ss of business email management etiquette.

Thank you Lucy Kellaway for writing the introduction to Brilliant Email and being subjected to a Mesmo Consultancy Email Inbox Audit from which we learnt some lessons.

4  Why those small words in an email say a lot about you.  A timely reminder that how you write emails is a picture of you and your organisation.  It’s your digital dress code.  So why spoil a good suit by wearing war paint on your face and scruffy shoes.  That is essentially what you are doing when you forget to include a greeting and use a sloppy sign-off.  Check your business email etiquette.  Is it up to the mark?

5. Cyber crooks loot millions set aside for house sales. It never ceases to amaze us at Mesmo Consultancy how people still fall for the simplest of cyber crime tricks. House sellers transferring deposits found that Instead of the money going to the solicitors they went to an imposter’s bank account. When undertaking such transactions always transfer a very small amount first to check they arrive in the correct account. Will we ever learn?

6. Employee sentenced to six weeks imprisonment for deleting confidential emails. So you think you can delete emails and go un-noticed? Think again. This article contains lessons for both employers and employee about sending confidential information via email.


Are these business email management issues which you or your organisation face? Call or email us now to discuss how our email best practice workshops and consultancy service can help you.

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Articles and blog of Note – February 2016

Posted Tuesday February 2nd, 2016, 3:07 pm by

Three themes stood out over the past few weeks: the obvious one of new year’s resolutions and predictions; our skill or lack of it with the English language and of course the Court of Human Rights ruling in favour of an employer who monitored an employee’s personal emails.

2016 predictions and resolutions

  1. Press roomSet goals rather than resolutions.  Did you set yourself up for failure just a week into the new year by setting a series of new year’s resolutions which within a week you had broken?  Well it turns out that it is better to establish some SMART goals against which we can monitor our progress. It’s never too late to re-calibrate and set new goals.
  2. Ten goals for the IT department for 2016. The technology press abounded with hot tips.  This was not so much about what the future would look like, but how you can change hearts and mind during 2016 to really exploit the power of IT to improve performance.
  3. Cyber crime predictions for 2016. There is little doubt that cyber crime will continue to rise in the foreseeable future and that the cyber criminals may continue to have the upper hand, but maybe not for ever.  This article underlines the need to be forever vigilant especially using mobile devices.

How clearly do you communicate?

  1. The corporate guff awards for 2015.  As always perhaps the funniest article of the month, when FT Assistant Editor Lucy Kellaway hands out her awards for the biggest load of waffle written over the past twelve month. It’s worth the time to set up a free account just to access her Guffipedia.    There are wonderful phrases like ‘We will deepen our leadership of food-to-go’, meaning make better value sandwiches.
  2. English deficit causes more harm than the digital divide.  A controversial article by Michael Shapinker again in the FT about the impact of the lack of good skills in English can harm the economy.
  3. Do you write email pearls or lead balloons? In keeping with the above two articles, a Mesmo Consultancy blog on using good email etiquette to send the right message right first time rather than writing an email which might just start another email media disaster.

Monitoring employee’s personal emails

  1. Are you stealing the company’s broadband? Recently the European Court of Human Rights ruled against an employee who protested that his company was monitoring his use of the company’s email system for his personal use.  A Mesmo consultancy blog on the pros and cons of this ruling and implications for the future of both corporate email etiquette and email overload.

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Eradicating the holiday email overload – the Daimler approach

Posted Tuesday August 19th, 2014, 1:26 pm by

For many dealing with the holiday email back-log is one of the most stressful aspects of taking a break. More stressful some say than, losing your luggage, having to look after aging parents or fractious children.  It compels them to stay connected even although it might adversely impact their holiday (as Lucy Kellaway recently found).

Email overload free vacation

Email overload free vacation

Last week Daimler introduced an email programme which automatically deletes employees emails when they are on leave. It sends a message to the sender asking them to re-send the email if it is important after the recipient is back.

The Daimler system is sophisticated and most companies are not in a position to implement such a system but take heart there are other options. The key thing to remember is that technology alone will never cure email overload whatever some software providers say.

The real cure for email overload lies in changing our email behaviour. It is about re-thinking how we use email and curing what has become the hidden disease of 21st century working life – email and data addiction.

In the short term or those either going on holiday or just returning to work, there are some simple things you can do.

1)  Before you go – housekeeping

Before you go away do some basic email housekeeping to clean up your inbox. For example, clear out all the old emails and set some filters to remove all the new but unnecessary emails (eg newsletters). Most email software allows you to set two different Out of Office messages. So for your internal emails, set a message similar to the Daimler system one.  Indeed this is what many executives already do.

For more tips on how to clean up your inbox before going on leave see earlier posts.

2) On your return – talk and talk again

On your return, talk, talk and talk again before you even touch your inbox. This gives you an overview of anything that really needs your attention. Then and only then tackle the inbox. Triage it and deal only with the really vital emails.

For more tips see our seven step plan to reduce the holiday email overload.

3) Declare email bankruptcy

As for the rest, declare email bankruptcy. Delete the lot. If anything is that important you can be sure the sender will re-contact you.

The result – freedom from email holiday overload and the need to stay connected.   Of course in the longer term you need to implement an email management change programme to better educate your colleagues about how to reduce email overload generally.  For help changing the email culture do call us to hear how Mesmo Consultancy’s Brilliant Email Management masterclasses have helped other organisations like yours.

Meanwhile, what is your top tip for reducing the holiday email overload backlog?  Is the Daimler approach better than staying connected?

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