When one of your Exec sends you an email with the subject “Should this be on the intranet?” and the body text comprising a paragraph on an external accolade recognising the achievements of one of your Business Process Improvement team’s recent projects, what goes through your mind?
Is he suggesting that this is good news that should be shared with the rest of the company? Or could he perhaps be questioning the appropriateness of the wording of an existing news story.
This happened to me earlier, and like a half wit, I plumped for the former. The thing is I spend a fair bit of my time encouraging our senior leaders to contribute intranet news stories as well join in the online discussions that accompany them.
So when the said email popped up in my uber congested inbox, it never even crossed my mind (not a long journey at the best of times!) that he was suggesting something already on the intranet may not be as suitable for publication as the author had intended. So what did I do? What do you think? I hastily fired back a cheeky email saying “You should read the intranet more often 😉 I published a piece on this last Friday”. I even included a helpful link to the story I was so sure he had missed.
Yep – you guessed it. I was wrong. Very wrong. And once alerted to my wrongness it was so bleedin’ obvious I still cannot quite believe I didn’t see it.
Some people may leap to my defence by suggesting that the email lacked clarity. I don’t buy it. I write for a living. For my interpretation to be correct, the email title would have had to have been “Shouldn’t this be on the intranet?”
So I’m sitting here right now somewhat bloated by enormous helpings of humble pie, recording this afternoon’s minor cock-up for posterity, promising never to take anything for granted ever again, and taking some small comfort from the fact that just the act of writing this down has made me feel a bit better – and is damn site cheaper than paying for therapy!