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September 02, 2009


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We have been discussing the merit or otherwise of Yammer in our brand. I believe it adds value. We are a geographically dispersed organisation and many people homework. I think you have hit on a good point that Twitter/ Yammer can replace the water cooler conversations.

I know of people who couldn't work from home because they missed these types of conversations, I doubt the technology will change that, but I definately believe there is value to be had from water cooler conversations. I am sure it was a book by "Cotter" - What Leaders Do, that talked about the real value to organisations of informal communications.

bill  Ives


Thanks for the comment. Are you still interested in sharing your learnings in more depth. I now have Skype so it will be easier to talk if you have it also. Let me know. You can send an email -


David Eddy

Bill -

I remember some case studies Xerox did.

Someone figured the repair men sitting around in the coffee room was a waste, so they put all the copier repair documentation on CD disks & took away the coffee room.

Productivity fell like a rock.

I'm sure there were many factors, but the one I remember is that someone figured out that the kind of person who does well with fixing copiers really isn't much of a reader... they tinker, but avoid reading. So shooting the breeze in the coffee room was a key way of figuring out how to fix the latest machine.

- David

bill  Ives


I found the same thing at a major UK repair division. The plumbers would get their assignments at the local depot and share tips over tea. Then they closed the depots as a cost cutting measure and had the the plumbers work out of their homes. It destroyed the knowledge sharing except for some diehards who took time off during the day to meet. Bill

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