Meetings and email are symptoms, not causes.

This image has been making the rounds on Twitter and Facebook today. I will admit—it made me laugh, as I find myself in such meetings with a disturbing frequency.

The problem, though, is that for every person who complains that we could have avoided this meeting by just sending an email, there is someone else who will gripe about having too much email and that we should have just gotten everyone in a room to straighten everything out.

The real issue is not that there is one particular format or venue that is specifically appropriate for any given topic. The real issue is work and organizational structures that generate disengagement and alienation. If you hate the work, it really does not matter whether you are talking about it in a meeting or via email.

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