CUSP Submission Enhances Team Communication and Culture

What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it. -- Maya Angelou

At the University of Colorado Denver, Michael Edwards and colleague David Lyons in the CU Online office not only changed something they didn’t like, they also changed how their team thought about it.

The thing was communication -- specifically, email communication between team members -- and the change was how, in the broadest sense, the team connected internally. Michael and David moved their team’s internal communication platform from email to Slack and redesigned their team’s communication culture from sequential/segmented to real-time/collaborative.

In any large organization, the volume of email communication can be overwhelming, as email tends to be used for virtually any type of message. Michael and David sought to distinguish communications between their team members from communications with the general University community. Enter Slack, a team chat platform that fundamentally influences communication behavior, connecting team members instantly when they need internal expertise, deepening their organizational awareness and coherence, and enhancing their ability to serve their customers.

The response within CU Online has been so positive that the two are now rolling out the new tool and approach to other groups they work with.

Reports Michael, “The air just feels cleaner [with Slack] compared to an email-only environment, where you can be inundated with an overwhelming stream.” 

Find out what's happening in CU Online by reading the recent submission to the CU Shared Practices (CUSP) website.

  • Think about how this approach could help your department.
  • Then, think about the innovations your department has implemented ... and make your own submission to CUSP.

But don't delay: you only have until April 30 to tell us about it!

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