Ferrari's next big challenge: Talk more, e-mail less

Ferrari excels at overcoming enormous engineering challenges -- just look at the 963hp, 3,000-pound carbon fiber La Ferrari coupe -- but its next task might be its toughest. The company wants to change the way its employees e-mail.

To encourage more talking and less e-mailing Ferrari this month set a rule that an e-mail can have no more than three internal recipients. The rule, which applies to about a third of Ferrari's 3,000-person global work force, is supposed to encourage employees to use the phone more and to have more face-to-face conversations.

Anyone with an overstuffed inbox knows that this seemingly small organizational tweak actually requires a gigantic change in attitude.

Limiting the recipient list to three won't be easy, especially considering that Ferrari is a global organization dealing with complex issues across multiple time zones.

I know that I am guilty of being a too-many-recipients e-mail writer, but I am willing to try to match what Ferrari is asking of its employees. My goal, however, will be a bit easier: no more than five recipients. Promise.

You can reach Luca Ciferri at lciferri@crain.com

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