The course is a three-part affair. First, an office’s senior management attends a presentation to learn about the productivity drivers and the behavioral expectations of e-mail. Next comes a discussion with the management team about group responsibility. “I think the underlying cause of too much e-mail is mistrust,” Zeldes says. “As in, ‘I insist on subscribing to endless distribution lists because I don’t trust that my team tells me what I need to know.’ ” The last segment is a Web-based tutorial introducing employees to little-known time-saving tips on their e-mail programs. Management teams that have completed the course are expected to duplicate its segments with their own teams, and so on down the chain of command.

It seems to be working. According to user feedback, Intel’s Africa, Europe, and Middle East ofÞces achieved a 70 percent participation rate in the program, with 80 percent of participants saying that the training has been effective. And 63 percent say that they see a change in the quality of e-mail from others. Says Zeldes: “You have to take ownership of your e-mail and its use.”