Like it or not, the future of remote work is upon us. All of us need to become more facile at communicating electronically and doing it wisely. In your own business, this might mean you need to prepare a new way of communicating. And, you can't wing it the way you might have done with in-person meetings. Agendas are necessary, and you need to understand new ways of engaging people virtually. But, there have always been meetings. So why the need to change now? Why are new tools even more important today than ever before?
New Ways to Run Workshops and Build Engagement
Clearly, when running a new virtual workshop, you better have a new way to engage with your audience. Maybe you think you could just lecture to people as you did in the past. No more. You can't just teach people. You need to figure out how to engage them and keep them engaged electronically.
Do you use break-out sessions on Zoom so they can discuss among themselves what you have been sharing with them? Do you split into small groups so there is a dialogue that might not be possible in large virtual meetings? The key, of course, is keeping everyone interested. The engagement process has never been easy or smooth. I learned that the hard way when I was a banker running a division, and again when I was the CEO of my own company running team meetings.
Changing Relationships with Remote Clients
Today, this new normal has affected how we deal with our clients and staff here at SAMC. Here are three things we have found that seem to be working remarkably well:
- Expectations matter. People knew what to expect from a live meeting in the past. Now they are learning what can take place in a virtual one. Over-communicate, again, and again. They might think they heard you once, but it will only register when you have said it 4-5 times in different ways. Even create a short 3-minute video as a pre-welcome so they can anticipate what you are going to be covering.
- Engagement means active learning. Make sure you build engagement around the tools or techniques people will need when you finish your time together. In our SAMC workshops, we are spending less time discussing strategy in an abstract sense and more on how to do a Blue Ocean Strategy®. By the time the workshop is completed, participants are ready to put the methods they've just learned into practice, rather than maybe doing something someday.
- Follow-up is very helpful. Make sure people know you will follow up with them and answer their questions. Also, kindness is so important when people are struggling to adapt to a new environment, in business and otherwise.
To understand how to change so you're ready for the future, start here:
- Blog: How To Stay Moving Forward As The World Moves At Warp Speed
- Blog: Now That You Have Your Crisis, What Do You Change?
- Podcast: Andy and Andi Simon—Innovation Games® Are What You Need To Imagine Your Future
Need a hand?
At Simon Associates Management Associates (SAMC), we are here to help you change how you are engaging with your clients and staff in order to build the new "you" and a better business for tomorrow. In fact, we tell our clients that if they want to make a significant change, have a crisis. That allows you to move beyond your current comfort zone and begin to see things differently.
As corporate anthropologists and Blue Ocean Strategists, we help clients seek new opportunities in these changing times. Contact us to see if we might be of help to you and your organization. We look forward to hearing from you.
From Observation to Innovation,
Partner, Simon Associates Management Consultants
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