When teams have to deliver, but can’t all be in the same place at the same time, we can help
What is it
More than simple online workshops, we enable online collaboration, which is quite different from a well-executed Zoom call. Teams develop solutions and build alignment whether or not they can block the same time on their calendars. We design and facilitate multiple journeys through a challenge that individuals and small groups navigate independently and still share the insights and satisfaction of being part of a greater whole, building something important together.
What we do is stretch out the time in which people can interact, while making it less intense. Rather than a full-immersion team retreat, we might take the same time commitment and spread it out, with different players addressing a variety of topics at designated times. With this asynchronous approach, not everyone takes the same journey, but they all arrive at the same destination.
Three key elements contribute to Virtual Facilitation. By flattening the curve, designing a variety of interactions, and converging different journeys to one destination, virtual collaboration can achieve the desired objectives and produce the expected outcomes. Animation by Housatonic We Make It Easy.
We have been conducting virtual workshops since long before Covid, usually integrated into a program of face-to-face and virtual interactions over time.
For now, we’re 100% virtual, but when restrictions are lifted, we expect to return to face-to-face workshops, but with on-line collaboration playing a much larger role in our work.
And if working from home becomes the norm, frequent large team workshops will be more important than ever, for alignment, building common purpose, and finding the pathways to collaboration which on-line work will reinforce.
How it works
We schedule a Sponsor Call to clarify the project objectives and desired outcomes. We then put together a trial engagement plan. This usually mixes two-three hour on-line workshops with off-line individual and small-group work. These off-line exercises might be as brief as a 10-minute survey or as demanding as a self-facilitated team brainstorming.
These off-line exercises provide input to the on-line workshops. Then, we analyze and build on workshop outputs so that the next cycle is even richer and more engaging than the previous one. These cycles of on-line and off-line work can be daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on the urgency of the issue and the availability of team members. Since each individual’s or sub-group’s journey might differ, we provide continuity, coherence, and sense-making throughout.
We’ve got plenty of examples of cases we’ve been providing virtual solutions to. We’ll be eager to share more details with you through a demo of the Collaboration Zone where the virtual journeys take place.