Covid did not introduce us to working virtually. A written letter is virtual. A telephone call is virtual. So is email. We’ve been doing conference calls for years. Including video. Communicating virtually is nothing new.
New is meeting as a group virtually, discussing complex subject matter, over several hours, with colleagues in different time zones, often working out of their home. All of this time and time again. During a typical workweek. Over several years.
Can virtual workshops be effective? It’s a challenge. For one of the great values of an on-site workshop is being together. As colleagues. Focused on important topics. Interacting with each other intensely, creatively, personally.
We have the platforms. Google Meet. MS Teams. WebEx. Zoom. And the tools enabling breakouts, screen-sharing, whiteboards, and more. Technology companies allow us to mimick live, in-person workshops.
I’m no fan of mimicking. Instead, we’ll use Three Steps on UC. And meet only four times. See the Second and Third Conversations in Steps 2 and 3. Each time lasting no longer than max. an hour and a half. I’ll moderate each of the four discussions.
We’ll use your video-conferencing platform. The participants decide which tools to use, i.e. whiteboards. However, I – John Magee – am low tech. I like to keep it simple. The spoken word. Between colleagues. Highly focused. Minimal distractions.
The keys to a successful workshop – live or virtual – never change: address the right topics, with the right people, who are well-prepared, and with a moderator keeping everyone on track, on message, solving problems.
Back to John’s Approach.