Strategic Thinking remotely – it can be done!
I was speaking to a friend of mine at the weekend about how he has been using the COVID-19 hiatus to rethink his organisation’s strategy. Despite working from their homes, his team felt they had done more strategic thinking in the last six weeks than in the previous ten years. It made me wonder, How many other organisations are using this time to engage their team in rethinking their strategy, opportunities, relationships,approach and structure? And of them, which ones are using online tools to such transformative effect?“
Preparing for the ’next normal‘
The world will not be the same after COVID-19. Things will never return to ’normal‘. As Catherine the Great put it, “A great wind is blowing and that gives you either imagination or a headache”.
For many of us this change brought with it an unexpected bonus – time and space to use our imaginations. It has also come at a time when technology allows us to imagine and create with others like never before, even at a distance.
This friend of mine, Steve Foxley, is the Executive Director of a UK Manufacturing Catapult. They have grasped the opportunity with both hands, galvanizing and re-energizing his team towards a much greater sense of purpose and opportunity. They are eager to emerge from this ready to compete; excited to test out their designs in the new world that is opening up to them.
I wonder how many people reading this have done the same. I wonder how many of their competitors have? And I wonder how that will shape the future winners and losers out of this pandemic?
Gradually we are emerging from lockdown, but there is still time for people to engage their teams and use the remaining space and time to reimagine the future. However, if your team has found that virtual meetings, whether held on Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Webex or something else, are just not conducive to working together on such complex and involved topics in this way, I would have to agree.
Used in isolation, they are not!
But there is no reason for teams to rely entirely on video calls, when there are so many more useful tools out there to complement this.
Using Conceptboard for remote Strategic Thinking
Steve and his team used video calls in conjunction with Conceptboard’s online whiteboard and business templates. This made it possible for them to explore and collaborate in real time on a virtual canvas. They focused on the organisation, its purposes, its partners and their context, while also including partner organizations in some of the sessions.
Instead of seeing remote collaboration as restrictive, Steve could see its potential to outshine physical meetings – infinite board space and permanent ‚rooms‘ to enable both individual and team working.
In Steve’s words:
„My team have loved using the Conceptboard approach. Many of them have told me that they’ve done more on the strategy in the last 6 weeks using these boards during lockdown, than they have in the last ten years of physical meetings. They feel more involved, able to contribute their ideas and help shape the next chapter of the AMRC. I’ve loved using the tool as well and it is now a living document that I can see us using as a team regularly to assess progress, adapt, pivot and re-align if other distractions arise.”
The fact is, there has never been a better time, or an easier way, to increase the engagement and participation of your team, their ideas, their insights and their energy in your meetings. If you don’t do it now, it may simply be too late!
I have been working as a consultant and facilitator for over thirty years. I have been developing virtual workshops and training people in virtual facilitation skills for over fifteen years, and in all that time I can honestly say that Conceptboard is the biggest asset to remote workshops and facilitation that I have encountered so far.
If you too wish to take this time to redesign your strategy with your senior team, I heartily recommend that you open your own Conceptboard account – you can try Conceptboard here now.
Where distributed work happens
If you would like to see the power of Conceptboard to engage people in strategic thinking on something less ambitious, I have created a set of instant templates covering all of the discussions you might engage in – simply go to toolchest.org and click the template of your choice – in literally ten seconds you can have your team participating interactively on the topic of your choice – it is that quick and easy.
The facts are: the world has changed, virtual meetings are here to stay, the way they happen will continue to improve, if you don’t take advantage of that, you (and your team) will fall behind! And … it only takes ten seconds to get started.