Posts

30.11.2020

On our Company Journey, which will be shaped by COVID for a considerable time to come, adaptation has become a key factor. Not just a key to survive, but a key to succeed. And although this refers to anything and everything, we are focusing on virtual – virtual meetings and remote working.
A technology boost is obvious, and according to a McKinsey research, it has brought us almost 5 years ahead. Virtual technology – fast forward.

Into the virtual world with MS Teams

TCJG has a few years of experience with virtual formats. With the first lock-down, we immediately switched to digital formats. And tested a lot of tools in the process.
Microsoft Teams have quickly gained a central place, as they are well represented in the world of our customers. We design interactive virtual workshops with this tool with over 70 participants in the plenum. Within a few minutes the participants change into small groups to work on individual tasks and to exchange ideas. Here, both ideas and files are exchanged. It’s like going from one meeting to another and then seeing your colleagues again in a large conference room. Only digital. The power of break-out rooms. Virtual technology – fast forward.

Arrive in virtual format – before the actual session

In order to ensure that the virtual workshop runs smoothly for each participant, we encourage so-called “technical-check calls” before the actual virtual workshop. We have learned how valuable it is that all participants feel familiar and comfortable with their (virtual) environment, both in the main room and in the breakout rooms. And also with all the collaboration tools we want to use in our workshop, such as a whiteboard or survey tools. In short, the options and possibilities of Microsoft Teams are presented by the facilitator and immediately tested by the participants. In case of a problem, this can then be solved before the workshop starts.

And then in the actual session – there’s some action going on

By adapting the technical aspect in the Microsoft teams, we ensure that the workshop itself runs smoothly. We can now focus on participants and content and offer a real virtual experience.

Apart from seeing each other on a screen, we are able to quickly exchange links, data, ideas, questions or a smile simply by using the Microsoft Teams Chat option during the workshop.

Various plug-ins allow us to tailor our meeting or workshop to our exact needs. By adding a Wiki tab or a OneNote tab, you can quickly take notes, create documents, share thoughts with your colleagues and then present your ideas graphically by adding whiteboard tabs such as InVision or Conceptboard. In our workshops, the Conceptboard has proven to be a great collaboration tool – user-friendly and with great presentation possibilities. Together with the use of the Mentimeter, we encourage participants to get involved and be active in a workshop.

Not as observers, but as participants.

And then, after a few exercises and the exchange of ideas, it is time for a break. And what would that break be without a little music or a nice video on the screen, just until we meet again and continue with the workshop. Virtual technology – fast forward.

Our tip: If you are a presenter, there are some great new options such as Spotlight Option – choosing a video (including your own) as the main video that all participants will see. Pretty cool.
Virtual technology – fast forward.

It goes even further – there is always something new  happening.

There are also some quite interesting announcements about current Microsoft Teams developments, such as Meeting recap option – which allows recording the meeting, transcribing, chatting and sharing files in a meeting chat for all participants of the meeting.

The new Together Mode and Custom Layouts option should take this virtual experience to a much higher level. By creating new visuals, we should feel like we are actually in a workshop, seminar or café. And with Custom Layouts we will be able to see a video feed and the presenter at the same time. In this way, participants can follow the material and see the facial expressions of the presenter as well.

The existing Together Mode is available for a minimum of 4 people in one session. As soon as 10 or more participants are present, a large gallery option can be selected.

Virtual technology – fast forward.

We have to agree that our routine, our daily life, has changed. With each day we discover more and more possibilities. New, incredible developments in the virtual world are happening fast forward. The future is happening now. And the question is – is reality changing into virtual or virtual into reality?

You create the future!
This is something we’re good at.

06.09.2020

 

For some time now, the minds have been divided when we look into the future. Who or what will make the race? Machine or human? Or to put it better: if the machine, if digitalization takes its place – where will the human be? What remains of the human being? Where is his sweet spot?
Well, if human, then humane.

Digital determines the frame

The inspiration for this somewhat different case came from a recent experience. It was about a virtual pitch. A new external partner in the area of leadership development was to be acquired. In COVID 19 times such sessions are done remotely. And that has certainly its advantages. Especially in the scalability. More stakeholders can get an impression in less time. The decision is based on a broader data basis. A clear point win for digitization.

In the pitch, eight representatives from the client side were in the conference call. There were two of us: more participants seemed inappropriate for the short time frame. Everyone should have their own room – especially the potential customer.
A small window on the PC shared by ten people and a slide.

Remote and human

Meanwhile it is familiar to us, the calls with the 2-150 participants in their little windows. And yet these encounters are foreign to us as a result of our socialization. Especially in this new pitch application.
How should one behave there? When do you say what? What exactly do you say? What do you do when you don’t say anything?
First, you have to find your place in the machine. Until then, it is probably best to remain “neutral”.
With the conclusion: 10 static images meet. At the presenter a slide faces a human being. And 9 watch. Few people, a lot remote.

Communication in virtual space

One would not describe this as human. Something is missing. When communicating in virtual space, the atmosphere in the room is already missing due to the remote situation. If the communication channel “body language” is closed now, we are already quite close to machine language. And somehow it doesn’t really jump over. Nothing is created, except data transmission. In the case of a dialog, there may be mutual data transmission.

And the human being…

None of this really does justice to him. Deep down, he is insecure. He is missing something. The “nuances”, the reading of facial expressions and gestures and the interaction directed towards them. The magic that can arise from interaction and the appreciation that is felt when a reaction to self-expression takes place.
That would be human. According to the human being. If human, then humane. A member of the said pitch has done just that. Sometimes smiled, then pointed his thumb up or shook his head once. How wonderful. A feedback.

If human, then humane

The named pitch showed what characterizes our time. Indeed, this kind of interpersonal encounter cannot only be described in virtual space. There are several cases, also in direct contact, where we humans are next to each other instead of with each other. Where there is simply no reaction to emotional statements. Where neither body language nor the word is apparent.
That is digital, factual and neutral.

If it is to be alive, moving and emotional and thus human, which does justice to the human being, then it would be advisable to check and align your own mindset.

In which attitude do you enter into (virtual) contact with the other person? What is good for the other person/system? What promotes the development of the highest potential in the situation? What can one contribute oneself to make a spatially and/or objectively distanced process “human”? How can one’s own liveliness be expressed?

From the passive attendee to the active co-creator. This does justice to the human being. If human, then humane.

You shape the future.
With us it works well.
From person to person.

 

08.09.2020