While the establishment of personal relationships is an important byproduct of in-room collaboration, online engagement can achieve some things even better than in-room dynamics allow.
Through various online visualisation and communication tools participants can ask questions directly, leave a comment for the moderator, sketch out a solution on their own, or come back to the content when they are feeling slightly more “switched on” – effectively engaging all personality types in a collaborative manner.
In fact, many people, especially younger generations, feel more comfortable sharing their opinions and feedback in an “online” environment and it helps introverted participants to successfully navigate complex meeting power-dynamics.
You have probably been to a meeting or workshop where some participants were clearly not engaged. These same risks exist when engaging online.
Teams will need to clearly state the imperative of meeting, define clear and robust collaboration goals, and set out upfront what the team will take away from the session.
To help with engagement we continually reflect, iterate and refine our online workshop approach. In an in-person environment, the facilitation support person works to capture the in-room responses and prepare the physical materials. In an online environment, the facilitation support role transitions to systems delivery and maintenance.
Just as in-room design collaboration can limit accessibility for some people, so too can online sessions. To combat this, we use two key methods to ensure all participants are on an equal footing, regardless of their pre-existing IT skills, capabilities, and access.
1 | We provide a full briefing pack in advance of the collaboration. This pack provides information related to the session’s content, key participants, as well as an overview of the systems to be utilised.
2 | However, we understand that people can be time poor and may not have the time or attention to read a briefing pack in full. As such, we dedicate a portion of our starting time to getting people online, set up, and started – this time is otherwise used for participant travel, tea and coffee or warm-up activities.
We also start our sessions with a collaboration activity unrelated to the topic of the day to engage the group, get them having fun, and provide them an opportunity to test the tools in a less “serious” environment before we dive in.
We can ensure engagement levels and outcomes meet or exceed the results of in-person collaboration regardless of scale.
Scaling of online collaboration activities fails when organisations under-plan and over-rely on videoconferencing as the sole tool for engagement. A collaboration strategy which draws from a suite of tools and methods is much more likely to meet your requirements.
We develop a multi-tool approach for all collaborations, accessing and deploying platforms designed to best suit your needs.
We plan to accommodate analogue and the digitally challenged.
Our Systems Support person will discuss and prepare for technical limitations of your participants. They will work to co-design a solution that will maintain engagement regardless of connection method.
We provide hard-copy and/or pdf response templates in advance so participants can work in an offline environment and connect with our team through analogue means (ie phone).
Our lead facilitators are carers themselves and know how even in the best of times it is challenging to balance a full working day with care responsibilities.
For our online collaborations we truncate session time, provide more detailed pre-meeting materials, and increase session breaks to get you and your team back to important commitments and “real” life.
We aim to have all of our collaborations readily available anytime and anywhere for your participants.
However, this shift to new ways of working extends beyond new tools and methods. It maximises participant’s time with loved ones enabling you to have more time in your day for the rest of your work.
Security of information is at the forefront of what we do at Asymmetric Innovation, regardless of collaboration environment.
The tools we utilise are able to be easily adapted to your security and privacy needs and we are more than willing to use your in-house systems if required.
If you have additional questions about security of information or using one of your in-house systems, please reach out to us directly.