As humans we naturally function better when we are face-to-face and can draw on the full range of our sensory capacities. When we meet with others in virtual settings, we can’t easily access the visual information and body-language cues that inform group communication.
Still, working virtually is with us to stay. So here are some guidelines for facilitating your next meeting with people who are in different locations. These best practices will help you lay the groundwork for a successful and enjoyable experience for your team or work group.
The following article is excerpted from “Collaborative Bandwidth: Creating Better Virtual Meetings” by Rachel Smith, part of the Organization Development Journal’s Winter 2014 special issue on “OD in the Digital Age.”
Remote participants often find that virtual meetings are not an enjoyable or effective way to accomplish many of their intended objectives. There is some quality of a face-to-face meeting that is lost during a virtual meeting—it becomes more difficult to do collaborative and creative work. People are less efficient, productive, and creative, and retention is adversely affected.
We propose that this missing quality is collaborative bandwidth, which relates to the number and capacity of available communication channels.
The Grove is experiencing one of our busiest years in a decade, and we are serving more international clients than ever. This, alongside the recent EuViz conference in Berlin and our growing number of global partners, is prompting increased focus on how we can best support this worldwide evolution of visual practice and interest in Grove methods.
How do you embed Team Performance within a global company? W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. is showing the way. Human Resources (HR) at Gore is “going big” with The Grove’s Team Performance offerings to support its 10,000 associates worldwide.
Setting the Context
The culture at Gore prioritizes innovation and “the power of small teams.” Although Gore is best known for its Gore-Tex® waterproof outdoor gear, its wide-ranging products are in use “from the surface of Mars, to the permafrost of the arctic, to inside the human heart.” (1)
The Grove’s Rachel Smith and Kaiser Permanente recently created a graphic recording movie about ALL-PHASE, Kaiser’s simple yet effective protocol to prevent heart attacks and strokes in diabetics age 55+. This video is now being used for patient education at 85 participating community clinics nationwide.