It feels like we’ve already said everything about online meetings. What else can we possibly learn from the last 18 months regarding zoom meetings?
I can think of two more ideas. They may even help you build a new strategic narrative.
New narratives emerge from moments of struggle.
The narrative about online meetings is radically different compared to what it used to be 18 months ago. For most of us, online meetings used to be nice-to-have or optional. Now, they’re the norm. The technology to run them is a lot better, and so are our habits about running them. This new narrative emerged because we had to solve a massive crisis. The common perspective about online collaboration changed because of an undeniable, irreversible, and universal change. When there is no other choice, we figure out how to reinvent the way we go about something.
Similarly, new strategic narratives are often born from moments of struggle. They find their origin in moments triggered by unusual circumstances, a realization, or even pain.
New narratives are socially constructed.
When the COVID crisis hit us, we all shared the same problem: there was far less in-person work possible all of a sudden. We had to rethink our norms, learn new tools, trust our colleagues in different ways, and change our behaviors. In the beginning, there was a lot of guessing and trial-and-error. Facing this, our new collective way to take action emerged from our ability to figure things out together. We exchanged tips, taught each other tricks that we were then proud to pass on to the next human beings. The construction of the new narrative took place through consensus, a crucial process for cooperation. We co-opted new ways of working.
Similarly, a new strategic narrative is not a product of the communication team. It’s a collaborative exercise meant to help a community of individuals adopt new rules. That’s why it’s so important for organizational change and the diffusion of innovation.
Yesterday, I facilitated a remote workshop with a group of business leaders in the US and Europe.
The group seemed very happy with their progress. I was happy with our interaction too, and most of all, very grateful for the chance we had to work together without having to travel. No travel, less stress, way more efficiency, and more profitability. A big opportunity for all of us.
Every day, I thank the people who built the technology that let us interact in real-time from anywhere, anytime. Zoom, Teams, Webex, and other similar open-source products are just magical.
Online meetings may not all be perfect, but they teach us important lessons about reinventing our organizations and innovating.