Brief. Focused. Virtual.

Covid did not introduce us to working virtually. A written letter is virtual. A telephone call is virtual. So is email. We’ve been doing conference calls for years. Including video. Folks, communicating virtually is nothing new.

New is meeting as a group, discussing complex subject matter, for several even many hours, with colleagues in different time zones, often working out of their home. And this time and time again during a workweek. Over several years.

Can virtual workshops be effective? It’s a challenge. For one of the great values of an on-site workshop is being together. As colleagues. Focused on a few important topics. And interacting with each other intensely, creatively, personally.

We have the platforms. Google Meet. MS Teams. WebEx. Zoom. And the tools enabling breakouts, screen-sharing, whiteboards, and more. Technology companies allow us to mimick live, in-person workshops.

But just how effective are they?

I cannot judge. Nor do we need to. Using Three Steps we’ll meet only four times. See the Second and Third Conversations in Steps 2 and 3. Each time lasting no longer than max. an hour and a half. I’ll moderate each of the four discussions.

We’ll use your platform, i.e. MS Teams. You the participants decide which tools you wish to use, i.e. whiteboards. However, I – John Magee – am low tech. I like to keep it simple. The spoken word. Between colleagues. Highly focused. Minimal distractions.

The keys to a successful workshop – live or virtual – never change: address the right topics, with the right people participating, who are well-prepared, and a moderator keeping everyone on track, solving problems.