We have re-tooled our consulting/facilitation/coaching approach and are ready to help you improve your organization's work.
We can help with:
- Emerging Backlogs: The transition to virtual work has been difficult for some organizations, and backlogs are growing each day. We can use our extensive experience identifying causes and solutions to backlogs to bring caseloads back to manageable levels.
- Optimizing Processes: Slow processes, unforced errors/failure demand, client complaints - we tolerate these things when we are busy - when we can least afford to tolerate them. Take a time-out to map and improve your processes while you have capacity available to do so.
- Mapping your Processes: Many processes have gone years without being documented. Consider taking a time out now to create clear, agreed-upon processes to promote flow and engage your people.
- Standardizing Processes Across Geographic Regions / Offices: Virtual approaches and rare free time are a great opportunity to map processes, identify best practices and get different regions on the same page. And virtual tools are ideal to co-create a shared future, when we are in different parts of the country.
- Creating Visual Management and Ongoing Improvement Habits: The very fact that team members are in different places is a golden opportunity to make process performance visible to all, and to create regular, ongoing virtual huddles/problem-solving routines and habits. Plus it provides the immediate benefit of working more effectively, with better alignment and increased teamwork and trust.
As crazy as it may sound, for many organizations the virus has provided a chance to reflect and improve; the only things holding them back are:
- the mindset that a pandemic is a time of sheltering, not a time to make things better;
- a lack of knowledge of how to make things better; and,
- a lack of knowledge of how to use the tools and approaches to do so when team members are forced to work virtually, from different locations.
We can help with all three of these elements.
In many cases, this is actually a great time to increase wellness, by creating opportunities for leaders and team members to take a measure of control over their futures by fixing those problems that existed before the pandemic, or addressing new problems caused by the pandemic. Improving the work makes everyone feel more in charge, and helps reduce the negative impact of the uncertainty outside.
We have fine-tuned our consulting approach to benefit from the advantages of going virtual, and have addressed the challenges.
Benefits of Virtual Consulting:
- Not limited by geography - participants in different parts of the country can participate, bringing together groups who previously did not have opportunities to learn together and collaborate
- Participation techniques like virtual post-its that level the field between introverts and extroverts
- Flexibility - shorter modules and more frequent breaks – opportunities to work on other priorities in between
Challenges of Virtual Consulting and Countermeasures:
We have created a summary of our best practices in facilitating virtual workshops and meetings.
- Trust and Psychological Safety - people create better in a trusting and safe environment. Using our advanced knowledge and experience building trust and psychological safety, we have built exercises and checkpoints to create and maintain a fun, trusting, psychologically-safe improvement environment.
- Can be harder to follow - so we have made the learning more experiential, with frequent toggling between media (simulations, video, discussion, exercises, etc.). We also use proven IT firewall-friendly collaboration tools such as Mural and Miro - which do a great job of simulating a project room; participants can browse the room to see the different tools, can zoom in and out of maps, all with simple, easy-to-learn tools.
- Less Participative - using the features of the available technology, we have preserved the interactivity of our training - bringing our simulations online, including building in fun examples of real-life problems to keep the pace moving and engaging humour and the senses.
- Address human factors at the beginning - creating buy-in and maintaining it starts at the very beginning, with deliberate and thoughtful decisions and communication of:
- team composition - harnessing the power of "first followers" and influencers
- clear and compelling statement of "what's in it for me" by job group segment, using the concept of "natural attractors" when identifying the plan for any "found capacity"
- clear roles and behaviours for leaders to create momentum
- a plan for frequent check-ins to provide signals checks and avoid surprises
We have a much more detailed playbook, but these are some of the countermeasures that we have fine-tuned and utilize in our virtual consulting assignments.
Contact us if you need help. We’re ready to engage.