We all know that there’s magic in people, when they are together. For everything we’ve achieved in my team since March, we know there are things we can’t yet replicate virtually.
For example, handshakes create chemical reactions. The physical touch releases a pheromone that creates a connection. When was the last time you gave someone a handshake?
Downtime in workshops is valuable too. The minutes during transitions from one exercise to another, the chats in the more informal gatherings at the end of the day. Conversations at these times will deepen understanding, align ideas and help people own emerging concepts. It’s often where the unspoken personal contracts and commitments are built that go on to underpin the success of the transformation.
Face-to-face conversations can unblock relationships, too. Misunderstandings and disagreements that have built up over years – between individuals or between teams – will often melt away over a day of sharing understanding, small conversations or quick 1-to-1s on the margins of workshops.
But how much of that is really only possible face-to-face?
We’ve long talked about the challenge of ‘making hybrid magic’. We saw it as the future. This year has endorsed that, and it has turbo-charged our hybrid plans.
We’re harnessing digital collaboration platforms, COVID-safe physical environments, analogue and digital work surfaces and we’re bringing them to life in a seamless experience. We’re using high-end facilitation and production skills, courtesy of tech experts like Nick Landesberg and his fellow Digital Ninjas, whose work you can read about here.
We’re pushing the possibilities of hybrid collaboration, so we can hold on to all the breakthroughs we’ve made collaborating remotely and we are working to make the experience as good as being in the room.