21 Mar 2020

Successful meetings in times of home office? Five rules to stick to.

The sudden shift into digital space brings challenges – and leads to steep learning curves. For example, when groups work together in workshops or meetings. The exciting thing about this is that there are already established protocols that must now be thought through and applied even more clearly and consistently.

1. Program: Purified, Clear, Targets. Fast moving project methods set the standard. Smaller scale reduces complexity and the risk of overwork and frustration. Few, short program units with clearly defined content and goals are central. Online this is indispensable – with live sessions it may take a little longer.

2. Leadership: lead, feel, keep at it
Workshops clearly gain momentum when led by one person. A second person can assist, observe, take notes and take photographs. The dedicated host leads and feels the dynamics and reacts when energy drops. The host starts the exchange, closes it, moderates and connects the program parts. All participants know at all times where they are in the programme and why.

3. Start – Flight – Landing
The sequence is comparable to a flight: Flight preparation, takeoff and landing are crucial. In between, you are on the move together. As a flight captain or flight attendant I look after the “passengers” and take care of their well-being. In online lecturing or workshops they are a little further away – here, good preparation and clean manoeuvring are even more important.

4. Program,Tasks, Language: Keep it Simple
This concerns all levels of the program, from the individual tasks to the spoken language and the presentation slides. Whenever you think the program is already tight, your speech direct and the slides clear – another iteration will bring further improvement. To say its easy will not work.

5. Dynamic until the End
Accompanying groups require  constant energy until the end. The landing (see also point 3) essentially determines the memories of the exchange. An open round of questions is therefore unworkable  . With a short summary, a final word with a motivating note, the participants leave feeling positive.

In the past few days we have already held several online workshops, lecturer days and meetings with many people and have had positive experiences with these five rules. We continue to offer workshops and see this as a huge opportunity to bring life, productivity, motivation and progress to the home office days.

Access to the ECCO Global Communications Network is simple. Contact information for a specific geography is available on the agency overview pages accessed here or contact the ECCO Global Communications office in London at +44 7899941744 or via email