I closed ‘Part 1’ of my reflections blog on knowing how our clients come to us for our service when they need it. They know how we work and what we stand for, and we hope they’ll come to us because we feel most relevant to them, because we care the most or because we have the finger on the pulse in terms of understanding their business, their challenges, their needs. If it matters to them, it matters to us.
Not being physically ‘there in the room’ with clients has been challenging and frustrating, but we already had our virtual skills firmly in place, developed through many years of running global meetings, team development and coaching for clients in different physical locations.
We’ve needed to make the most of digital tools and virtual social platforms as a Leading Edge community, too. Our business is all about being together. We have natural touchpoints as we work through discovery and design of our client programmes, and then we’re usually in the room together as we deliver. We bump into each other between breakout sessions and catch up at the end of the day to digest the day’s activities or often have dinner as a group if we’re away from home.
Everyone who’s part of Team Green at Leading Edge has needed to work that bit harder to keep connected. We’ve supported each other through virtual chats over coffee, Thursday Team Huddles and by spending hours talking through a screen to truly understand clients’ needs and expectations. New Team Coaches have joined us this year and made amazing efforts to become part of our community and quickly be that aligned team for our clients, even though they’re working alongside Team Coaches they’ve never met in person before.
Balancing virtual and face to face
I want to thank everyone for working so hard to keep our Team Green essence strong because it’s not easy or comfortable or enjoyable for everyone to be so reliant on Zooms, Facebook Workplace posts and video updates to feel involved.
This year has been a game-changer for many organisations as they’ve quickly got their heads around teams working and delivering without physically being ‘present’. But as Michaela mentioned to me, in those early months for some there was a feeling of ‘infobesity’. This glut of opportunity for self-directed learning, video conferencing, insightful webinars, staying visually connected all day (and into the evening) was all a bit overwhelming. What started out as something positive quickly became a ‘should’ for some, with an expectation to be doing some type of virtual self-development.
A pendulum shift is happening. Many can’t wait to get back to some level of face-to-face interaction. This is true even for some of our more introverted clients. They want to work on projects around a table, huddle around a real whiteboard and stick post-its on actual flipcharts! This explosion in virtual opportunity has been good overall and people have certainly become more proficient, with the fear of conducting business through a screen dissipating for many.
One of Michaela’s highlights this year has been our Performance Hub events – all hosted virtually, a format that’s enabled this community to continue to share great conversations and insight. We see a balance ahead of virtual and live, in-person events for 2021, but without doubt we’re excited at the prospect of spending quality time in this group’s company again, sometime next year… Watch this space!
Things are coming good again
Reflecting on my friend’s words – “The real win is in how you come out on the other side of the problem” – I think about how we’ve fared at Leading Edge, as a business, as a team of people, as people who support clients. I’m proud that we’ve all looked out for each other in many ways.
For our clients, it’s fantastic to see that the timing now seems to be coming right and we’re thrilled to be getting back in the game with them.
Heartfelt thanks to everyone who’s looked out for us this year. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year… and we can’t wait to get back to doing great work with you in 2021!