We use our online Collaboration Center to virtually engage leaders to think together and align for action.
In the long history of humankind, those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed. ~ Charles Darwin
An investment counsel firm used the GEO Collaboration Center™ to engage all its members in weekly collaboration sessions to develop and execute a 3-year strategic plan.
The firm’s past strategic planning efforts had used the traditional approach ─ the executive team worked off-site for a couple of days with a facilitator. They returned to the office with a plan, but it usually ended up in a binder on the shelf.
So, the firm tried something new: the GEO Collaboration Center™. The 28-member co-located group ― counselors and entire professional staff ― collaborated online to develop and execute a 3-year strategic plan.
Each week the CEO facilitated a one-hour online session. Over 90-days, the group collectively shaped a strategy to transform their business. After that, they continued meeting weekly in the GEO Collaboration Center™ to sustain aligned execution actions. They also learn together to improve their performance via After Action Reviews.
The online sessions were designed by a GEO Advisor working remotely. The steps in Weekly Cycles illustrated in the graphic below.
“I like the short-burst weekly pace. Our agenda is laid out for us online, clearly organized. We can debate the issues and then make rapid, smart decisions using our Collective Intelligence.”
A national association of university deans used the GEO Collaboration Center™ to engage stakeholders virtually and gather a wide range of perspectives to inform its strategic planning.
Rather than send a survey to members across the country as they had done in the past, the board of directors decided to conduct three virtually facilitated collaboration sessions.
Fifty stakeholders logged into the GEO Collaboration Center™ for each of the three sessions. A remote GEO Advisor facilitated a discussion of key strategic issues and posed strategy-related questions. The stakeholders then simultaneously entered their answers via online feedback tools. It was fast, precise, and everyone’s thoughts were captured.
Following each session, the GEO Advisor synthesized all the responses and prepared a “Theme Analysis” for the stakeholders to review prior to the next collaboration session.
Over three weeks, divergent viewpoints converged. Following the third session, the GEO Advisor prepared a deliverable draft that the board used to make key decisions for its strategic plan.
“This is an exceptionally well-conceived approach to collaboration. It is both an extremely effective way to get broad input from a large group and make it through a tight agenda quickly. Very impressive!”
A Fortune 500 firm used the GEO Collaboration Center™ to shape a new strategy to merge five acquisitions into a and align all the organization’s leaders.
The leadership of a Fortune 500 company needed rapidly drive innovation and growth. But the complexity of the leadership task was daunting. They had over 70 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada and they had recently implemented a matrix structure with geographically dispersed leadership organized into 12 regional markets.
The urgent need for strategic leadership alignment action was clear to everyone. Whenever top leadership tried to assert more central control over local decisions, the leadership of the local units resisted giving up control, especially of their sales force.
“To achieve profitable growth, we had to break the leadership stalemate,” said one member of senior leadership. “Our problem was how to accomplish this rapidly with limited resources at minimal cost.”
Their solution was to use the high-velocity processes and online tools in the GEO Collaboration Center™ to bring the 12 regional leadership teams together virtually in weekly online sessions.
The collaboration process was large scale with 250 leaders across levels, functions, and locations. The leaders were organized into 25 virtual teams that met online each week for eight months. Each one-hour session, which included strategic thinking and action planning, was designed by a GEO Advisor and facilitated by the team leader.
The client identified two significant benefits of this approach. First, it simplified the meeting logistics and reduced costs because the leaders were not gathering physically in one location. Second, the collaboration tools allowed a broad spectrum of diverse thinking to be quickly captured, synthesized, and translated into a strategic plan.
“The fact that our whole group could think together in real-time, regardless of our location, allowed us to rapidly converge on a winning strategy that everyone understood and bought into.”