VIRTUAL COLLABORATION

We are in era of radical, rapid change. Teams, departments, and whole organizations are responding by working virtually.

Leaders are embracing cloud apps like Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Microsoft Teams at ever-higher rates. 

These cloud apps come up short, however, for collaborative creative thinking among leaders, action teams, or cross-functional groups.  

GEO offers a turnkey online service to bridge the gap in cloud apps: facilitated VIRTUAL COLLABORATION

An investment counsel firm used GEO Facilitated Virtual Collaboration
to engage all its members in strategic thinking, planning and execution.

The firm’s past strategic planning 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: GEO Facilitated Virtual Collaboration. The 28-member co-located group ― counselors and professional staff ― collaborated online. Each week a GEO Advisor facilitated a one-hour online session. Over 90-days, the group shaped a strategy to transform their business. To execute it, they continued to collaborate virtually for the next nine months.

All the online sessions were designed and facilitated remotely by a GEO Advisor following the process of Weekly Cycles illustrated 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 GEO Facilitated Virtual
Collaboration to engage stakeholders and 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 facilitated virtual collaboration sessions. 

Fifty stakeholders logged into the GEO Collaboration System™ for each session. The GEO Advisor facilitated a discussion of key strategic issues and then posed simply stated 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 strategic decisions.

“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 GEO Facilitated Virtual Collaboration to shape a new strategy and align all the organization’s leaders.

The process was large scale. It included 250 leaders across levels, functions, and locations. The leaders were organized into 25 virtual teams that met online each week for strategic thinking and planning. Each one-hour session was designed and co-facilitated by a GEO Advisor and an HR Director.

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.”

A Force Multiplier is a resource that dramatically amplifies your effectiveness.

GEO’s Virtual Collaboration service is a Force Multiplier. It delivers faster, better outcomes with less time and effort.

Leaders use this Force Multplier to:

  • Make more-informed decisions
  • Shape and execute strategic plans
  • Pivot and re-align when circumstances change
  • Tap Collective IQ to solve complex problems
  • Build trust by demonstrating transparency

The unique attributes of Virtual Collaboration process include:  

  • Balanced Participation – Everyone can ‘say their piece’ simultaneously
  • Focused Conversations – Virtual Advisor keeps discussions on point
  • Achieving Consensus – Viewpoints converge as decisions are deliberated
  • Decision Commitment – Group decisions tend to be strongly supported
  • Efficiency – Spending less time in meetings with better outcomes

There are SIX KEY SUCCESS FACTORS for Virtual Collaboration.

Success During A Downturn

During a severe industry-wide downturn, our organization’s Bookings and Purchases (our key sale measures) turned around. We met or exceeded all quotas.

— Frank Robertazzi, Vice President Agilent Technology Worldwide Sales

Outstanding ROI Results

GEO’s virtual strategic planning process delivered outstanding ROI results. Within a year, profits were up 58%, Return on assets was up 60%, Headcount was down 10%.

— Ed Jones, Chief Financial Officer Weyerhaeuser Industrial Business

$60 Million Growth in 6 Months

In 6 months from the start of the engagement, our comp sales moved from a negative to a positive growth of $60 million, while other divisions saw negative comp sales.

— Ted Nagengast, Project Leader McDonald’s Western Division

Transform your approach!

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