Thursday, February 12, 2009

Web Meetings/Meeting Collaboration

I've been meaning to rant for some time about how web meetings or web conference calls aren't really very productive, if you have too many of them. Even if archived and played back its still audio with perhaps a mouse following a PPT around the screen, nothing you can read or view at leisure. I want to know what people think of conference calls where you're "multitasking" on other activities and really giving your full attention to the call, right?... You are sitting there 100% concentrated on listening and absorbing the content of the call aren't you? hmm.....

Would the following scenario be a better alternative? You receive your conference call invitation as usual you click to accept and the appointment gets added to your calendar. Then you receive another email with a link to a meeting space that was created when the conference call was scheduled, now you can view material, PPTs etc... before you get on the call. You can also see the other participants invited, perhaps interact with them through IM or create discussions within this meeting space. How much time would this already shave off a conference call?

Don't get me satrted on how long it actually takes entering a conf call and making sure your phone is synched up with the web urrghhh thats another topic.

Our lives will become so much easier adopting more social working habits, its so much easier when you give someone a heads up, informally even of a meetings agenda they might actually attend then :) It means a certain amount of vulnerability though in opening up to your meeting participants before the call starts, you might get shot down before you begin! But how else will we start to get more collaborative and open? Its like learning a new language you know you'll have to speak to a native speaker one day and they will laugh at you (In China they laugh at you anyway :( ) It's changing your fundamental working habits instead of hording, you will become a giver. Tacit knowledge is so valuable yet somewhat difficult to part with, not entirely impossible but difficult to learn how to spread around for sure. Do we need rewiring to learn new sharing skills?

Who in the entperise other than the obvious candidate HR should take on the evangalist mantle? Forget about the techies its enough that they can create the platform and give us the technology to able to work this way, surely it shoulnd't be IT driven. Internal Communications? do these departments still exist in numbers? Marketing? I don't see the clear choice personally should a new group be setup within the organization? Social Media Group, Enterprise 2.0 department, Social Networking and Portals....

What's your take on it all? are you going through any of the above mentioned stages right now?

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