Hybrid Meetings: The Future of Collaboration

a group of people in a hybrid meeting focusing on the future of meetings

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hybrid meetings

When the world turned upside down in March 2020, we were all thanking our lucky stars for virtual meeting platforms like Zoom, MS Teams, and Google Meet. These platforms allowed many of us to keep working and communicating with our teams, even while we were confined to our homes. Now, we’re all exhausted and want to get back together.

What Virtual Meetings Made Possible

Group doing strategic visualization for meetings

Like any disruptive event, the Covid pandemic forced us to not only find new solutions fast, but to ask new questions about the status quo:

  • Which job functions really need to be done in person, and which can be accomplished just as easily (or almost as easily) in a virtual world? 
  • Do we actually need this office space? 
  • Are our teams more productive when they can work remotely? 
  • Is it worth the investment to fly our team members from all over the country for an all-hands meeting? 
  • Can we leverage technology to accomplish the same goals for less money?

Virtual meeting platforms have empowered us to RE-THINK our old paradigms and REIMAGINE how we get work done. We know there’s no going back to the way things were. But, we also know that things can’t stay as they are.

Why We Must Keep Evolving

Group strategic visualization meeting

This fully-virtual world is just not sustainable. Despite our love of wearing sweatpants all day, every day, we’re longing to be with people again. We want to innovate and problem-solve and collaborate in person again. We want to eat dinner with our colleagues after the meeting and process our experience together, organically. And when it comes to the big picture thinking that gets everyone on the same page and heading in the same direction, there’s just no substitute for being in the same room. 

The pandemic forced us to evolve our work habits, virtually overnight. As we begin to emerge from this global crisis, we have yet another opportunity to evolve, and our discomfort can lead to better solutions. 

Let’s not return to normal! Let’s ask a new question instead: How do we thoughtfully integrate the best of the “before times” with the best of these virtual-by-necessity times?

Hybrid Meetings: The New Model

A hybrid meeting is a new model for distributing work, managing organizational change, and fostering collaborative decision making. It takes the best of the in-person world and mashes it up with the best of the virtual world to create a whole new way for teams to engage with each other.

There is no playbook for hybrid meetings. The risk we face is believing that we can plan a hybrid meeting asking old questions of a new model.  Work and time have become blended, so why wouldn’t we ask more blended questions of this new way we will be working together?

New questions we are asking:

  • How might we begin the meeting in the virtual space and introduce models, new mindsets, and incubate ideas and strategies BEFORE we meet in person?
  • How might we connect the work we have done in online collaboration platforms like MIRO and MURAL and bring that work “into the room” so we can continue to evolve that work in real-time collaborative ways?
  • How might we reimagine the NEW ways of working to design NEW ways of meeting that are a hybrid of the best of both worlds?

Standing inside these questions, let’s design meetings and events that leverage innovative AND time-tested tools to create something brand new: collective adventures that are hyper-relational, collaborative, and essential to amplifying our work.

Meetings As Experiences Group Mapping

What Might Hybrid Meetings Look Like?

When you pick and choose the aspects of virtual and in-person meetings that work best for you and your team, there are myriad ways to create a hybrid meeting. It is a true sandbox of possibilities, and we’re excited to play in it!

Join us this week, as we try new things, explore possibilities, and lean into new questions, in real time, during a Visual Strategy Story meeting that was designed for HYBRID!

We’ll be sharing with you how we designed for hybrid, what we tried, and what we learned from the experience. Click here to follow our adventure!

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