The beginning of the year is a contemplative time for me. I know I’m not alone in this – but my birthday is in early January so it adds another level of reflection. I like looking back on my year and planning what I’d like to focus on for this year. Last year I had ten intentions for the year and I kinda crushed them. Not bragging, just saying.
Lucky for me, my team also loves to plan our work and crush our plans. Our leadership team was set to meet in person for three days to plan our year, set goals, and, of course, bond during the process. But this year we decided to skip the trip and do the whole thing on Webex. How would this go? Our team spans three time zones and sitting in a Webex meeting for THREE DAYS… in a ROW could be mind-numbing. Our team not only runs on Webex, but we are also responsible for driving Webex adoption for the whole world. If anyone should be able to have the absolute best Webexcellent virtual planning session using the Cisco Webex collaboration suite, it was us.
We blocked our calendars for the full workday – but we chose to shorten the virtual planning sessions to be convenient for all time zones. Rather than requiring our West coast team to come to work at 6 a.m. or our East coast team to stay working until 7 p.m., we started the sessions at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time each day.
Having a shorter window of time required us to create a laser-focused set of objectives for our sessions so the time we spent together was the most efficient. Because we knew we didn’t have a second to waste, we came to the meeting prepared with our ideas and input…. And snacks and drinks within arm’s reach.
The truncated meeting window allowed us to do any required work before the next day’s session. The West coasters had a few more hours of the workday left each day and the East coasters could pick up the work when they got to work three hours earlier the next day.
The flexibility of the Webex meetings meant people could work from home or go into the office if they chose. One day a group met in the office and shared a conference room equipped with a Webex Board (and sandwiches for lunch).
To break up the “sitting in one place all day staring at the same screen” vibe – each day we broke into smaller discussion groups to deep dive on a topic or strategy for 30-45 minutes. Then we’d come back to the larger session to share. Some groups used Teams Calling to spin up an instant video call, and others used their Personal Room.
Whether we were in a conference room with a Webex Board or at home with our DX, our video default was always on. Even for snack time. The video wasn’t just a nice to have – it made sure everyone was seen and heard – even if they weren’t speaking. Video made it easy to see the head nods and the sentiment throughout the sessions. It also just made it fun.
The week before the session we used a Webex Team Space to plan and share all the relevant strategy documents we’d need to be familiar with. All the conversations and files and links were all in one place. It was easy while we were in the meeting to find and share our documents. Throughout the week we added new documents, notes, @mentions to track when tasks were assigned to people, useful links, and color commentary. We’ve continued to use this Space after our session to continue the work we’ve started. I know exactly where all the data is, I can continue to ask my team for input on the projects I’m responsible for completing and get answers to my questions in real-time.
Skipping the trip meant we didn’t interrupt our home life routines. We maintained balance. We all kept our New Year’s resolutions. For me, that meant I didn’t have to book travel, get a dog sitter, and I didn’t miss a day of my workouts.
The session was a success.
In just a short time and with the help of Webex Meetings:
If one of your objectives for this year is to have meetings that are supercharged– we got you. Check out our “30-day video challenge” kit and attend our “Thirty day video challenge” online class. Bookmark our revamped Webex adoption page to keep an eye on everything we add to help you collaborate even better in the new decade.
Or click here to try Meetings for free
On line classes http://cs.co/onlineclasses
All adoption material http://cs.co/webexadoption
30-day challenge ebook: https://ebooks.cisco.com/story/30dayvideochallenge/