We rounded up a few of the best articles we read in July 2020 that we think summarize the flexibility, adaptability and learning mindsets that successful organizations are exhibiting. Facilitated by a framework of strong relationships among teams, there are some great ideas and suggestions in these articles that we hope will inspire and strengthen your team.

From Fully Automated Pizzerias to Hotel Pivoted Restaurant Rooms

We read an interesting list of 100 business trends for July 2020. The creativity, adaptability and innovation required for many of the trends is amazing to see. For example, one trend that captured my imagination was adapting hotel rooms to be individualized pop up restaurants which meets physical distancing requirements and had automated or various forms of delivery options. A creative solution that continues to stay agile and push our learning brains as new ideas are tested out in the world.

It inspires us at Summit to keep adapting and trying new ideas and ways to support teams to build strong relationships, trust, communication, and great teamwork in new and creative ways.
Remote conferences is number 100 on the list which recognizes the importance of social relationships, networking, workshops, and learning. As we continue to shift how we are able to safely operate, virtual learning opportunities continue to experiment with engaging ways to fulfill the importance of why we did large conferences in the first place. Organization can’t just wait until we’re able to be in person in large groups again.

Learn more about our virtual training, team building, and keynote options.

Remote team building makes number 70 on the top 100 business trends list. The ways we collaborate and build relationships and togetherness has changed in 2020. I know many businesses we talk to are concerned about the screen fatigue they are already experiencing, just like when we facilitated in person team building, some teams were worried about being in the same conference space as their meetings were held. In person, we generally can change the energy in a room within the first few minutes…and the same applies virtually. Yes, virtual team building is on the same screen you’ve just been working on, but it is a totally different sort of energy. We’d love to talk to you about our virtual team building options!

How do we ensure a learning mindset in the teams we lead? What is the culture that cultivates these kinds of innovations and adaptability? These questions are important and Summit’s Juggling Act Virtual team building program is a fun and tactile way to practice having a learning mindset as well as learning to juggle and coach your peers and fellow learners.

The Upside of Virtual Board Meetings

As we’re four months into an altered reality of gathering together, this Harvard Business Review article focuses on the upside of virtual board and company meetings. Reduced travel and costs, increased attendance, shorter agendas, more inclusive and bolder conversations are just some of the benefits seen in this article.

While the article concedes that perhaps the virtual board meeting might not be a complete replacement for physical presence, well used virtual board meetings can increase a boards effectiveness. Eight emerging best practices for virtual board meetings are outlined in the article with a pivot predicted to move towards more virtual meetings even after restrictions have eased due to the benefits gained. A few important themes we see repeated throughout the eight emerging best practices list;

Planning matters

For managing time online, there are many ways to share chats and files to prep the conversation to be focused. Building topics in short increments with breaks, and possibly spread out shorter sessions over days or weeks. This also allows for reflection and smaller conversations between meetings.

Energy and engagement levels matters

To break up any chance for only a few people to dominate the conversation, and create higher levels of engagement, creativity in how we use our virtual meetings can create an environment for better engagement levels. Using breakout rooms, ‘candor breaks’, bringing in ‘guest stars’ are ways to keep virtual meetings interesting and engaging.

Building trust and relationships matters

Replacing the getting to know you part that usually happens at team meals or interactions outside of the board room with team building exercises that help board or team members get to know each other. Relationships and trust are important to working together effectively. Meeting virtually just means we need to get creative and deliberate about creating environments that will allow for getting to know each other, especially if there are new team members.

5 ways businesses can cross the chasm to flexible work

A lesson on flexibility for 2020; ‘work is not a place’. As the desire for flexible work options has been a growing trend in the last number of years, 2020 has been a year of huge learning in what working from home or a hybrid of work from home and office could look like for organizations.
Training employees to maintain flexibility and openness to change starts with the leadership. A few ways in which the articles points to how leaders can model and also prepare their employees to be ready for flexible work can be found under the following 2 main themes.

Culture readiness

Build a culture of ‘enablement’ by setting up smaller groups of collaboration with communication tools. ‘Culture is what happens when managers leave the room’. How independent, flexible, and self-driven is your company culture? What is the culture and work environment that will retain your best people? A customized virtual High Performance Teamwork program(s) can help your set the stage to be intentional about the culture your team sets or re-sets.

Technology, processes, communication, and training readiness

Are there places to socialize, connect and chatter digitally? We all crave social bonds, but social interaction also can be birthplaces of new ideas. What replaces the water cooler talk, pop in with a thought to a co-worker’s desk and lunch time chatter? Perhaps a professionally facilitated virtual team building session is one way that your team can socialize and connect and just have some fun together! Play it Forward and Here’s to YOU! are two of our virtual team building options that are light hearted and fun and will give your teams a break.

We hope you are inspired to get creative and intentional about the work environment you are continuously creating. We’d love to hear your thoughts and questions about what’s working for you and where you need to grow. Contact us to learn more about ways in which we can support your teams communication, culture, connection or more!