Not at the moment, it isn’t. We’ve been snowed under by organisations wanting to transition workshops, events, and collaboration creation to online environments. At the moment this is through necessity and a laudable ‘show must go on’ attitude. But what happens next?
Human beings are social beings. We like having ideas together and building things together. We rely on body language, facial micro-expressions, touch, smell, and hearing to communicate effectively and work in teams. This all helps with what we like to call business empathy. Only when we connect can we understand the other’s point of view and innovation together. Online collaboration facilitators and platforms need to recognise and facilitate these human needs and traits. How do we judge body language from a talking head? What kind of interruption is rude? Are your kids playing in the background and is that a good or bad thing? How do we share sketches or have side conversations?
Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will remember. Involve me and I will understand. Step back and I will act.” Chinese Proverb
For decades the rise of home working has been predicted by forecasters, demographers, and futurologists. And yet. There remains a deep-seated suspicion of home-working and much capital invested in smart office blocks. As the Chinese proverb implies, experience is a great teacher. We believe that innovation is now at an inflection point. It is transitioning from office to home, offline to online, closed to open and heroic to collaborative. We’re looking forward to learning new lessons and building more business empathy in the online world.