When big decisions are being made by remote teams, how can you engage everyone in a meaningful way? How can you drive a critical discussion of success outcomes without the benefit of in-person interaction?
Working with a transit agency in the Southeast, TransPro set out to find an answer to that question as the Board of Directors gathered virtually to identify what success looked like for the agency. The Challenge: How to facilitate a discussion that would engage the entire Board, gain insight from every participant, and ensure alignment around success definitions — all while working with a group that was half in-person and half remote.
TransPro approached the challenge with an eye towards collaboration. As a starting point, we established the ground rules for successful meetings:
- Follow a set agenda
- Provide adequate breaks
- Allow no active electronic devices in the room
- Accept all comments are valid comments
Over almost a decade of working 100% remotely, TransPro has seen the value of these ground rules in action. But on this occasion, we knew we’d need to employ even more creative techniques for keeping the Board focused and engaged.
We encouraged the Board to engage verbally and make full use of our platform’s chat feature to support the discussion. Then, while one of our team members facilitated the meeting, we assigned another to focus solely on the logistics: moderating the chat, capturing notes, and ensuring that all of the discussion’s critical insights were recorded.
Ultimately, facilitating the discussion virtually took additional commitment to manage the logistics of facilitating the conversation, moderating the chat feature, and capturing notes.
In the end, our combination of ground rules, technology, and collaborative facilitation produced an engaged Board that leaned into a productive discussion. The result: All participants left the meeting with a new clarity around the agency’s outcomes for the future.