November 24, 2014 3:46 pm

Meetings Evolve the Purpose Does Not

Technology has an impact on just about everything today, including meetings. Yet while times have changed and we’ve morphed from in-person meetings as technology has entered the picture, thepurpose of meetings has remained largely the same – solving critical problems, finding answers to common questions, collaboration, and knowledge sharing. Technology’s role in meetings can definitely make them more visually stimluating, but can also make them more effective as well.

The changing face of meeting spaces

Traditionally, meeting spaces were designed to meet the demands of large groups and allow for an exchange of information, knowledge sharing, and decision making. Conference rooms and boardrooms offered sufficient infrastructure and met the collaborative needs of business people.

However, two elements of collaboration have fundamentally changed, both from the employee and from an organizational standpoint. First, employees are seeking higher levels of engagement and social connection and are often working remotely; secondly, organizations need operationalsuccess fueled by innovation. With the right collaboration strategies in place, all these needs can easily be met. In order for that to be successful, organizations must fully understand the demands of their business framework before they can employ collaborative solutions with success.

This means applying not just any technology but instead, the right technology. The right technology is a solution that responds to the ever-changing and often complex demands of an organization. The right technology will also be cost-effective and will have a positive impact on the bottom line.

How do we set up spaces with tech that serve the purpose of collaboration?

Creating meeting spaces driven by random, bright and shiny tech innovationsis like shooting in the dark, since they do not fully address the specific demands of your organization. This is exactly where many organizations go wrong. Since their tech spending is not well thought out and strategically executed, more often than not,their investment goes down the drain. The expensive gadget tech solutions gather dust,simply because they don’t fit into the organization’s framework.

If you want to avoid problems down the road, make sure your meeting spaces are designed before you make any purchases. Work with your tech team and your vendors to make sure you have the right solutions in place and purchase the equipment that is best suited for your needs. Additionally, make sure you cover little details like that people should be able toeasily connect their devices to power and Wi-Fi, and they should be able to use whiteboards, projectors or any other screens with ease. Equipment and applications such as flat screens for presentation, electronic room reservation system, basic collaboration tools, video conferencing, live streaming of chats, text sharing, and instant messaging etc, should also be things you consider as you develop the concepts and equipment list to outfit your meeting rooms.

In a nutshell, do your thinking first, don’t be swayed by cool gadgets or allow these decisions to be led by tech lovers. Develop a strategy based on an in-depth view of your business processes and the appropriate collaborative needs of your team before planning their meeting spaces and introducing tech innovations. Once you manage to shift the focus from gadgets to business solutions, better outcomes emerge naturally – this is how collaboration success is achieved.

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