Enhanced Engagement Techniques

Getting oil out of the ground is much tougher than most people think. Appreciating that some of these misguided perceptions may have been shaped by watching Jed Clampett of The Beverly Hillbillies strike oil when his errant bullet hit the ground, the truth is that the process is not that simple. Historically, after the “easy” oil was pumped out, most fields were left with significant resources still in the ground. Producers regularly walked away from these fields to pump “easy” oil in other fields. However, after the low-hanging fruit became tougher to find, companies invested in enhanced oil recovery technologies, and producers returned to the “depleted” fields and extracted another 20% to 60% of the available oil. Imagine how much more efficient they could have been had they used the technology when the initial infrastructure was in place! Continue reading “Enhanced Engagement Techniques”

A Whole New Ballgame

In a pivotal scene from the 2011 movie Moneyball, actor Brad Pitt, playing the role of Billy Beane, general manager of the failing Oakland Athletics baseball team, asks a room full of scouts grappling with the loss of key players and a limited budget, “What’s the problem that we are trying to solve?”:

Blind Trust: Improving Communications in Virtual Meetings

We all know why we use virtual mediums: tele- or video conferences can be a preferable alternative to face-to-face meetings that require people to bridge geographies and time zones. Who hasn’t experienced an austerity program in which the first thing to be cut is travel?  But there are trade-offs, and one of the most notable trade-offs is the increase in facilitation skill level required to make such a meeting effective. Facilitating in a virtual medium is quite different from that of a face-to-face medium. It is an entirely different system with different social dynamics.  Failure to recognize and deal with these differences results in a waste of the meeting time (or an opportunity to multi-task!).

So what needs to be done differently?  To answer that question, let’s begin by examining the variables that are different between the face-to-face medium and the virtual medium.

Continue reading “Blind Trust: Improving Communications in Virtual Meetings”