In my previous post, I tried to drive home the notion that if you didn’t collaborate in your business in 2012, then you didn’t see growth. And 2013 isn’t going to be any better if you don’t change something.
I also promised a list of tools to help you make real world productive changes that are also HUGE time savers…
So without further ado…
1.USE a Shared Calendar:
Having an item posted on a calendar makes it REAL for all involved. It also eliminates the need to send out notices, reminders, make calls, etc.
Google calendar, Microsoft Outlook, and others can create a separate or existing calendar for shared use. You can also configure them to send a notice and reminders to all invitees.
It’s a one time task of entering meetings/events with all accessory tasks automated – notes, additional information, agenda, etc. can be included in details and everyone has all the information instantly accessible in one location without having to print or search the inbox. Even telecommuters, out-of-state hires, … anyone can have access without a separate function to be performed.
2. Save Everyone’s Time via Teleconferencing:
You don’t have to have an on-site meeting every time to be productive (although I would suggest an occasional face to face helps with bonding). Giving your people the freedom to call in to the meeting from the comfort of their home or office is a huge win-win. And this may sound crazy but, record, but do not share the option for your attendees to listen later. If people know they can listen to a recorded version, they will have an excuse not to attend and therefore won’t be participating or providing valuable input. Furthermore, they may never get the time to listen to it later or they will get time sensitive material too late. Have well-planned mandatory monthly meetings with an agenda that include anyone who “touches” a customer.
Options: These are just a few that have both free and priced options:
3. VIDEO onsite meetings:
Yes, make a video of your meetings. Give a friend or family member a perk to do the job – or hire a college intern or fix a mount or tripod. If attendees desire, you can conveniently post the video to a DropBox or SugarSync shared account for all who attend these meetings (too large a file to email). All can use it to self-critique performance, review feedback, and monitor success.
Keep your meetings short – 30-45 minutes max – and stick to that time frame for every meeting. You’ll have better attendance and better attention. (Videos will help you see why meetings run amuck!)
For file sharing – yes, Virginia, this is the cloud…:
Countless new inexpensive palm-size video devices (that can be placed on a tripod).
OBVIOUSLY, there are many other options out there and many more to come. But those above and many like them have the benefit of being accessible with most any device you (and anyone else) may already own – and often free!
Now go hit some of these links and make 2013 better!