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The New Virtual Reality for Business, Week 2: Tech Tricks Prevailed

Raise your hand if your email box is on overload. Wait.  I forgot.  This is a blog post, not a meeting.  Or a webinar.  Sorry.  I am still adjusting to this virtual business world!

Last week, I wrote of some hacks that saw our team through that First Week of Quarantine.  We continue to build on those.  Here are some reflections on Week Two.

We Tweaked Our Productivity Tools

Our inboxes were certainly on overload—with internal messages to each other.  We found a solution that helped us:  Microsoft Teams.  We are still adjusting but are pleased with how “Teams” enhanced productivity.  We can instant message each other through the chat feature, “park” documents there for review, and call each other (!) through this handy app.  We are still learning its capabilities.  Have you used this tool yet?  In the past, and for specific projects, we have also used RingCentral and Slack. Many organizations we partner with have found those productivity tools helpful, as well.  It is a time saver having messages aggregated in one spot.

A few weeks prior to the crisis, the Centennial team switched to Microsoft 365.  What is great about 365 is that it is on each of your devices – your desktop, your tablet, and your phone.  The first time I accessed my desktop from my phone yielded an astonished “No way!” from me, further reinforcing that it’s the little things that often become the big things, especially when it comes to achieving new efficiencies.

Another handy tool is SharpSpring.  Until now, we used SharpSpring as a repository of contacts, for marketing efforts, and for tracking information about our website and online activity.  Now, SharpSpring has added features, including the ability to video conference.  This discovery was so exciting to our team—because our Zoom lines are booked solid.   Several of our departments used this new SharpSpring feature to host internal meetings this past week.  We are finding seeing each other – even on a screen – adds to a meeting’s effectiveness.

We are Using Virtual Storage More

In an effort to keep our team organized, we are using the virtual storage tool Dropbox more.  It is a great spot to stash documents that we collaborated on this past week.  Similarly, our Google Doc usage is on the rise—especially with our financial team.  Google Docs has simplified their communication surrounding the ramped up number-crunching taking place, enhancing their teamwork even more.  While we haven’t used the Google Survey feature here at Centennial, I have used it in one of my volunteer roles.   That could be a great tool for you to take a quick team pulse regarding the issues at hand.

We Accomplished Our First “Parking Lot” Project!

The Centennial team is often asked to speak at various conferences on almost all topics pertaining to talent.  We often lament, “…if only a camera recorded the presentation!  We could help so many more organizations!”  Enter Covid-19…and, as of this writing, we have launched three webinars around the topic “Courageous Leadership.”   We used Kajabi and Speakpipe to enhance the webinar experience for our guests.  Were you able to join us on one of the webinars?  If so, we would appreciate your feedback.

Last, We Picked Up the Phone

The Centennial team started calling our clients this week, simply to check in and ask where we could help.  Our firm is connected across industries, countries, government, and community. We wanted to let our customers know that if there is a connection we could make, that would help their organization during this uncertain time, to please let us know.  We make the same offer to you.  Together, we will achieve more.

I believe I am going to add to this post soon.  Mike Sipple Jr. has encouraged me to record a training video on Loom.  Stay tuned! I am going to learn that app’s capabilities this weekend.

What worked for your team this week?  Please share, for the benefit of all.  Best wishes to you for a restful weekend!