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20 Aug 2020

NBlog Aug 20 - creative teamwork in lockdown

Inspired by a heads-up from a colleague on LinkeDin, I bumped into MURAL today.

MURAL is a 'digital workspace for visual collaboration' by virtual teams.   

The animated demonstration on their home page caught my beady eye. Here's a static snapshot as a small group of people are busy placing/moving blobs on a graphic, presumably while discussing what they are doing on a parallel channel (e.g. Zoom):

Replacing the static monochrome graph with one of our colourful red-amber-green Probability Impact Graphics, a Risk-Control Spectrum, Universal Awareness Device, mind map, word cloud, process flowchart, any form of metric, clustered Post-It Notes, architecture diagrams, conceptual designs, strategy maps ... or ... whatever ... 

MURAL looks like a creative, fun and productive way for groups or teams working from home to collaborate virtually as if they were physically present in one of those soulless corporate meeting rooms lined with whiteboards and dire warnings about not writing on the projector screen.

If it makes you feel better, start the session with an inspirational poster of your glorious leader quoting the corporate values, followed by a numbered list of the rules for running a good meeting.

Or simply wing it. Go on, take a chance. Live a little.

In-person collaborative sessions are excellent for discussing and reaching consensus among teams, provided the person or people leading/guiding the session have the relevant skills and aptitudes, and the participants play along. It's a balancing act to inject enough energy and enthusiasm into the proceedings without over-cooking it, and to keep things on-track, moving inexorably towards the intended objectives ... which implies being reasonably clear about those objectives when inviting people and introducing the session ... and inviting the right people ... which requires some preparatory work rather than diving straight in at the deep end, unless the session leaders and participants are sufficiently experienced to know the score. 

How about virtual team weekly progress meetings? Progress reports? Personal morale timelines? Project planning and reporting? Interactive audit reports?Budgeting? Security awareness and training sessions? Knowledge transfer and creative inspiration? To-do and shopping lists? Virtual draughts/checkers, or chess, or other board games given the appropriate board images, icons, players and spare time (a little something for the night shift, perhaps)? 

Rather than everyone lamely watching some inept presenter reading out their bullet points with a tedious monologue, how about an interactive webinar where the presenter and audience, collectively, mind-map the proceedings, doodle around the topic at hand, all the while generating a memorable and inspirational visual record?  

The possibilities are endless. Pull up a mouse and engage brain.

If you're not already using it, check out MURAL.

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