COVID-19 has brought with it a drastic conversion in our variety of methods. Some were made more difficult, others had to be changed, some methods were made easier. We work primarily through the use of the following – partly varied – interventions:
More is possible than before! We can now accompany you virtually in stand-up meetings and do other spontaneous short interventions. Inexpensive – we don’t have to travel and book an overnight stay in a hotel. We can now provide much more intensive support.
In the context of change management projects and processes, we often provide external support. We help with to define goals, detemine and implement measures and follow up. By participating in project team meetings, we actively drive the change project forward. Our methodological competence and sensitivity to group processes are of particular importance. In the context of such complex processes, of course, there is always a need for training, workshops, team development measures and coaching sessions.
In the meantime we have piled up extensive experience (where there is light, there is shadow). We use tools such as WebEx, Zoom, MS Teams as a basis. We can incorporate slides or videos without having to set up a projector. Conversely, the idea of not showing a flip chart stand was an obstructive belief: you can spontaneously insert a sequence of theory, which is one of our strengths, just do it! Overall, we have experienced that the need for theory increases in virtuality! We have a large pool for this. And you can also get up in home office and take a book off the shelf to refer to. – Caution: we recommend physical exercise, coffee breaks, humor for a break, and yet it is easy to forget them – we have a huge inventory there, too.
Training is a standard measure for developing behavior and skills. We see leadership in the foreground. We use different methods to train leadership behavior and the use of leadership instruments. We train the management cycle of goal definition, delegation, monitoring, follow up on goal achievement; employee development and deployment, team management and conflict resolution.
However, trainings also lead to the development of skills “below” management topics. We train the design of training measures in the broadest sense, such as train, moderate, present.
At the moment we see disadvantages due to virtuality. Strategy and process workshops, as well as team development measures, live off direct contact and from spontaneous, situational variation, i.e. from a variety of methods. However, we let small groups work together in breakout rooms on a document, a simple whiteboard or a more complicated concept board. We are still learning ..
In workshops for management teams at executive (!) or other levels, project teams, entire departments and work groups as well as committees, we repeatedly use special workshops to reflect on and further develop their goals, tasks, division of labor and interfaces, work progress and results. We also organize team development measures to shape internal culture, cooperation and communication – that is, development on the relationship level. We do not automatically mean outdoor training by this. This was of course a possibility (which we realized with competent partners), but is currently not an option. Rather, we use a variety of methods, exercises and “games” virtually.
In actual practice, we do not see any technical or process-related workshops without team development elements and no team development without recourse to content, processes and specialist topics.
We help executives and managers in a series of personal one-on-one conversations to cope with complex tasks, in their professional development (“career”) and personal skills development. We are now looking at this even more simply than before. Had we needed one conference room to meet, now two private rooms in separate locations are enough! We have reserved ours already!
In this respect, we typically focus on the further development of clients’ own business, the organization (organizational structure, processes …), specific questions about projects. But we also train new ways of behaving or reflect on different issues, e.g. preparing for decisions.
Starting from the original question / target agreement, we typically meander into neighboring areas in coaching …
In workshops or when accompanying processes in change projects, we work on the issues at hand with different methods. We also use them in leadership training:
- With business simulations, we map realistic management environments (goals, tasks, hierarchies, processes …) and provoke concrete management behavior,
- In individual consultations (reflecting teams) we discuss real situations of the participants from their daily management challenges, and design solutions,
- Through special exercises, we reflect on certain recurring topics in depth (“life line” for reflecting career issues, a self-developed diagnostic tool for reflecting on the work-life balance …) and train specific behaviors (“systemic questions” …),
- through the exchange of experiences we generate insights and tips.
Not everything is possible virtually, but a lot is. Other things have to be modified, some things are left out. Various methods are being newly developed – “variety of methods” has a changed its meaning.
In coaching, the issues and questions brought in forward by the coachee are of course processed. Partly utilizsing the above methods, tailored to the specific dual situation. But we can realize the practical use also relatively easy in training for competence development: in presentation training, presentations are done (based on real presentations by the participants), in train-the-trainer seminars, training takes place (and training materials are created). And in the virtual counterparts, participants practice virtual presentations and seminars !