Friday, 31 January 2014

Dream or nightmare? You decide.

Image courtesy of
It’s nearly midnight and you’re tired. It’s been a tough day at work - you and your team have been struggling recently. Everyone’s trying hard, but events keep moving on before you can work out how to respond. As you drift off to sleep, you remember the boss’s final words: “Bring everyone together for a 'Big Conference' to get back 'on top of things'.” What things? Certainly not the daily things that will still need doing while you’re all away somewhere else, or the budget that the same boss wants you to cut to hit team targets.

So, will you be having dreams or nightmares tonight?

Here is the nightmare. Some of the widely-spread team with a distance to travel don’t even want to meet, too busy struggling with their daily tasks to waste precious time talking rather than doing. Even those that do use the opportunity to avoid making decisions - everything will be decided anyway at the “Big Conference.” Resentment and inertia grip the team and everyone seems tense. You co-opt a reluctant team member to set up the event. He organises venue, flights and accommodation – it’s a big and costly task. The event seems to go OK: you capture some good ideas on the flipchart and leave with a vague sense of wellbeing.

A week later, your PA asks you to decipher the flipchart. You promise to when you get more time to remember. A month later, your boss asks you what the “Big Conference” achieved. Your reply doesn’t convince either of you. Six months later, she cuts your budget in half. A year later, you’re working harder than ever to cover and recruit to replace colleagues who recently left the organisation. Exit interviews show they liked their colleagues, but found it difficult to get anything done.

Here is the dream. The world is changing faster than you can learn. You can’t change the world, so you decide to change your approach. You ask one of your team to sketch out (roughly – a quick “guess-timate” will do) the likely cost a “Big Conference”, then tell your boss confidently you can save the company this money. You ask your team for ideas for working together more effectively, more creatively and feeling more engaged. Some are encouraged to brainstorm alternative ways to collaborate, while others are asked to suggest their own “drumbeat” sessions - how often they should meet to air new challenges and keep projects moving along quickly. The team come up with far more ideas than you ever expected, and suddenly you recall reading about something called QUBE

Whether you have nightmares or dreams in your World After Midnight is your choice. The dream is, in fact, a reality. Many leading companies are already using QUBE. It’s the ultimate medium for a world changing faster than it learns - a revolutionary, completely immersive, virtual environment for business. It’s a highly effective way for business people to run companies, innovate, collaborate and have fun. It’s like a company headquarters on the web, with new ways of sharing ideas plus great tools and techniques to help get things done. Over the coming weeks, we will be blogging on the experience of working and holding regular meetings and a conference on QUBE, with the help of our colleagues at the Association for Project Management.

The story unfolds …

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

When you can't make it into the office, don't end up going round in Merkels ...

A mock up of Angela Merkel on QUBE
An artist's impression of Angela Merkel
engaging in immersive virtual working.
As the first female chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel doesn't usually have much time to put her feet up. And breaking her pelvis in a skiing accident hasn't slowed her down any. While her doctor has ordered her to rest for three weeks, she will still be chairing the first cabinet meeting of the new year, and will be in constant contact with her ministers by phone.

Of course, there's only so much you can share when you're just talking over the phone. You can't share a document with someone. Or stand shoulder to shoulder with a colleague and develop ideas on a whiteboard. Or switch between group discussions and private conversations in a matter of seconds.

Accidents happen, as does illness, or just having commitments that keep you at home. Being unable to move doesn't mean that you have to stop working. Prof Eddie Obeng posited the same thing here. Hopefully the word will get to Angela.

To learn and work better across time and distance, why not check out QUBE? Contact us to arrange a demonstration -