My company's Europe division had an annual offsite gathering last month. A group of leaders met to share, discuss, learn and tackle the next set of challenges. This year, they took another leap, virtually!
I've been investing a lot of time to stop leaders from engaging in closed-off leadership conferences and to instead report from them with real-time insights. A big step forward is that you designate someone to be the fly on the wall, step into the blogging zone and report out on a moment-by-moment basis with impressions, quotes, pictures and more.
A next milestone is reached when no one needs to be designated anymore - when leaders themselves do the reporting.
At this recent leadership conference, I did nothing. I was virtually there with them - but simply to help promote the work that others were doing there on location. The presentations, the discussions, the break-outs, the impressions, they just kept getting published. I've counted more than twenty Swiss Re leaders that had taken the time to share their experiences - and not once, but again and again. It was truly vibrant reporting all the way up to the regional president.
The messages that resonate from such activities are strong. Aside from the actual content, the reporting itself said, loud and clear, that those leaders thought about their colleagues at home. Sharing is caring - easily said. But these leaders did it, consistently, despite hectic schedules, they took the time because they understood the value (and, nice side-effect, they clearly had fun doing it!). For employees in the many locations it was like being there and they viewed, liked and commented - direct interaction with the engaged leadership.
With Jive's reporting features it was effortless to follow the activity levels of the community. The main event took place on Thursday and Friday - 1.5 days - and the engagement resulted in over 10'000 views. Even without these huge numbers, I'd be proud of the virtual engagement of these leaders ... the numbers are the icing on the cake. Kudos!
Below are screenshots of daily activity:
(10 March > pre event video announcement)
(11 March > First leadership blogs)
(12 March > pre event discussions, more blogs)
(13 March > 1st day of the event)
(14 March > 2nd and final day of event)
(15 March > weekend!)