I was thinking about this in my car the other day. I was en route to one meeting while my PDA beeped to remind me of the meeting coming just after the first. Like death and taxes, the need to meet is inevitable in this collaboration-centered business world.
You know how it is: In-person gatherings can be a valuable resource for advancing projects and sharing ideas, or making the sale. But they can also take more people away from more work for more time, which means more impact on corporate productivity.
Add that to the long list of reasons to be happy we’re living in this day and age, this time in history. The problems facing us may seem greater, but the solutions are broader and the answers are within reach, typically no farther away than your keyboard.
By taking advantage of the available technologies, chief learning officers and other executives can pick up the pace of their own workday, without the corresponding time drain a schedule of only-in-person meetings may mean. I’ve recently seen research to show that I’m right on the money here.
MCI recently released “Meetings in America V,” it’s fifth white paper on the state of conferencing and communications. The research clearly shows Web conferencing and other non-traditional communications tools are growing rapidly.
Conducted last August, the survey shows 74 percent of respondents have used Web conferencing, 39 percent of those for the first time in the past year. Another 31 percent plan to come on board this year. Amazingly, 96 percent of respondents labeled Web conferencing to be easier than expected, a stat that bridges the gap between perception and reality quite nicely. E-mail, instant messaging, audio conferencing and video conferencing are also making their marks on the world of business.
Would it shock you if I told you that you’re leading the way? MCI’s survey showed senior management is taking to technology at a high rate. The survey shows 89 percent of respondents in leadership roles have used audio conferencing, 64 percent have used Web conferencing and 57 percent video conferencing, and each of those numbers is expected to climb in the next year. That, by the way, means executives are more plugged into the promises of technology than even the IT departments. (Not surprisingly, it’s your sales team that’s least sold … no doubt the power of face-to-face selling.)
For my own part, I became sold on the concept after we launched our series of e-seminars (www.clomedia.com/eseminars) in 2002. It didn’t take long to see how efficiently we could connect teams from many different locations, saving time and travel. It took even less time to see how well readers like you embraced the concepts, with more than 7,000 of you registering to attend a CLO E-Seminar in 2003. That alone provided a little inspiration for us to dig deeper.
This year we’ve increased our efforts to present interesting and valuable e-seminars to you, starting with three events planned in February alone. I won’t list them all here now, but you’ll find them detailed at www.clomedia.com/eseminars, and I urge you to stay at your desk and see what you can learn from across the country.
The application for the enterprise educator is clear: You can pick up the pace of your own development without impacting your productivity and you can reach global audiences more immediately and efficiently.
Do I sound like a cheerleader, a supporter, an obsessed fan? Maybe so, but that’s because now I’ve got time to beat the bushes.
What has technology done for you lately?
Editor in Chief/President