Yesterday we were part of an experiment in collaboration, along with a group of senior executives and business owners as part of On-BRAND Partners‘ Executive Stretch er, thingy (programme? session? it was good, anyway!)
The exercise: brainstorm the bank of the future, in three separate groups, in three separate locations. We had On-BRAND’s internal forum to use for collaboration, as well as whatever else we could use.
“Whatever else we could use” for Marie and I meant Twitter. And yet we got very different results.
My results first, because they were appalling.
I tweeted the question: “In a collaboration exercise. Our question: if you run a small organisation, what do you need from a bank?”
I got three responses. And two of them were jokes!
Maybe Marie’s approach will give us a clue. She began by tweeting:
Hi Tweeps, I’m with a group of Executives, they’d like to ask you what would you like to see change in our banks?
She got around 30 replies! And to her credit, she kept both conversations going, online and off. How do you do that? Here’s what she did:
- Summarised replies coming in (eg: @Twonetweet Banks making less profit and really care for customers is another hot topic being discussed now)
- Asked clarifying questions
- Gave context. At the beginning, she said she was with a group of executives. At the end, she said “Thanks everyone for your feedback. These guys are staggered by your real time responses :)”
- She also didn’t mention that it was an experiment. The way you say something is often as important than what you say.
And they were. Marie’s demonstration of the power of collaboration over a distance was better than any two hour presentation. And my poor showing was proof that it’s not about the technology, it’s about who’s using it.