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  • Sara Gonzales

    1st June 2017

From the car to the conference – encouraging change and implementing virtual collaboration

Reduce costs and help the environment!

This week I was fortunate enough to interview Huw Thomas from Blue Seed Consulting as part of our Business Skills Series. The topic was “The Change Intelligent Leader” (you can watch it here) and to be honest, I was very sceptical.

My first thought? “More tips on change management, are we still having the same conversations?” 45 minutes later, and I was proven wrong.

As we shift into a more uncertain world, the impacts of technology, the age of the entrepreneur and digitisation are all impacting the way we manage change. It made me realise, as an organisation, we are part of this – surely Redback customers are impacted by this every day?

So, when it comes to implementing virtual collaboration technologies such as Tele, Web and Video Conferencing, where do we begin? And more importantly, how do we convince other key stakeholders to embrace the change and jump on the bandwagon?

Here’s some tips on getting from the car to the conference:

First, understand the benefits

Let’s be honest, even the most flexible of organisations struggle with change. However, progressive and aware decision makers continually look for ways to improve the morale, performance and productivity of their workforce.

The online conferencing platform provides a simple answer to the question of how to reduce our reliance on business travel – it uses less resources, costs much less, is more convenient and enables businesses to understand the important relationship between communication, productivity and profit.

Gain buy in with hard facts

Picture this:
– Your organisation has a social responsibility policy
– Your organisation uses car and air travel as a means to get to and from meetings
– A return flight between Sydney to Singapore generates 6.2 tonnes of carbon emission

I didn’t say it was going to be a pretty picture…

As green travel programs become more prevalent, there is a wealth of information available to back-up your hunch that online platforms are a more sustainable alternative to air and car travel. Check out what your competitors are doing and don’t simply ‘greenwash’ – gather evidence to present to your senior management.

Make a plan

Creating a road map of what you want to achieve and how you’re going to find your way is critical. When implementing virtual collaboration technologies, it’s important to find champions that will not only support your decision, but help you get from A to B – because you can’t do it all on your own!

As well as cost benefits, your road map should include possible benefits to employees, reviews of productivity, recruitment and retention, timelines and clear measurable outcomes.

Understand the costs

The internal reaction of going online is most often, ‘how much will it cost?” Be prepared for any push-back by creating a clear cost analysis which clearly identifies hard and soft cost savings to the business.

As well as the actual dollar figure, make sure you take productivity and employee engagement into account. This will also help to gain a better understanding of the ROI which can include the introduction of tracking and reporting tools.

Check the company travel policy

What does it say about eliminating unnecessary emissions from air and road travel? Does it say anything? If it doesn’t, it may be time for a review.

Resist resistance

In many organisations the expectations of corporate travel can be at odds with a drive to reduce the carbon footprint. This can be alleviated by a holistic approach and strategy for change which incorporates awareness training and highlights the drivers for and benefits of making the shift online.

Communicate

Once virtual collaboration policies begin to be implemented, communicating the program and the desired results to relative stakeholders are critical to ongoing success. And if there’s one thing I discovered this week, it’s that we are all capable of change and making great things happen!

Until next time,
Sara

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