Keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final - Roger Babson
The company president's unwaveringly optimistic disposition seemed to be failing. He looked worried. "Sales have slowed to a trickle. I can only meet payroll for about 18 months."
The technology on which the company's main product was based, and the associated business model, were hopelessly outdated. A major redevelopment effort was required at the precise moment when the company could least afford it. The demoralized staff made a comeback seem even more unlikely.
Troublingly, the problems weren't a surprise. No expensive consultants required, the inevitability of the needed changes had been obvious for years. But until recently, brisk sales made it too easy to put off the expense and effort.
As technology blazes forward, so too does the quality of the interactions available to those who choose to meet virtually. Yet, the perception that in-person meetings are superior somehow remains.
In the HBR blog post, How to Conduct a Virtual Meeting, the author begins with the assertion: "Virtual meetings are the suboptimal reality of most information workers' lives." While there's no doubt they're increasingly commonplace, are they necessarily "suboptimal"?
"The more we feel devalued — and we all do at various times, to varying degrees — the more energy we spend defending and restoring our value, and the less energy we have available to create value."
"Unfortunately, this issue rarely gets addressed in the workplace."
When employees feel undervalued, not only do they underperform, they're also more likely to leave. The problem's prevalence and substantial cost (usually grossly underestimated) make it an issue that's well worth addressing.
A friend and user experience expert inadvertently lost an entire day's work. It had to be redone from scratch. I asked how the second result compared with the first. He conveyed that the second try was much better, a big improvement.