chance meetings in a digital world - digital coincidence

Chance meetings in a digital world

In Moments, Digital Technologies, Video Comms by ScottLeave a Comment

Just a moment of:

Serendipity


We've all had those coincidental meetings that lead to something greater. The value of those is huge, so how can we recreate those for a post-COVID new-normal? This is the beginning of a little experiment, read on to find out more...

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Chance Meetings Created Digitally

Recreate the Magic of Serendipity

Currently the world around us is trying to get back to some kind of "normality", but we all have a sense that new-normal is going to be different in many ways.

Many companies will try their best to get back to how it was before the pandemic, however, for many reasons, some companies will embrace the enforced change the pandemic made us endure, and others will emerge from the lockdown as ex-9-to-5ers and newly born entrepreneurs.

Rise of the Lockdown Entrepreneur

Are you a lockdown entrepreneur? Find out more in this article.

The Return-To-Normal Struggle

There's a company I know that grew through acquisition. This company was built on the identities of start-ups, and over the years formed a hub-and-spoke, decentralised operational model. They had a satellite office in Las Vegas, others in Frankfurt, Barcelona, Bournemouth, Tokyo, Chicago, Seattle, Paris, Prague and more.

In recent years as the company grappled with solidifying a single brand, the CEO started to close down the satellite offices, centralising staff in big buildings in city centres. In fact, I had heard the edict that, if you don't want to work in one of our offices, you can find work elsewhere.

In this process of harmonisation and centralisation, many people left or were asked to leave. These people tended to be those most loyal to the original identities, and tended to be those with higher levels of creativity and entrepreneurship.

With 2020-hindsight (yes, that is such an appropriate comment today!) this company might have created its own biggest competitive hurdle. The harmonious centralised vision has been ripped apart by the lockdowns and stay-in-place, yet those innovative, disenfranchised ex-employees have now had months to build new competitive offerings that are more well adapted to operating in tomorrow's new-normal.

Valuable Experience for Tomorrow's World

The journey through start-up to acquisition to grassroots again is a valuable learning experience and one I've been lucky enough to have travelled. 

The worlds of start-up and multi-national conglomerate are very different, however, amongst those differences, you can find similarities, and it is one of these that got me thinking this morning.

Zoom has taken over our living rooms, our dinging-room-table-offices and our Friday night gatherings. Yet, whilst it has been invaluable at helping us all keep going (in many ways), it has its shortfalls. One of them in particular is the lack of chance.

Whether I was working in startup or large organisation, there was always a chance meeting on the subway or in the corridor that led to something fantastic. Those "Hey, Steve! Is that you? Wow, we have spoken in so long, how are things....?" conversations are priceless.

So how can these moments of serendipity be recreated digitally?

Randomising Zoom

This article shows one approach to spontaneous, chance meetings, but I'm not sure I particularly like this approach as the chance for it to go badly wrong is high.

Nevertheless, the idea behind it is very interesting and something I think I might play with over the course of this week.

If you want to know more about how this turns out, stay tuned, sign up to receive updates below.


Wish me luck!

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