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Episode 125

August 11, 2021

125: A new way of thinking about hybrid work with Cliff Pollan

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    After a year and a half of panicked, rushed remote and hybrid work, we are long overdue a calm presence – a voice of reason. Someone to steer the ship and settle the stormy waters, to help us see sense and chart a path towards a more successful, enjoyable, and thriving hybrid work environment.

    We need Cliff Pollan!

    Cliff’s been navigating the depths of hybrid and remote work for decades – having penned articles about video calls before Zoom was even a noun and worked in hybrid-first companies before the internet even existed!

    I invited Cliff to hold a conversation about hybrid work, what we need to take on (and leave behind) to make it succeed, and the role of facilitation in that success.

    This conversation truly opened up a world of possibilities, perspectives, and positive ideas for me – I hope it will do the same for you!

    Find out about

    • The deeper-than-expected roots of hybrid work
    • Examining and overcoming the linguistic traps in “remote work”
    • Why agency is at the heart of successful hybrid teams
    • Understanding hybrid work as a space, rather than just a collection of tools
    • Navigating the ‘laws’ of video calls, visibility, and presence
    • Facilitation as an essential professional and life skill
    • Why we need to abandon the idea that the physical space is ‘the centre of the universe’

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    A huge thank you must go to SessionLab, the sponsor of Workshops Work. Claim your free two months of SessionLab Pro now – this deal is exclusive to Workshops Work listeners!

    Questions and Answers

    01:02When did you start calling yourself a facilitator, if you do? 01:33How would you describe the ‘craft’ of facilitation? 03:15What makes a workshop fail? 05:41Can you explain a little about Welo, the tool you’ve developed? 11:00How did you perceive and experience hybrid work pre-pandemic? 16:29What role does agency play in making hybrid work succeed? 20:13How do ‘office hours’ work in a virtual space? 27:17Do you have a favourite icebreaker or interaction-promoting exercise? 32:27What role does video play in hybrid work? 35:58Did we need to collectively experience ‘Zoom fatigue’ to find the right frequency for video calls? 40:23How important is it to share your reason for having your camera off? 43:44What does it take to equip people with the skills to facilitate better, more equitable discussions? 46:31Why have we not yet had the watershed moment of widespread facilitation training? 52:22What merit is there in having on-site staff share the same space in a hybrid meeting? 55:48What is it about sharing a physical space that feels special? 58:28If your team sits across time zones, how can you account for the impact on group dynamics? 59:36What is the one thing you would like listeners to take away from this episode?


    WELO – Cliff’s company

    Connect to Cliff