As I mentioned, I’m camping on the Oregon coast this week. Locked in our 25′ travel trailer, working from tethered iPhone wifi, Amy and I have gotten a touch of cabin fever. We’ve been talking a lot about what we learned leading the Technology Leadership simulation, and how we can take this show on the road to do it again.
Last night around the campfire, my brilliant wife asked me:
Amy: “With so many remote workers today, should we find a way to conduct the workshop as a completely remote simulation?”
Me: “What? Oh, but what bout the Tinkertoys, 3×5 cards and slips of paper?”
Amy: “We can’t mail them out in advance?”
Me: “Oh, but what about the collaboration and experience of working together?”
Amy: “How do they collaborate and work together remotely in their jobs?”
Me: “Over Skype, and slack, and telephone, and stuff like that.”
Amy: “Why can’t we use the same thing? This kind of training would simulate their real working environment more closely than having everyone in the same room. Think of the learnings!”
Me: <stunned silence as I ponder this idea…>
(Note: Amy has a Masters Degree in Nursing Education, has worked as a Nursing Professor at Oregon Health Sciences University, and is in a Ph.D. program. She’s a smart cookie who knows a TON about learning simulation, as she worked for three years designing and running clinical simulations for interprofessional students at OHSU.)
So, we’re thinking of giving this a try. It would be the same simulations as we did for the Velocity conference, but for leaders of fully/partially remote teams. We’d use remote tools, with some physical aspects thrown in (like Tinkertoys!), and it would take place over 1-2 days of remote work. You’d need to set aside time for the training (just like a physical conference), but you’d get to experience a simulation which closely matched your work environment.
Who this is for
We’re going to start by running two groups through the simulation training:
Group 1. Leaders of remote engineers who work for the same organization.
Group 2. Leaders of remote engineers who work at different organizations.
What you learn
Previous attendees told me they learned things such as:
- Learning to build teams
- Learning to give feedback
- Experiencing what your teams might experience on a daily basis
- Ability to see and correct less-than-productive “leader” behavior.
- Seeing how leadership relates to everyday work
All of this with the tools and context you used to work with remote team members already.