Every spring, I take part in an event called ‘Actionable Conversations Summit.’ It’s a three-day summit that brings our community together of business leaders, coaches, and consultants from around the world together. We share best practices, we learn what each other are going through, and we laugh – a lot. I look forward to it every year.
This year, things were a little different. Because of the pandemic, we had to meet over Zoom. Like many people heading into the online version of a formerly in-person event for the first time, I wasn’t sure what to expect. To my surprise and delight, I ended up having some absolutely phenomenal one-on-one conversations with people from across the globe. It was a wonderful experience.
Immediately following the summit, I went into a nine-day intensive with Rich Litvin, an incredible business coach whose event sells out every year. Unlike ‘Actionable Conversations’, I had never been to Rich Litvin’s intensive. Each day of the event offered four hours of connection, in which I got to meet 249 other coaches from around the world. Throughout those nine days, I built great bonds with people I might never have met otherwise – all from the comfort of my home office.
All the while, I have continued to host ‘Socials with Shawn’ – a virtual version of my formerly in-person event series. Each month, I bring my all star team of global leaders together over conversation, laughter, and resource sharing.
So, why am I telling you all this?
Here’s the thing: over the last 14 months of this pandemic, I have connected with more new people than I have in the past five years. While being locked up at home, I have benefited from so many meaningful conversations with people I didn’t know a year ago. By becoming an active participant in my own growth during these unprecedented times, and seeking out those amazing opportunities for conversation and connection, I have discovered so many new ways of thinking and doing business that I never would have thought about 14 months ago.
Unfortunately, a lot of organizations have completely wasted this opportunity. They have stayed within their same four walls, having the same conversations with the same people around the same table. The only difference is that they’ve been doing it online instead of in-person. Well, I hate to break it to you, guys, but you know that boring meeting everybody hated when it was in the boardroom? It’s doubly brutal on Zoom.
I think there’s a big gap between companies that are looking to make connections and learn new things, and those that are content to put up their walls and stay in their bubbles – and the gap is expanding.
The organizations that are thriving are the ones that are looking to create new opportunities for growth, the ones that are open and honest and brave. Those that are struggling are the ones that are closed-minded and unwilling to adapt.
So, the real question is: which kind of organization are you?