The best part about having a diverse workforce is enjoying full access to the creative juices of your team members.
In the past, meeting rooms were awash with fresh ideas, unreadable notes, debates, laughter, and talk. Even chit-chat. And any resulting success could be anticipated by empty coffee mugs and crumpled balls of paper.
Fast forward through a global crisis, and the fresh ideas you took for granted are now scattered around the country or, in some cases, the world.
The whiteboard and sticky notes are in the storeroom gathering dust, along with the personalized coffee mugs and mousepads.
And the brainstorming sessions? They’ve been Zoom’ified, consisting of awkward lags, random interruptions and a weird sense of never quite reaching the crux of the matter. The only visuals you remember are those of home-office hairstyles and blurred backgrounds. (Mind you, empty coffee mugs are still very much part of the equation.)
When in-person is improbable and virtual is ineffective
A recent Scientific American study suggests that video-call brainstorming reduces creative collaboration and fresh ideas, while in-person meetings increases them.
Among other reasons, the study found that virtual meeting platforms monopolize our interactions, leaving little room for collaboration.
Even worse, with businesses trying to get back on their feet, the need for creative ideas is higher than ever. Smells like a catch-22, doesn’t it?
It’s not all bad
Technologically speaking, many tools make virtual work easier. Cloud technology, workflow integration software, and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions primarily enable remote working and collaboration. They’re the new virtual office stationery.
However, it’s not working together that’s lacking; it’s inspired brainstorming[AF1] – the type of thinking and collaboration that happens at the water cooler or in less structured meeting environments. In other words, teams don’t have the means to feed off each other’s creativity. Instead, they spend hours in ineffective meetings without clear direction or visual demonstrations to spark imagination.
According to EdApp, visual learners make up 65% of learning groups. That’s why brainstorming sessions usually feature sticky notes and whiteboards.
And what does Zoom have? Images of people talking into a webcam (if you’re lucky). Many businesses do video-less Zoom meetings, so you’re staring at a bunch of icons or members’ initials for an hour.
What do we want? Visual stimulation and collaboration!
When do we want it? Like, yesterday. Please.
Enter Miro: The silver bullet of virtual work
Miro is a remote collaboration tool that allows teams to brainstorm and strategize remotely (think whiteboard and sticky notes on steroids - it’s that good).
Makosi’s Miro story
Makosi has hundreds of employees working in different locations and time zones, making in-person workshops and brainstorming sessions quite a challenge. Still, our teams’ creative juices are our lifeline, and we can’t make room to grow without them.
So we set out to find the ultimate virtual collaboration tool for real-time teamwork, visual customization, project management, organization, mind maps, centralization, and security.
And we discovered Miro.
What started as a tool for our tech team became an integral mechanism for multiple areas within Makosi, from recruitment to change management, learning and development to onboarding, and every department in between.
The best part? No team member is left behind because we can brainstorm anywhere, anytime. No time zone challenges, ineffective virtual meetings, or bad hair days. Just pure creative collaboration and brainstorming.
Understandably, some team members were hesitant at first, but after an introductory session, our teams were on-board, confident, and ready to splash their creative juices onto the platform.
With Miro, you can:
- Share ideas or topics related to an upcoming project or event
- Create customer journey maps
- Wireframe a new product concept
- Design a roadmap for upcoming innovation workshops or programs
- Host fun and engaging meetings with your team
Anything else? Yes!
You can even:
- Integrate video or messaging communication tools to keep the convos flowing
- Centralize project information and use task trackers to encourage transparency and accountability
- Share visual references and mapping information
- Update messenger statuses and set up calendar blocks
- Use templates to save time designing your own boards
- Add as much color and as many graphics, ideas, and stickies as you like because there are no rules (from a software perspective, at least)
- Set timers, add background music, and vote on specific ideas
Sound good? Here’s an idea
Before your next brainstorming session, sign up for a free Miro account and download our free IDS workshop template. Then, test it out with your team members to see if it’s worthwhile to integrate it into your virtual or hybrid work model.
You and your team can visit the Miro website and watch tutorial videos, so everyone knows their way around beforehand.
What’s an IDS workshop?
An IDS workshop is where teams identify, discuss, and solve issues in a centralized environment. Our IDS template includes four categories explaining why it’s important, how to prepare, which exercises can help you get started, and the potential output of the workshop.
Download our IDS meeting Miro template here: https://miro.com/miroverse/ids-template/
Let the creative juices flow
Collaboration is possible in a virtual environment if you have the right tools. For Makosi, Miro is integral to how we brainstorm with our global teams. Hopefully, this tool can help your business extract fresh ideas from remote teams, just like it does for us.