Coronavirus and the Use of Video-Conferencing as a Key Element of our work

We work with clients all over the world delivering highly effective programmes of improvement.  The NewLeaf Team and I have needed to adapt our approaches very quickly in light of the coronavirus pandemic to ensure we maintain good support for our clients.

Whilst the focus of these programmes is being on site and in the operation with the teams, in the period between visits, video conferences (VC’s) have now become an important element of our work.  It’s working remarkable well!

Here are my top five learning tips on how to get the best out of VC’ing…


1. Set the VC up well and include pre-work: clearly explain the Purpose, Objectives and Agenda (POA) in good time ahead of the session. This can include an expectation for participants to conduct pre-work.  The material prepared as pre-work can then be referred to by all participants in the VC and means you’re not wholly dependent on hearing every word that is spoken – sometimes the quality of the audio, especially on the international calls, could be intermittent.

2. Manageable numbers in the session: most VC’s I’m involved in are working sessions to create actions (rather than information sharing) so limiting the participants to a maximum of six is optimal. Rather than have a single session of ten or more participants, it can work better to consider two VC’s with smaller groups.

3. VC’s work better with people you’ve previously met face to face: currently this isn’t possible, but this is one of the benefits of combining visits with the VC’s. When you’ve worked together face to face the working relationship you have developed allows the VC’s to be more dynamic. With the Coronavirus situation, if you have time, ring the individuals sometime prior to the VC session. It’s worth making time!

4. Not before 10am: The coronavirus situation is changing daily and I find it works better having given the participants the chance to clear the decks and settle into the day (in fact, I think this is the case for any meeting other than those focused on the smooth running of the daily operation).

5. VC’s are Props to the Washing Line: VC’s will support the momentum of business improvement in the same way a wooden prop keeps the washing line taut. The diagram below shows the washing line analogy. Without frequent short interventions in the business the momentum and energy in the business will lag, like in the first drawing and people’s behaviour will revert to “old behaviours”. The second drawing shows frequent interventions and little time to slip to old behaviours.

For more information or an informal chat, don’t hesitate to contact us:

Tel: 01905 425209


Alan Sides, Lead Consultant, NewLeaf International Ltd