For an organisation like Leeway this has meant a seismic change. Whilst we’ve working digitally for several years already, at our core we’re about helping people come together and deliver work. We lead the way in creating effective and rewarding group collaboration, and when gathering in groups becomes illegal – you know it’s time to change.
Luckily our background in remote work, digital toolkits and virtual environments meant we were already on our journey. We had the skills, we had the experience and we had the toolkit. We just had to change up how we communicated and delivered this to our customers.
We started by settling on a preferred digital toolkit. This helped us declutter a very noisy landscape and a create a path forward. We continue to dip into other tools as our customers require, but creating a starting point was clear and simple first step. We like to use MS Teams for day-to-day contact with our customers (and each other!), SessionLab for collaborative workshop design, Zoom (or Teams) for virtual workshop calls and MURAL for our visual workshop environment.
Next, we widened our potential client base. We started to dig into what people needed to help them modernise and digitise. We looked at different platforms to sell from, and thought about how we could reach new networks through digital methods. We now have a fairly heathy Instagram feed, and a presence on a number of freelancing portals.
Starting with a trickle, new clients and new work started to appear.
We’ve been approached by a number of SMEs to help them migrate to the virtual environment. In some cases this meant working with them to learn their existing consultation processes, then helping move them over to the virtual environment. For others we’ve worked as a development partner, co-creating new workshops, training courses and other content for them to deliver to their clients. In many cases, people who might once have been competitors have become customers, creating really enjoyable and rewarding partnerships.
We levelled up with a piece of work with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) . We designed and facilitated a number of large project inception virtual workshops, and continue to work them developing virtual consultation processes for various distributed stakeholder groups.
One of the most exciting changes is that geographical limitations have also become a thing of the past, with clients from Australia to Ethiopia to Côte d’Ivoire to good old Glasgow. The diversity in cultures, markets, businesses and experiences has been a delight, as our own breadth of experience grows exponentially week on week.
Nikki Tierney is the Founder of Leeway, one of 4_ttude's trusted Partners, who support people in coming together to share knowledge, learn from each other and experience impactful working sessions to improve collaboration and working performance.