Our client, a Fortune 100 company, needed to develop a three-year Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) strategy. Their goal was to engage approximately 100 representatives from North America, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East, and Asia Pacific in shaping the D&I vision and priorities. This inclusive approach needed to be successfully carried out entirely via virtual workshops.
We designed a series of four 90-minute virtual workshops each with a clearly defined objective:
- Share findings from enterprise-wide D&I research and surface opportunities
- Share global performance standards for inclusion and help participants learn what inclusive behaviors look like in practice
- Determine how to address the needs of managers and where to focus for greatest impact
- Identify strategic priorities based on previous session insights
Each virtual workshop was designed to maximize engagement and interactivity:
- Workshops provided a “plenary” experience with facilitated dialogue, compelling presentations, and real-time visual notes (digital graphic facilitation)
- Participants were assigned to 6-person virtual breakout groups. Each team was provided with a customized assignment in the form of an interactive template which could be completed on a shared screen and reported back to the full group
- Discussion was complemented by the ability of participants to provide rapid feedback through group polls and typed comments and questions
- Output from the breakout and plenary sessions was synthesized post-workshop and promptly circulated back to the group. Actions were clearly defined for participants.
Successfully shifting to a virtual setting required careful attention to logistics:
- The workshops were professionally facilitated and supported
- Each workshop was run multiple times to accommodate time zone differences and limit the size of the participant group.
- Guidelines for successful participation in virtual meetings were circulated in advance.
- Participants joined the workshops 15-minutes in advance to familiarize themselves with the virtual platform.
- Our client was able to engage a broad set of voices in the strategic planning process without having to rely on in-person meetings
- The virtual model was highly-scalable; the leaders who participated were able to leverage the process and the interactive templates to onboard their own teams around D&I efforts