The digital grab bag

A spontaneously rescheduled online workshop by bikablo bildwerk provided surprising insights. Graphic Recorder Tim and Visual Facilitator Anne reveal their five most important takeaways for virtual collaboration.


We look into two faces with tired eyes and a broad grin on their faces. Graphic Recorder Tim and Visual Facilitator Anne are coming from a human resources development workshop for a DAX company that had to take place online at short notice due to contact restrictions.

Anyone who plans workshops knows: an event that is intentionally designed digitally would be set up completely differently than an analog one – in terms of time, group and steering of communication. But this workshop was planned in analog, and the move had to be organized in just a few hours. Rescheduling, consulting with the customer, redesigning the agenda, checking the technology – everything was done on the fly. Despite everything, the client and facilitators are happy.

What worked well here? Exactly those moments when, despite the digital distance, a common picture emerged, when the participants met in an unusually personal way (in the living room with children running by), and when methods chosen by necessity unfolded unexpected potential.

Here are some of our “Easter eggs”:

The view into the living room as an image for humanity

The picture from summer vacation, the cat, the clothes horse – from the home office we get to see things that give us immediate access to the person in front of us – especially if time is allowed to address this fact and let it “humanize” around the edges of complex content. When people talk to other people, rather than roles to roles, understanding is more likely.

BreakOut sessions as motivation and activation

How often do we sit in meetings even though we already know the topic or are not the right person to talk to? In the analog space, the hurdle of leaving the room is great. Working on e-mails or checking your smartphone at the same time shows a lack of respect. We therefore agreed on small shortcuts for “deepening” or “skipping” in the chat and thus designed side rooms for sub-teams. The “law of two feet”, which we know from the large group method Open Space as a call for personal responsibility, became a communication practice here.

The chat as a superordinate level and guardian of the speech time

Some methods unfold a whole new potential online. The “silent writing conversation” we love, but which is challenging for trainers, is a good example of this: participants talk about agreed issues in writing on bulletin boards instead of talking at cross-purposes. We transferred this approach to the chat function of our videoconferencing tool. This enabled things to happen intuitively that would otherwise have required time-consuming instruction. The result was a continuous evaluation level with comprehensible dialogs.

The chat also made it possible to distribute the speech shares more evenly between introverted and extroverted colleagues. And, as so often, it turned out to be fruitful for everyone to listen attentively to the “quieter ones” in the room.

Expert impulses without greenhouse gases

bikablo has a large team with expertise from a wide variety of fields. In analog events, we can only mention that we have someone in the team who would have “quite a lot to say” about this. Online, on the other hand, short expert impulses are possible without time-consuming travel. This allows customers to benefit from our specialists in a wide range of areas.

An image as a consensus of the dialogue

A window in our videoconferencing tool was dedicated to the Scribe, in our case Tim’s iPad, which translated the emerging strategy into images. Parallel to the dialogue, all participants saw in detail and in real time how their statements were recorded and implemented, and could immediately refer to them. Since we never understand the image (loosely based on a quote from sociologist Kurt Lewin) as truth, but always as a prelude to a conversation on a higher level, it can enable a whole new dynamic here.


Presence meets online

Presence meets Online takes you as a trainer, coach, expert, consultant, visualizer and facilitator on a journey through digital and analog dialog worlds and helps you make the right decisions. In 6 half-day modules, bikablo experts give input on their tricks, approaches and methods.



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