Chris Gift

Recent Posts

Learn How AH Global Holds Tighter, More Organized and Shorter Meetings

September 28, 2012 at 4:29 PM by Chris Gift in case studies

AH Global is a successful social media management firm offering services with a globally distributed team.

And I do mean global: they speak 9 languages and live in 14 time zones.

While business is good and the company is humming along, in the past their meetings were not as productive as they wanted.

They tried video conferencing, screen sharing, and other common approaches, and none of them effectively bridged the time zone and language barriers. They needed something different, a new approach to meetings.

Here's what Mark Harrison, CEO of AH Global, had to say.

Situation

AH Global is a successful social media management firm offering services such as Digital PR, Online Grassroots & New Media Marketing, Business Intelligence, Search Engine Services and Online Reputation Clean-Up.

The company is highly diverse, made up of people stretching across 14 time zones and living in nine countries on four continents. With such a distributed team working in a fast paced environment, we rely heavily on online meetings to collaborate and get work done. However, even though online meetings were central to our operations, the quality was not matching expectations: discussions were digressing, meetings were running long, meeting notes were inadequate and information was being lost. The traditional screen sharing tools we were using were not meeting our needs.

“We wanted a means of organizing our meeting-to- meeting activity because we realized that effective meetings were key to keeping projects on schedule.”

We tried various solutions to try and solve the problem, including Google Docs. We also tested video but quickly found that due to the time zone differences (meetings at 3 AM for some employees) people were unprepared, or unwilling, to jump on a video call after having just gotten out of bed.

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Topics: case studies

Meet a Couple More Meeting Killers

June 12, 2012 at 2:26 PM by Chris Gift in leadership & facilitation

Running a good meeting is not simply about controlling the tempo and topic of the meeting, but also about managing the different personalities in attendance.

In a recent edition of the Wall Street Journal, there was an article covering this topic entitled Meet the Meeting Killers, in which they describe four types of co-workers who frequently disrupt meetings: the Jokester, the Dominator, the Naysayer and the Rambler.

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Topics: leadership & facilitation

Emergency! What SCUBA Dive Instruction Can Teach You About Responding to a Business Crisis

April 26, 2012 at 4:51 PM by Chris Gift in leadership & facilitation

A few years ago as a hobby, I became a SCUBA Instructor. It was a great weekend gig that kept me outside, in the water, and interacting with divers eager to learn about our oceans.

To ensure I knew what I was doing in the unlikely event of an emergency, I attended Emergency First Responder (EFR) training. It wasn't anything fancy, but it was enough given that we were rarely far from a 911 call.

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Topics: leadership & facilitation