With the constant fluctuation in air travel and gas costs, coupled with an ever-expanding remote workforce, companies are using video and web conferencing more than ever before.
High-end video conferencing enables companies to save travel money, meeting costs, and ultimately become more efficient with their employees worldwide.
However, if the only motivation is money and convenience, rather than the more important goal of enhancing communication and collaboration throughout the enterprise, then we’re not taking video communication seriously. The transformation of our communication to video and web conferencing is a Hard Trend that is shaping the future of all organizations. Video conferencing has evolved tremendously, and future profits hinge greatly on relationships and collaborations alike; therefore, companies must change the way they utilize video technology inside and outside of their organizations.
Smart companies are changing how they think about meetings and video conferencing technology, and they’re realizing that it offers business something more powerful than they’ve had in the past. These companies are thinking in terms of “visual communications” rather than simply video conferencing.
Take, for example, Zoom Communications, a useful conferencing tool that facilitates video meetings and digital transcription. Founded by a lead engineer from the aforementioned Cisco Systems, a company also making leaps and bounds in the video communication industry, Zoom Communications has grown tremendously in both its user base and its usefulness. It has grown from allowing group video meetings of merely 15 participants all the way up to 200.
The ability to transcribe text from the video meetings is a great example of how a company could use it to their advantage. When discussing an extremely intricate project or something with a customer, which must be jotted down, simply activating a transcribe feature in your Zoom conversation will write down the text from the entire conversation. Your customer’s attention will never have to be diverted to a notepad, and they will never have to look back on scribbles and try to decipher what someone else’s random thoughts from the meeting really meant. In real-time, you have a transcription of the events that unfolded on camera.
Human beings are visual creatures; we always have been and we always will be. Even the written word is truly interpreted in a graphic sense via the human brain. Uppercase and lowercase text with serifs reads better due to visual interest, as opposed to sans serif, all-caps type, which appears to us subconsciously as nothing more than a simple square. It’s why books aren’t written in all-caps.
The same can be said for visual communications. Not only do they heighten the bond you have with someone when you cannot see them face-to-face, but the imagery, sound, and motion also help you retain conversations better, even when you do not use something like Zoom to transcribe the virtual meeting. It’s about adding dimension to the communication, which is akin to shaking someone’s hand when you meet them: the more senses you involve, the higher the connection you make.
Those companies that can enhance their communication, both internally and externally, are the ones who can cause change faster and stay competitive longer. Despite the need for companies to avoid extra travel costs, the need to meet, share knowledge, and develop relationships will not only continue, but it will also accelerate. So how can your organization become more anticipatory in how it will transform next?
Perhaps we will go beyond 2D and into the world of 3D.
Considering virtual reality, it is entirely possible that you could put on virtual reality goggles and place yourself as a marketing professional right in your customer’s manufacturing facility, to see, and even sense, what their operation looks like. Can you imagine how much better you would be able to tell the story in their content if you were right there? Now say the manufacturing plant is halfway around the world. This is how both the need to meet with individuals in an organization and to utilize the technology to better serve the customer can come together.
And much like video and web conferencing, companies may look at the virtual reality example and go “yeah, but VR is just a fad.” Is it, though? Is that how you will look at it? Or will you view remote video conferencing and realistically, the Hard Trend of needing to communicate personally with a customer or employee, as the way the world is heading, and embrace it before your legacy thinking sets you back?
Successful interactions will always depend on your ability to master the concept of visual communications and develop guidelines that leverage both old and new tools to build trusting relationships that foster greater communication, collaboration, and community.
Want to learn more about Hard Trends shaping the future? Pick up a copy of my latest book The Anticipatory Organization.
Daniel Burrus is considered one of the world’s leading futurists on global trends and innovation. The New York Times has referred to him as one of the top three business gurus in the highest demand as a speaker. He is a strategic advisor to executives from Fortune 500 companies, helping them to accelerate innovation and results by develop game-changing strategies based on his proven methodologies for capitalizing on technology innovations and their future impact. His client list includes companies such as Microsoft, GE, American Express, Google, Deloitte, Procter & Gamble, Honda, and IBM. He is the author of seven books, including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller Flash Foresight, and his latest book The Anticipatory Organization. He is a featured writer with millions of monthly readers on the topics of innovation, change and the future and has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Wired, CNBC, and Huffington Post to name a few. He has been the featured subject of several PBS television specials and has appeared on programs such as CNN, Fox Business, and Bloomberg, and is quoted in a variety of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Fortune, and Forbes. He has founded six businesses, four of which were national leaders in the United States in the first year. He is the CEO of Burrus Research, a research and consulting firm that monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients profit from technological, social and business forces that are converging to create enormous, untapped opportunities. In 1983 he became the first and only futurist to accurately identify the twenty technologies that would become the driving force of business and economic change for decades to come. He also linked exponential computing advances to economic value creation. His specialties are technology-driven trends, strategic innovation, strategic advising and planning, business keynote presentations.