Written by Tobias Henz
We conducted approximately 40 online interviews within only 2 days with high profile young leaders in order to recruit the first generation of young leaders to be shaped and refined during their time as eMUN-fellows via Skype. The multifaceted challenges and difficulties made it more than apparent that a more professional solution was dearly needed to communicate with and train the delegation 2014.
When it comes to zoom.us, there actually isn't much to be said: it simply works. And in doing so, it's intuitive enough to allow for participants to focus on content as well as social interactions. I must admit that when starting out, one of our biggest concerns was that it might be impossible to form a team-spirit while almost exclusively working and meeting online. But as for what we experienced, and what we got as a feedback from our first class of eMUN-fellows, it indeed worked out great and we grew together quickly as well as closely - and seamless online meetings certainly helped a lot.
On the more technical side, stable connections, platform independence and conferences on the go increased the effectiveness of our calls and coaching sessions - and served as a warrant for only very few calls being missed by participants. Also worth mentioning: zoom.us itself is a team of dedicated professionals, putting in every effort to helping you meet online and making the software even better while maintaining the very affordable monthly rates.
I personally love the transparency it creates - everybody has access to all the information needed, which otherwise tends to be hidden in some kind of potentially private email exchange - but both team leaders and team members have ways of controlling what they believe needs to be seen by whom, and what one is notified of. With all that, little features like link previews and chat rooms add a little bit of a social component, so you actually can spend time on the platform and feel like you are surrounded by people, not just tasks and projects.
Our next big endeavor with Podio is to use it's webform integration for the recruiting of our eMUN-fellows 2015. Being able to get all the applications uploaded into our work environment automatically and being able to process them without any excel lists or countless PDF resumes will help us work through those 500-ish applications we are aiming at - and in doing so not getting lost in technicalities, but being able to focus on what's important: the people behind the application documents.
Anything we'd wish for? Of course, no solution is perfect. And as I am a sucker for integration, it would of course be lovely to schedule our zoom meetings right from within Podio, and automatically store what has been discussed during the call (video and audio recording, screens shared, whiteboard strokes created) in the corresponding meeting minutes. Also, we are very much looking forward to a webinar version of zoom.us, and the possibility to just forward outlook Meeting invites from your email inbox to a certain Podio app. But hey, both companies are young and innovative. So for now, it does sound like these things could happen in foreseeable future.
Thus for us, “See you around!” usually gets transformed into “See you on Podio!” or “See you on zoom!” - and let’s use those tools to make this initiative even more awesome and leaving an even bigger footprint in the live of individuals as well as in our society, by Shaping Future Global Leaders. Everyday.