Old fashioned sit-down staff meetings are difficult to organize, expensive of staff time, and create debilitating information bottlenecks. Weekly sit-down meetings are like clogs in an organization's arteries. Luckily, there is a healthy, low-calorie alternative. A new office communication tool called Slack enables people in organizations to effortlessly share information with multiple teams, and free Conference Call technology allows those teams to get together in a flash and use the information to make quick decisions. Slack integration with conference calls is the simplest way to get an organization feeling great, and performing better.
Keeping teams organized
Slack is organized into a little "chatroom" on your desktop, with all the people you communicate with organized into teams. One team might be just you and your supervisor, so you can have a private argument about whether you can take next Friday off because the Blue Jays made the play-offs. Your main team might be a department, such as sales.
Where Slack really shines is in the effortless assembly of project teams which include selected people in different departments, or those "homeless people" in organizations– the creatives.
Always in touch
At first glance, Slack might look like "more email," but Slack filters out the outside world, and streams your intra-office communication by team. It functions like little texting windows, keeping communication blissfully short, and has a place to attach links to documents and videos for convenient distribution, especially in draft form for collaboration, and new ideas for inspiration.
You can of course, turn notifications on or off, by team or person, and stream notifications to cellphones, allowing your boss to find you quickly without having your personal cell number for texting.
Now you have a handy little window to keep an eye on what your teams are talking about, that you can look at whenever you have time to, or ignore when you are busy.
Breaking information bottlenecks
Questions like "How much do we have left in the budget for XYZ" can be answered quickly by the person who knows, and amended by a third party like "Heads up I just spent $500 of that yesterday which accounting hasn't seen yet."
Slack eliminates the friction and "drag" where people get slowed down in their jobs because they need one piece of crucial information that they won't get until a weekly sit-down staff meeting, or some other old fashioned information bottleneck.
But there is one thing Slack doesn't do.
Icing on the cake: Slack integration with conference calls
Sometimes, a situation comes up where the whole group needs to put their head together and make a decision. With a team of two, you would just pick up the phone. "Boss—I need to buy the tickets right now: can I have the day off to go to the Jays game, or will I be sick that day?"
But what to do when you need the brains of 12 people scattered across 5 departments? Waiting for the next sit-down meeting kills efficiency, but making a decision on the fly without the group mind can invite disaster. Two heads are really better than one.
Voilà– la conférence téléphonique.
Conference calls sync perfectly with Slack because they allow a team of any size to just pick up the phone.
When you really need everyone, you can set up the timing of a short conference call through Slack, Google Calendar Sync or Outlook Add-In.
Use the Recurring Calls feature in teleconferencing to send an Invitations to everyone in minutes, get your entire team on the same page, make a decision, and be done in less than ten minutes.
Conference calls were designed to set up long meetings amongst teams across continents, but they are fantastic at short, power meetings between teams in one building—and everything in between.
The best thing about conference calls is the audio quality, because it helps everyone hear the subtle nuances of exactly how everybody else feels. But Face to Face can be very helpful when making important decisions. For that, choose Video Conferencing.
Screen Sharing is what turns your conference call into a Web Conference, so each participant can feed into the documents on the common screen, and attach relevant documents or videos.
If parts of your team are in transit somewhere, they can use the Mobile Conference Call App to connect from anywhere.
Putting the sit-down meeting in its place
Sit-down meetings are an "endangered species," but they are unlikely to go completely extinct.
They were an important step in the evolution of meetings, and they still afford a nice social break where people can chat before the meeting over the coffee and fruit plate. They have their place in team building, along with retreats and bowling nights.
But sit-down meetings are information bottlenecks your organization can't afford, and they chew up so much staff time making everyone traipse around elevators and hallways to assemble.
Once a month is good for a sit-down meeting.
Conference calls are free to set up, and so flexible that you can literally collect a team up and make a decision in ten minutes without interrupting anyone's work flow. You can even use Conference Call Recording to create an MP3 record of the meeting for any who couldn't attend, and for minutes.
Breaking office information bottlenecks with Slack Integration with Conference Calls is like the simplest way to get an organization feeling great, and performing better.