Since ToP methods are based on a solid foundation of “how people think clearly when they think clearly”, they can easily be adapted to any mode of communication, including online and hybrid meetings.

A Focused Conversation is easily done online with just a gallery view of participants. Questions can be verbal only, or put in the chat as well for reinforcement. Answers can be verbal or in the chat. Notes can be taken in the chat and written up afterward. Participants can also save the chat before the meeting is over. If you have a group larger than 10 or 12 online, share the questions in the chat and then create breakout groups to have the conversation. You can have them come back to the large group and share their answers, then reflect on the results.

Many methods, such as the Consensus Workshop Method, can be used online with a virtual whiteboard or visual workspace such as Mural, Miro, Google Docs or Jamboard, or many others. Participants need to be able to talk in breakout groups, and have space on a shared whiteboard to write their ideas. This image shows a Mural board of a Consensus Workshop with breakout group spaces around the main board.

An analysis of an organization’s journey can also be done with stickies on a background image of the Organizational Journey Map on a virtual whiteboard, like this one in progress.

In a hybrid meeting, care needs to be taken to ensure everyone sees the same thing and all voices are heard. A multi-directional microphone so that all voices can be heard around the table is useful. Either a smart board or a large shared screen where all the virtual participants can be seen and a virtual whiteboard can be seen by everyone is also useful so that the group’s evolving work can be seen by all, and everyone’s voice is heard.

This is just a beginning! If you have other ideas or tips, or want to share your experience of using ToP methods online, please email us!

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