Speed06-Instructional Designers as Leadership Agents: Practical strategies to address challenges in building effective remote teams
Instructional Designers as Leadership Agents: Practical strategies to address challenges in building effective remote teams
Over the past year academic institutions across the nation have been challenged to pivot to online and virtual teaching and learning. To answer this call, Instructional Designers mobilized existing problem-solving skills to promote effective and sustainable solutions for this unprecedented challenge. We are Lead Instructional Designers in Distance and Online Education at the University of Iowa. In this session, we will review current practices from the past year of working and collaborating at a distance and share practical strategies. The following questions will guide our conversation: How do you keep a team working together effectively during an unexpected shift to remote work? How can you plan for hiring and onboarding new staff remotely? What enables effective collaboration among disparate groups? Who should attend? The primary audience for this workshop is instructional designers and administrators. All those interested in learning more about building effective remote teams are welcome to attend. Join Us!
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[00:00:03.770]Strategies to address challenges
[00:00:05.320]in building effective remote teams.
[00:00:09.030]Thank you for choosing to be here this morning.
[00:00:11.200]You know, there are other sessions you can attend
[00:00:14.434]and we are very excited to have you here.
[00:00:23.520]So let's get started with the introductions.
[00:00:26.900]Today are presenters are myself
[00:00:30.440]and two of my dear colleagues, Isandra and Susan, we look
[00:00:34.880]we all work is the instructional designers
[00:00:38.630]at a university of Iowa business and online education unit.
[00:00:43.250]So to help us set the flow
[00:00:45.470]of our presentation during the speech session
[00:00:48.240]we welcome you to post any questions that you may have
[00:00:51.810]into the chat throughout the presentation.
[00:00:53.980]You can also choose to leave your contact information
[00:00:57.020]so that they can get back to you.
[00:00:58.480]If they don't have enough time today
[00:01:01.810]during our presentation
[00:01:02.940]we'll also give some breather points where
[00:01:06.380]we will welcome your insights
[00:01:08.590]for those will also prompt you to post in the chat.
[00:01:11.460]And one of us will be maintaining the chat at all times.
[00:01:15.590]Well, if the time permits, we'll also have Kenny session
[00:01:19.190]at the end of our presentation.
[00:01:23.900]So let's start with the context, what was happening
[00:01:28.020]in the last 14 months, academic institutions
[00:01:32.110]across the nation had been challenged to pivot
[00:01:34.930]to online, and virtual teaching and learning.
[00:01:38.530]We as instructional designers
[00:01:40.420]mobilized existing leadership skills to
[00:01:42.750]address the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19.
[00:01:47.710]How did we do it?
[00:01:49.040]How did we respond?
[00:01:50.820]We quickly assess the situation
[00:01:53.073]what was needed and responded accordingly.
[00:01:56.790]We gathered the rapid action teams, brainstorm ideas
[00:02:00.450]and quickly created solutions
[00:02:03.000]for the problems instinct problems.
[00:02:06.220]So we designed focused and applied on the move.
[00:02:09.660]We promoted effective and sustainable solutions
[00:02:12.880]for these unprecedented challenges
[00:02:15.160]in the workplace we contributed the strategic
[00:02:18.680]and cultural shift
[00:02:19.670]in workplace communication, collaboration, and engagement.
[00:02:24.340]Our goal in the session is to share practical strategies to
[00:02:28.950]address challenges in building effective remote teams.
[00:02:32.500]So our conversation will be revolving
[00:02:34.510]around embracing the pivot
[00:02:36.460]staying intentional and being proactive.
[00:02:44.580]So let's talk about the pivot
[00:02:46.520]the ability of leaders to pivot and adapt
[00:02:50.190]as their role is disrupting around them is essential.
[00:02:54.640]But what does it really mean?
[00:02:57.270]Pivot means to make fundamental often blonde and rapid
[00:03:01.850]change in direction.
[00:03:04.260]Well, I just, some of the characteristics
[00:03:06.370]of a pivoting leader that helped them in this process.
[00:03:13.800]So a pivoting leader embraces the change of course
[00:03:17.350]and they find the balance between being strategic
[00:03:20.950]and proactive as well as reactive, in this sense
[00:03:24.930]putting forward a clear vision is crucial.
[00:03:28.730]When we pivot in our leadership
[00:03:30.360]we do it for the long run, having a clear vision
[00:03:33.610]helps pivoting needle to shape core values
[00:03:36.520]and these values define who we are, who we hired
[00:03:39.760]the way that we treat each other, collide, play our clients
[00:03:44.340]partners and collaborate there.
[00:03:46.520]And this is actually how our reputation is measured.
[00:03:50.710]The pivoting leaders are acutely aware
[00:03:52.990]of the power of positive attitude
[00:03:54.537]and the difference it can make in their organizations.
[00:03:59.000]And finally successful leaders understand their
[00:04:02.030]success is tied to the hard work
[00:04:04.434]and the dedication of those around them.
[00:04:09.360]So here let's take 30 seconds
[00:04:13.240]and then feel free to share your strategies, ideas
[00:04:16.190]experiences in the chat.
[00:04:18.390]What strategies have you used to keep the team
[00:04:21.720]working together effectively
[00:04:25.030]during an unexpected shift to remote working.
[00:04:46.790]Well, for our instructional design team
[00:04:49.360]2020 challenges presented themselves as working remotely
[00:04:53.600]shifting the scope of our work collaboration
[00:04:56.810]across campus units, with different focus points
[00:05:00.170]and building a new team with new hires.
[00:05:05.700]So in this part of the presentation, the link that is
[00:05:12.380]under shared between at the beginning of our presentation
[00:05:15.030]you'll find a page handout that lists all
[00:05:17.550]of our lessons learned regarding
[00:05:19.410]to the effective communications strategies is we implemented
[00:05:24.680]and we pivoted pivoted to working remotely
[00:05:28.040]and our hope is
[00:05:29.340]that you will find these ideas, tips, strategies
[00:05:32.400]transportable, and applicable to your context as well.
[00:05:36.760]So effective communication strategies are managing time
[00:05:42.470]and space effectively communicating effectively
[00:05:45.290]efficiently, and regularly
[00:05:47.295]and having a can do attitude for time sake
[00:05:50.750]and to leave room to other presenters that we have today.
[00:05:54.889]I'm not going to expand on those, but it's our
[00:05:59.160]team's getting ready to return back to campus.
[00:06:01.930]In July, we find ourselves reflecting back
[00:06:04.780]and thinking about the gains
[00:06:06.440]from this experience overall throughout our initial focus.
[00:06:12.570]So our initial focus was to be reactive
[00:06:16.060]to the challenges and what was going on in time.
[00:06:20.390]We designed, developed and employed practice strategies
[00:06:23.750]for the long-term success of our team.
[00:06:26.040]With a clear vision in my, some
[00:06:28.600]of our lessons learned became part of our regular flow
[00:06:32.840]and be intent to keep them that being said
[00:06:36.330]I'm going to pass the microphone
[00:06:38.040]to my colleague Isandra now.
[00:06:41.450]Thank you, Pinar
[00:06:42.283]and good morning everybody.
[00:06:43.580]So another strategy that
[00:06:44.960]through all these paths eventful year
[00:06:47.720]and enables to work enable us to as instructional designers
[00:06:53.650]to be leadership agents
[00:06:55.270]at our institution was to stay intentional
[00:07:00.100]from that next slide, please, from that, from that
[00:07:06.159]and this strategy really allows us to bring together
[00:07:08.970]these spread groups, as you, as I'm sure many, many
[00:07:13.570]of you have experienced promoting effective collaboration
[00:07:16.130]among these spread groups truly requires an
[00:07:20.790]intentional facilitation of this process just
[00:07:22.900]doesn't happen overnight or magically, right?
[00:07:26.269]And it requires an understanding of what are the, the
[00:07:29.660]what is the value on the skill sets.
[00:07:32.220]Bring both bring brought to the, to the team
[00:07:34.630]by all the members that are coming together to
[00:07:37.390]achieve that common goal.
[00:07:39.950]So to tell you a little bit about how that worked for us
[00:07:43.020]in the weeks, following the university's move to
[00:07:45.730]to virtual learning and to remote work, we were tasked
[00:07:51.371]our team was tasked to work with another group
[00:07:56.538]another instructional development unit at the university
[00:07:59.430]also composed by instructional designers, tech staff
[00:08:05.500]and teaching experts to lounge a campus
[00:08:09.670]wide initiative to train faculty
[00:08:13.670]on best practices for online teaching and learning.
[00:08:16.750]We were also looking to disseminate templates
[00:08:19.950]and best practice handouts that would facilitate
[00:08:23.590]the faculty cementation to build to our learning
[00:08:25.940]and also to that will help support academic continuity
[00:08:30.330]throughout the, the month following the pandemic.
[00:08:33.350]So to our advantage, we have, we had worked with some
[00:08:36.050]of these people in prior projects that being said, we, we
[00:08:42.030]we still felt that it was really important to be deliberate
[00:08:45.120]about creating a safe working environment
[00:08:47.453]for everybody we made and to achieve that we made time
[00:08:52.050]for introductions to learn about our skillsets
[00:08:55.487]and to clearly identify the instructional need
[00:08:58.530]that we were trying to breach a fit is so important
[00:09:00.960]in any instructional design endeavor
[00:09:04.800]and in an effort to be inclusive,
[00:09:08.320]we held brainstorming sessions aimed to
[00:09:12.570]identify the appropriate content for our audience
[00:09:15.080]which was faculty actions and TA throughout the university.
[00:09:20.890]Do they find a delivery
[00:09:21.940]the best delivery modality for,
[00:09:25.244]to disseminate information and to define work
[00:09:27.750]in teams and to implement and to, and also to
[00:09:32.520]define the plan that we were going to share with
[00:09:34.990]with our administrators.
[00:09:36.240]So how we were planning to make this happen
[00:09:38.970]for the university.
[00:09:40.280]The outcome of this conversation was the outcome
[00:09:43.580]of this inclusive goal-driven brainstorming
[00:09:47.060]sessions was a serious of summer
[00:09:50.040]and early falls webinars and LMS training as well.
[00:09:54.396]Iwoa uses CAMBAS on these training sessions were open
[00:10:00.850]to all university to everybody at the university of Iowa.
[00:10:05.320]We also put together
[00:10:06.889]or collaborated to put together a website where we
[00:10:10.690]that we used to share all these templates that are only
[00:10:13.350]information best we have best practices, handouts templates
[00:10:17.190]and also be videos to support some
[00:10:19.950]of the information that was chair.
[00:10:22.690]As you can imagine,
[00:10:24.300]our implementation plan included deliverables and deadlines
[00:10:29.100]all the webinars and all the training materials
[00:10:31.710]that were created using eco system template, each team
[00:10:35.413]which was often composed from people
[00:10:37.840]from both of this instructional development teams
[00:10:40.810]work collaboratively to define our own timeline
[00:10:47.140]and the content that was going to be delivered
[00:10:49.260]in every one of those training sessions.
[00:10:52.058]These effort was really successful
[00:10:55.100]for the time that we have to work on it
[00:10:56.680]which was a big pressure
[00:10:58.020]for many of us working in higher education.
[00:11:02.930]Any, we think that part of that part of that was
[00:11:07.870]because we were very intentional every step of the way.
[00:11:13.450]So we have another question for you.
[00:11:15.457]If you could share with us in the chat, your strategies
[00:11:19.580]what enabled you to collaborate
[00:11:22.230]to collaborate with other departments throughout the
[00:11:25.350]throughout this pandemic?
[00:11:56.220]Yes, I see a lot of file sharing strategies.
[00:11:59.280]I think that will work out for many, many of us.
[00:12:01.430]We haven't been there with you
[00:12:07.300]absolutely nurturing positive relationships across teams.
[00:12:09.980]That was very important for us as well.
[00:12:13.342]Thank you for sharing.
[00:12:14.240]So to, to give us a summary of what this
[00:12:16.730]our intentional strategies that we put
[00:12:19.250]in place to collaborate with to bring these teams together.
[00:12:25.530]From the beginning
[00:12:26.363]we establish a professional respect with our colleagues.
[00:12:30.220]We recognize everybody's contribution
[00:12:33.000]and everything that we worked on.
[00:12:35.120]We started an end that every conversation
[00:12:37.610]as a group or as a team
[00:12:38.680]depending on what level of the project we were working on
[00:12:43.635]and we clarify individual expectations
[00:12:46.200]and define a project timeline, this
[00:12:49.267]this language last one, again, it was extremely important
[00:12:52.710]for us because we had a small window
[00:12:54.470]of time to define the plan that we were moving forward
[00:12:58.860]and also to implement the project
[00:13:01.550]to implement the webinars that we were
[00:13:05.140]that we created for this initiative.
[00:13:12.660]Hi, thank you so much, Isandra.
[00:13:15.500]So our third and final strategy is to be proactive, right?
[00:13:21.040]So our own five person, team of instructional designers
[00:13:27.270]at the university of Iowa distance
[00:13:30.540]and online education, right, changed significantly
[00:13:33.380]over the last year, as we completed hiring onboarding
[00:13:38.120]and integrating two new colleagues
[00:13:40.960]while working fully remote.
[00:13:43.470]And in fact to this day
[00:13:45.890]our current team has not met in person as a group.
[00:13:49.800]And it really does require a proactive leadership
[00:13:53.900]to pull that off, right?
[00:13:56.100]So let's take a look at what this looks like
[00:13:59.159]and begin with the big picture, right?
[00:14:01.809]We know that building teams that are effective
[00:14:05.720]that collaborate and that support each other
[00:14:08.080]that doesn't happen by accident.
[00:14:10.370]It requires some intention
[00:14:12.020]and planning. As proactive leaders,
[00:14:15.107]We work to build an environment
[00:14:17.880]and provide the resources where teams
[00:14:20.610]and individuals can flourish, right?
[00:14:23.300]And as instructional designers
[00:14:25.470]we know how important it is to plan
[00:14:27.210]for today and to look to the future
[00:14:30.370]not waiting necessarily until things calm down, right?
[00:14:33.130]To tackle those important issues or projects, right?
[00:14:38.050]So our final question, and please again
[00:14:40.160]feel free to share your ideas and experience in the chat.
[00:14:45.130]You can see that question on the screen, right?
[00:14:48.006]So with the current conversations
[00:14:49.900]in higher ed about the nature of work, you know
[00:14:52.650]the topic of remote hiring
[00:14:53.867]and onboarding really has become more relevant
[00:14:56.170]even if it's not something
[00:14:57.290]you have experienced so far, right?
[00:15:00.490]So have you thought
[00:15:02.238]about how to plan for remote hiring
[00:15:03.820]and onboarding and how that process might need to change
[00:15:09.600]for a remote or hybrid work environment?
[00:15:12.330]I'd love to hear your thoughts or your experience.
[00:15:14.810]Please feel free to share those in the chat.
[00:15:24.420]Right, I'm going to go ahead and move on for time
[00:15:26.590]but please keep sharing your ideas as we move on.
[00:15:30.950]I'm going to share some specific lessons
[00:15:33.730]but I want you to consider what you can take
[00:15:35.710]with you and apply to your own practice.
[00:15:39.840]So we're going to take a look
[00:15:40.770]at a basic onboarding roadmap and just full transparency.
[00:15:45.330]In the past
[00:15:46.163]we had a pretty unstructured onboarding process, right?
[00:15:48.920]Really just address need to know information, you know
[00:15:51.070]the logistics, tech processes, that kind of thing.
[00:15:54.360]And we really relied a little too much
[00:15:56.750]on addressing questions in the moment and as they popped up
[00:15:59.970]and here's how our process will changed to
[00:16:03.710]accommodate remote work as instructional designers
[00:16:07.510]we borrowed from best practices for online course design
[00:16:10.830]and shifted from a mindset that says, you know
[00:16:13.240]just ask someone nearby that proximity
[00:16:15.660]to the expert strategy, to a more proactive approach
[00:16:20.390]that provides needed information and details upfront, right?
[00:16:25.900]So what does this look like in practice, right?
[00:16:31.660]So to start onboarding
[00:16:33.890]at a distance really should take a page
[00:16:36.810]from adult learning principles and give ownership
[00:16:40.470]and expect ownership from everyone involved, right?
[00:16:43.477]And we can support
[00:16:44.730]that by providing that explicit information upfront, right?
[00:16:49.160]to the new hire and everyone involved, right?
[00:16:51.960]Next, it's important to
[00:16:53.990]consider how to compensate for those intangibles.
[00:16:57.040]Like the loss of was informal introductions, right?
[00:17:00.740]And connections with staff.
[00:17:02.730]One of the ways that we tackled this was to
[00:17:05.660]identify specific people or groups that would normally be
[00:17:09.350]on the building or campus tour and set
[00:17:12.950]up informal zoom sessions for staff
[00:17:16.650]to meet each other, right?
[00:17:18.650]That's proved to be really valuable
[00:17:20.920]if you think about it, cold calling someone
[00:17:24.032]or emailing them that you've never met
[00:17:27.179]in person can feel really awkward in a new work environment.
[00:17:30.260]So adding that initial intentional meeting really
[00:17:34.190]helped to make those connections.
[00:17:37.550]Next, we know that it can be really valuable
[00:17:40.500]for staff to hear information from multiple
[00:17:43.970]multiple voices and perspectives, right?
[00:17:47.280]And so it can them to get a sense
[00:17:50.550]of team culture and how work and processes differ
[00:17:54.920]and where it's important, that things stay consistent.
[00:17:58.900]So this is the type of job shadowing that turns onboarding
[00:18:02.560]into a scaffolded mentoring approach that relies
[00:18:06.630]on and build the strengths of your entire team.
[00:18:11.030]So next, as, as new hires take on more responsibility
[00:18:17.050]and they, what's my? what else
[00:18:24.400]Take on more responsibility and they get ownership, right?
[00:18:28.670]It's important to make sure that you're communicating
[00:18:31.420]and remind them that no question is unwelcome.
[00:18:35.430]It's really crucial
[00:18:36.430]that you keep those lines of communication open, right?
[00:18:38.780]So next, we're gonna talk
[00:18:40.740]about a tool that we've provided to you, right?
[00:18:44.150]We're sharing a copy of onboarding resources
[00:18:46.510]and that link spent shared in the chat
[00:18:47.900]and we'll share it again for you in case you missed it.
[00:18:51.780]It includes the onboarding checklist
[00:18:53.680]and meeting invitation templates.
[00:18:56.110]All of those resources are pre-populated
[00:18:58.270]with content for you to consider, for example
[00:19:00.997]things like should the new hire plan to attend, observe
[00:19:04.805]participate in, or facilitate the meeting.
[00:19:08.070]You just invited them to
[00:19:09.850]those are all very different things, right?
[00:19:11.970]And will it be virtual or in person?
[00:19:14.040]Those are small details that are easy to forget
[00:19:16.760]but sharing them upfront can really speed understanding
[00:19:20.840]and help to make a meeting really successful.
[00:19:24.270]So putting our instructional design hats
[00:19:26.460]on really helped us to rethink
[00:19:28.172]and apply learning theory in the onboarding process, right?
[00:19:32.300]And it's reflected in the details
[00:19:34.200]cadence and strategies that we've provided for you here.
[00:19:39.300]So just a few quick thoughts to take
[00:19:41.130]with you as you consider your own strategies.
[00:19:44.540]remember, you know, always provide that open
[00:19:46.880]and welcoming environment, think about including everyone
[00:19:50.060]in the process and those details, right?
[00:19:53.360]Provide that clear, actionable information.
[00:19:58.060]And then finally, as you move forward
[00:20:00.436]in whatever leadership roles you inhabit
[00:20:04.300]I encourage you to begin
[00:20:05.670]by evaluating one of your current strategies, right?
[00:20:08.510]Include everyone in the process
[00:20:11.070]move the whole team of forward together.
[00:20:14.150]And don't forget to embrace the pivot
[00:20:16.670]stay intentional and be proactive.
[00:20:20.940]So that's it folks
[00:20:23.300]thank you so much for your time and attention
[00:20:25.750]and we're happy.
[00:20:26.970]I think we have a couple of minutes left
[00:20:29.170]so we're happy to open up the mics and have a conversation
[00:20:33.500]if you have any thoughts or questions.
[00:20:51.370]And I just want to say, I love all
[00:20:53.600]of the ideas that you have shared
[00:20:55.200]in the chat and we're planning on downloading that chat.
[00:20:59.510]So, and we'll add that to the shared resources,
[00:21:03.105]Google folder for you,
[00:21:07.790]so that you all can have access to that as well.
[00:21:11.660]Hope that's helpful.
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