There were a couple of interesting developments this week all set against a continued gradual improvement and stabilization of the pandemic in Europe.
There was a change, returning to the office, it is now starting to seem real. Conversations are now definitely starting to take on a more serious and deliberate tone.
Even I have the prospect of an in-person meeting in a few week’s time. I am not sure if I feel excited or concerned about the prospect of being back, with some risk… it does still, seem like there is a lot of uncertainty.
As discussed before it does seem likely we will evolve to some sort of hybrid model. People are clearly thinking about it and increasingly there are good articles being released exploring how to make the best of it.
The second article here in particular I thought had some tips on running hybrid meetings (some people in the room, in person, and others working remotely).
In hybrid meetings, it is more important than ever that remote participants turn their cameras on in order to show their full presence. It is also critical that the presenter be able to engage visually with the entire audience, not just with those in the room.
To level the playing field even further, consider asking in-person participants to bring their laptops and turn their cameras on, keeping themselves on mute when not talking. It can also be helpful to have a screen in front of the room so that remote participants can be seen by everyone.HBR: How to Nail a Hybrid Presentation
Above all, it seems virtual meetings have forced us to be focused and short in presentations and meetings. This sounds like this is something we all would want to also carry forward too.
Yet, with Zoom fatigue setting in we also seem to be searching for new ways to reinvigorate online interaction. From funky to slick it seems like there is considerable innovation underway to make the most of working online.
I have been using Virbela, to some success, and it does replicate some of the in-person experience. With audio, voice and some spatial dynamics it is certainly different and a bit of fun. (I even saw the Bell Canada team used VR for their exec meeting too).
But, the elephant in the room on this is Roblox. Generally seen as a game, it already has all the modelling and interaction dynamics you need, just, at the moment, without voice. With a recent record IPO this could be about to become a heavyweight in this space too.
[I have been experimenting too… you can check out my Roblox world here, although I think this became more of an expression of what I really missed during lockdown… enjoy the cafe, beach and diving!… drop me a note if you are interested in Virbela, it is similar but more for business with voice]
Debt Collection and Recovery Business Sale
The other news this week was hidden in an earnings announcement with the decision by FICO to divest their Collections and Recoveries business. Whilst I am sure not much change in the short term, this is significant longer term for the UK market. It will undoubtedly create change and in turn, create opportunities for new and alternative providers in the market.
This whole market is very dynamic at the moment, and with lower costs of entry and now wide adoption of Software as a Service, changes and pressure will continue… it is one to watch closely.
Closure of Subprime division
Elsewhere Provident Financial also announced they would close their doorstep lending business too. This prompted several conversations online around whether borrowers, those who access this service, will now have fewer options and forced into the hands of less reputable lenders.
With high rates of interest, reflecting in all likelihood the already stretched nature of the customers financial situation, this does not sound like a good outcome. I wonder if there are options to provide better solutions for this segment of the customer base too.
Other Stories of Interest