Much of the advisory work that we do results in, inevitably, an executive report. Sketching out the high-level contents of these reports turns out to be one of the most important contributions that we can make to the process, because the outline becomes scaffolding to support the devolution of thought, ideas and argument not a straightjacket to constrain team thinking. The old fashioned way, round a whiteboard, is best but the truth is that we seem to have worked pretty effectively through the pandemic using electronic alternatives.
We’ve been using Miro, and it’s worked out quite well. In fact, in a couple of ways group collaboration can flow better than when we huddled around a physical board. People can be more thoughtful with their contributions, and everyone can see what is being developed. The quality of the work produced by the groups does not seem to have been affected by working online – in bite-sized chunks, of course – to get to the scaffolding needed to build successful reports.