5. Setting Your Zoom Stage

Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Smooth Operator/Podcast/5. Setting Your Zoom Stage

5. Setting Your Zoom Stage


Things have changed an awful lot since the world first went on lockdown and Zoom became a household name. Prior to that, I can remember having to train our members on how to use Zoom and even educate them on some of the basic features.

Since then, it’s become a regular thing in normal life.

It’s become very informal in certain ways and increasingly hard to take people seriously when they appear on camera.

I’d like to introduce the idea of treating your Zoom presence like you’re on a stage.

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Welcome back to the smooth operator podcast. I'm your host, Adam Liette. So good to have you for another episode.

So I want to get into something that's kind of a bugaboo of mine. And it's, it's the question, right? Because if you put any group of operators or operations directors in a room together, and someone's going to ask this question, inevitably, and they're going to ask,

Hey, man, what's the best? Like, what do you use for task management? What's the best task management system?

And if you have 10 Different people in that room, you're gonna get at least six different answers. Okay? Because at the end of the day, task management systems, project management systems are a bit like our favorite kind of music, you know, everyone has their own, and will defend what they prefer to no end. I mean, they're just, they're dialed into what they use.

And in my personal opinion, and professional opinion, is there is no ideal task management system. There's no ideal project management system, they all have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, they all have their weaknesses, for sure.

And, you know, that's what it is. So I happen to use Asana after trying several other options. But that's just what my personal preference is, it was a system that I was easily able to grasp and operate on instinct and habit, when working within the system. It just came very intuitive for me.

And over the years now, I've trained my team to use Asana, and they really rely on it for their daily and weekly task and outcomes. Now, I'm not naive, I know there are other ones out there that work just as well.

And perhaps even better, of course, but that's not the point. Okay. When people ask that question, like, what's the best project management software, they're not actually looking for the software, they're looking for an easy tech solution, they're looking for a solution to something that is wrong with how they're actually managing task with something that's as fundamental as negotiating multiple tasks running at this at a single time.

The task management system actually isn't the answer.

The answer is how you are using these systems, how you are project managing me personally, like I have a hard time, I don't care what system it is, whether it's even something as rudimental as a Google doc to something like OmniGraffle just a bit more involved or like a full project in Asana or Monday or Trello.

Or pick whatever you want to use, I have a very hard time creating within almost any system. And here's why I get so caught up in trying to optimize trying to set the appearance of the task, trying to create automations trying to do all these Wazoo stuff that I know that the system can do. But like that's not where my mind needs to be.

That's a different segment of my mind that needs to be working at that moment when I'm working to optimize something and get it into an operational capacity, versus when I'm trying to imagine a workflow. Imagine task management, that's a completely different thing, especially when we're talking about very complex processes that we're trying to create, oftentimes, from scratch.

If you're, if you're a company below 10 million, well, I don't care what size company you are, I imagined, even when you're above 10 to 50 million, you're still creating processes and workflows from basically scratch. And that's really what we're doing.

And that's really what people in my experience, they're looking for that easy answer of something that will basically make the process work for them without having to do the hard and dirty creative work up front, which then can be inputted into any task management system.

So I tend to start with low tech solutions, because it allows me to organize my thoughts. I jot down things on a legal pad, man, I have so many legal pads around my desk. It's crazy. I use sticky notes, and I'll literally go up to a whiteboard and I'll move my sticky notes around and I can throw the way and make new ones that will even replace them.

I mean, I can do anything because nothing is concrete. I don't have 5 million clicks in my way between completely changing something it's as simple as moving a sticky note around one of my favorite ways of coming up with processes and and different workflows is to actually verbalize them.

So I have a I have a woods in my backyard, where I'll walk back there and I'll just walk around with my iPhone in hand, just literally recording myself talking to myself into my iPhone. And then ordering a transcript, and you'll be amazed, like, it's gonna be about an hour of gibberish. But then that lasts five minutes, or it's somewhere in there, it's gonna be that five minutes of pure genius where you finally get it right.

And it might be an hour and a half into it. But I promise you, if you keep talking long enough, eventually you're going to come up with something.

And or I'll create very flexible workflows in a tool like OmniGraffle, and see how the flow works before I tried to make all the connections, and build things out into a project management system. So really, at the end of the day, that's how I suggest you start get away from the tech solutions, that's not what's going to fix it for you, what's going to fix it for you is by making sure that the process you're imagining you're envisioning works, and you're going to be able to battle test that and work backwards much more easily when you're working with a low tech solution, because you're eliminating a whole lot of barriers in your way.

And a whole lot of additional steps that it takes to make a workflow work in any of these project management systems. And then really, then when you take your big picture, vision, your your idea of how this could work, when you finally then get into your task management project management system, you're gonna have a level of clarity.

So you'll find that the processes almost create themselves, because you already have the vision, you've imagine the steps that need to make it workable. And now you're able to switch the side of your brain to the part that's going to think about the tech about making it work about putting in automations and assigning things and oh, I need when I when this is done, I need it to automatically make this one open.

Like all these little things that these project management's management systems can do. Like I can't create and do those things at the same time. And I imagine a lot of you out there in the same boat. One other suggestion I'll give is make whatever system you use, make it a one stop shop for your team.

Like really put everything in there that your team needs to be successful. So what I've come to take to do is I like, like a, like a crazy man inside of these Asana tasks. If all my documents are in a Google Doc or a folder like I linked to it, if I have an SOP that covers that project, or that sub task, I'm going to link to that SOP, if I have reference material or raw, like raw media for editing, like if I'm shipping something to my video editor,

I'll add those links, I'll put everything on that card, so that my team member opens the card, they see their job, they see all the resources they need to do, they don't have to spend any time wasting around looking for something.

And it really helps you stay a whole hell of a lot more organized in the meantime. Because what you're really doing from that point is you're eliminating friction and confusion from their perspective. And what that ends up doing is you get quicker adoption of your project management software, they get buy in on the process, because they see they're enabled, they're enabled to stay within that one window.

And everything's there for them. So when they go into the creative work that you need them to accomplish to actually finish the project, they're able to do it from my point of zero frustration and clarity and abundance. And actually a little bit of appreciation for what you were able to do because you took 25 seconds to link to a Google doc really small amount of investment for a huge amount of payoff, that's not going to come immediately.

But it's going to come later, when you're linking everything within your project management software in your team is living in it with you.

So really from my side, that's how you win with task management software, he's you'll keep everything organized from your side, you leave nothing to chance, you'll be able to use templates, predictable processes, your team will have buy in on it, they'll be able to live within that and have everything they need to accomplish their job. And at the end of the day, all of this stuff that we're using, like I don't care if you have the best project management software in the world, if your team hates it, it's the wrong one.

Okay, be get right in front of that idea. If your team doesn't like it, you need to either fix how you're utilizing it or realize that I picked the wrong one Jack and go back to the drawing board and pick something that your team will mold Nestle, or will just fall into and enjoy and work well with within.

So no matter what you end up choosing, I'm not here to advocate for any of them whatsoever, I would take the time to level up in your ability to use the software. So attend trainings, find YouTube tutorials, make changes to things aren't working on the fly, just like we said in the last episode of things aren't broken, I get worried, find things that are broken and fix them. templatized them, make sure you have a predictable stable process that you're employing over and over again.

So when you personally enter into that phase of continuous process improvement, you'll find that things become smoother, they become easier to manage. And you just reinforced that support and trust from the team you're expecting to work within these systems.

And best of all like this my favorite so you'll finally personally put a stop to the never ending chain He's for software that will quote unquote, fix things overnight. Because at the end of the day look that software is only as as good as the inputs that go into it. So instead of focusing on the software, focus on the inputs, and you'll be winning.

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© Adam Liette Marketing

© Adam Liette Marketing

© Adam Liette Marketing