Lenovo’s global worker kickoff: The development of company meetings?

Disclosure: The majority of the vendors mentioned are clients of the writer.

When I were only available in technology first, I worked for ROLM Systems and our employee events were largely weekly: we’d gather on Friday afternoons for beer, snacks, and updates.  All-hands meetings were  less frequent and required travel; these were nowhere near just as much fun and crucial for understanding top-level strategy and my role within it. (I was less a fan of the because I’d often end up receiving a virus – large crowds and finger food certainly are a danger – and spending weekly to recover almost every other time.)

But big events get employees often, particularly sales employees, fired and motivated up. And  they help create critical connections we have to complete an activity or progress being an employee often. I’ve been wondering how companies are handling these plain things through the pandemic, therefore i was excited to be invited to Lenovo’s all-hands meeting  virtually.  It was done nicely, given the limitations of technology.

Here’s what worked, what didn’t, and what it foreshadows concerning the future of these forms of corporate events.

Sun and rain of an effective company meeting


Lenovo’s executive team hit every element I expect at one of these brilliant company-wide sessions typically.  The CEO and various division heads spoke about Lenovo’s market share, leadership, and gains -touting the ongoing company as the utmost successful multinational, at the very least in its segment. In addition they conveyed the initial nature of Lenovo with leaders from the selection of backgrounds and geographies.

Employees that stood out as leaders or thought outside the box to perform needed change were called out. This recognition for successful rule breakers is crucial if you’d like employees to take the needed risks an organization must advance; otherwise, the status quo can discourage risk-taking or push visitors to leave a ongoing company.

A significant portion of the function centered on work/life balance, that was sacrificed in lots of companies for productivity gains through the pandemic. People out are burning, and unveiling methods for getting help, new initiatives, and directives in order to avoid burnout is critical as of this right time. There is a drive to obtain employees to volunteer within their communities also, help with social engagement, and offer a rest from day-to-day work.

Presenters were provided and well-rehearsed the required professional method of the material. (I still favor what Microsoft i did so with funny videos and humor, though I understand it is not to accomplish humor than to accomplish it badly better.)

What didn’t are well


Like the majority of of the presentation tools we’ve at our fingertips now, the main one Lenovo used didn’t capture applause; it relied on emojis instead, all positive. I get why that has been the full case, but speakers have a tendency to get (and present back) energy having an audience, and emojis don’t cut it just.

Week at Nvidia’s GTC this same, Touchcast was showcased using Nvidia Maxine ; it could well give a better audience-to-speaker bridge for events such as this. It seems to accomplish a more satisfactory job of bringing a virtual audience into a meeting far.  Nvidia and lenovo are close partners, therefore i expect these advances may be looked at for Lenovo’s next event.

One more thing that wasn’t working well was the interaction between moderators. Because of latency issues, conversations between them were painful sometimes. I’d also suggest considering automated translation that matches the gender of every the speaker. I look for a woman’s voice appearing out of a man’s mouth – or vice versa -can be considered a distraction. Machine translation now outperforms human translators and AI is really a growing competency at Lenovo which means this is something that could be corrected.

Finally, big company events aren’t concerning the content just, they’re about connections also. As a non-Lenovo employee, I wouldn’t have already been included in such efforts, therefore i can’t critique what Lenovo did.  However, at the GTC event, Vicki Dobbs Beck’s presentation of ILMxLAB (the people who create a lot of the Disney movie magic) identified another path.  Using mixed reality, which Lenovo is committed to heavily, it is possible to create dynamic meeting places using what is apparently in-person-like experiences. You could have AI-powered virtual droids facilitate these virtual one-on-one even, or one-to-few emulated in-person conversations.

Overall: Progress made, light at the ultimate end of the tunnel?


Blending how Lenovo did its all-hands ending up in the near future technology showcased at GTC, I could visit a path where doing all-hands-meetings personally longer is practical no. Lenovo was with the proper content close, however the engagement was limited. Those limitations could be addressed with the coming of more capable mixed reality solutions ever, tools such as for example Nvidia Maxine and Universe, and Touchcast.

We aren’t where we yet have to be, but with companies like Lenovo, Nvidia, Disney (ILM’s parent), and Touchcast, I believe we’ll get within 3 years or so there.

We have been so close already.

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