Apparently, no one ever said “Nice whiteboard!”. Unless you enter Under Armour headquarters, where “Have you seen Kevin’s whiteboards?” is one of the first things you’ll hear, before you even get a chance to hang your coat. Under Armor founder and CEO Kevin Plank really likes whiteboards. Whole walls of floor-to-ceiling whiteboards contain curt principles that are part of the incredible success story that is Under Armour.
This guiding principle that covers one of Under Armour’s whiteboard walls, is what every company should bring out in its employees. In the digitally disrupted workplace, collaboration has become both more challenging and more important, in order to innovate, create and make your staff a team.
Face-to-face never dies
Online collaboration tools have made it easy to reach out, share, and work alongside online. And while I love the possibilities that Slack, Google Drive and their likes have opened up, they are poor replacements for face-to-face interaction. The level of information, understanding, idea generation and relationship attainable in a face-to-face situation are pretty hard to live up to digitally. With your peers working remotely, productive collaboration when and where you do get together, is priceless. A group of individuals working out plans in front of a large, borderless canvas is still a pretty powerful situation for tackling ideas or challenges. And whiteboards can be a pretty powerful supporter.
Putting human needs first
New whiteboard solutions like Moving Walls and IdeaPaint have been designed to serve the need for creative collaboration. Moving Walls have been continuously tested with The Value Web – a global team of speerheading Graphic Facilitators – at events for the Red Cross International, WEF or the Danish Maritime Forum. Designer Jörg Bohner made sure to adapt the design to their needs, erase all pain points and develop an immaculate user-centric interface between users and their ideas.
Once the ideas have sparked and an execution plan has been worked out, whiteboard caption apps like CamScanner or bounce make it easy to share your plans digitally. The group dissolves back into digitally connected individuals and can take their tasks from there. Simple as that.