We are living in an increasingly digital workplace, and this has been massively accelerated by the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic.

Businesses had to rapidly adapt to a new socially-distanced world in Spring 2020; many have digitalised quicker than they ever thought possible before.

Digitalisation has brought considerable benefits – greater work flexibility, lower carbon emissions, and more time with family, to name a few.

But the speed of change has also caused some problems. Not everyone found it easy to adapt to digital, home working. Certain activities, like creative brainstorming or team bonding, are significantly more difficult through Zoom than in-person.

For managers, chairs and directors, facilitating the transition to a digital workplace remains challenging at times. Without a definitive dummy’s guide to becoming and managing a digital workforce, things that seemed fairly simple pre-pandemic (like chairing an online meeting) can become quite the opposite.

Through this course, Campbell Tickell, one of the UK’s leading multi-disciplinary management consultancy focusing primarily on statutory and not-for-profit sectors, shows you how to navigate your workplace’s digital transition with ease.

Lesson 1: How to be an effective online chair, by James Tickell, Partner at Campbell Tickell

One thing is clear – online meetings are not just the same as gathering round a table but transplanted to Zoom.  They have a different rhythm, new disciplines, and different outcomes.

The art of chairing online demands new techniques and skills, while participants must develop new behaviours.  In this lesson, James Tickell, founding Partner at Campbell Tickell answers a number of key questions to help chairs become more effective in online spaces. This session is aimed at chairs, and others who chair committees, panels or other meetings.

Meet the lecturer for this course:

James Tickell, Partner of Campbell Tickell

James has been a Partner of Campbell Tickell since 2004. He has carried out a wide range of assignments throughout the UK and the Ireland, primarily for not-for-profit organisations and government agencies. His assignments have focused on governance, mergers, performance improvement, strategy and most recently organisational culture.

Some more high profile work has involved helping clients through difficult or unexpected events. Assignments include:

  • Numerous governance reviews, board appraisal exercises, awaydays, strategic planning exercises and scenario planning
  • Writing the Charity Commission’s flagship guidance for Trustees and other key guidance booklets for charities
  • Writing the new NCVO Code of Governance for the voluntary sector
  • Undertaking two statutory inquiries on behalf of government regulators
  • Conducting confidential inquiries into a range of problems and incidents on behalf of various clients
  • Assisting and advising on issues connected with the formation of group structures, mergers and partnerships
  • Serving as Interim Chief Executive of major care and housing organisation during a period of difficulty
  • Recruitment of Chairs, Chief Executives and other senior positions

Previously, James worked as a Director at the Refugee Council, and then at the Housing Corporation, where he was Registrar, a senior post in the department responsible for the regulation of housing associations.

Before moving to set up Campbell Tickell, he was Deputy Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, a national campaigns and trade body. He was responsible at various times for a wide range of activities, including:

  • The Federation’s Governance Code and work with Board members
  • Communications, corporate identity and branding
  • Company secretary functions
  • A major overhaul and expansion of the Federation’s regional network
  • Publications and journals

James trained as an architect. He has served as a Board member of various charities and other organisations, including as a government appointee to the Board of an organisation in special measures. He was a trustee of Public Concern at Work, the whistleblowing charity, and also a non-executive Director of McCann Homes Ltd., a developer and housebuilder. He has published books on the Maya and Inca civilisations, as well as on housing-related subjects.