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I had a most interesting conversation yesterday with Stefan Jonasson, the UUA Large Congregation Expert, concerning consulting via webcam.

He mentions that in recent months he has had occasion to experiment with connecting via webcam instead of traveling. He reports that his experiment with this has gone surprising well. Though his travel schedule initially forced him into this says he finds great advantages—beyond the savings in time and travel expense. While not all kind of work could be done this way, the work he tried in this format went very well. The webcam provided a sense of connection and immediacy that one does not get with a telephone conference call. Something about the format seems to enforce efficiency into the work. If you travel a day to get to a consulting engagement it seems inevitable that the consulting itself take a day. A telephone call does not tend to expand in this way. Also, there is great flexibility in this format. Face-to-face consulting tends to force a consultant to do all of a project on one visit or, at best a limited number of visits. This is not ideal for some processes. Often it is best to check in at a number of points in a process over time. This can much more easily be done in a series of convenient meetings rather than in a compressed day or weekend timeframe.