The Power of Face-to-Face Engagement in the Digital Age

A CEO program that we work on just celebrated a milestone anniversary – 100 years of bringing Fortune 100 leaders together. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we recently convened this group, bringing together current members and alumni members.

When this group was formed in 1918, the methods for members to stay in touch with each other in between meetings were limited – if they did not see each other physically, they could write letters and use the telephone or telegraph. 2018 is in the digital age; technology makes it incredibly easy to stay in touch, through FaceTime, email and text, and via social platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, and enables a certain level of connectedness. While many of these alumni likely stay in touch with each other using modern technology, this event was proof positive for me that in-person, face-to-face engagement will never go out of style.

After nearly 2 years planning this anniversary celebration, during which time I had the pleasure of interacting with all of the attending retired CEO alumni, it was wonderful to see them come together. They picked right up as if no time had passed, enjoying each other’s company, sharing stories from years past, and catching up on what is happening today. We may be in the digital age, but this type of physical, personal contact cannot (and should not) be replaced by technology. This group found such value in coming together at the celebration that they left asking us to host another reunion within the next 2-5 years so they can continue to foster their relationships through face to face connections.

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