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Shifting all activity to digital in a week

Article: Nega Shahar, manager of a chain of branches

Leading a change is in many cases a necessity, even though in the routine of life, we find that it is a complex and sensitive process. The word "change" was very present in the lives of many of us during the last months. The consequences of the corona virus, which came and affected our lives in almost every possible way, did not escape the Froman association. Due to the situation, we had to make quick and sharp changes in the student programs; Even before it was clear how long the confusing period would last that did not allow us to hold the meetings in order, we jumped into the water and decided to hold the meetings using zoom. The situation was new for all of us, but we worked night and day while learning and constantly improving.

The weekly meetings on the campuses, the networking created in them, the intimate discourse around the women's circle, all of these stand at the foundation of Prowoman meetings. The entire branch team, consisting of over 30 female volunteers, worked for many months on building, planning and thinking about every detail in the construction of these plans, everything was ready and organized for execution. To tell the truth, in the first days it was not easy for us to accept the new situation. Quite a few questions arose; How will the program have the right to exist if we don't have physical meetings, face to face? Can the messages of our speakers go through a screen? Shouldn't it be postponed until an unknown date, until anger passes?

A saying from the worlds of management says: "A ship anchored in a port is safe, but that's not what the ship was built for."

And with this attitude we set off. Very quickly we realized that we had an opportunity and recalculated the route. We thought about the way we would be relevant to our community in the new reality, a reality that forces us to be isolated and distant. We realized that through the weekly zoom meetings, we could bridge the distance and give significant value to the young female students who had just joined the program; In this way, we can enable them to have a dialogue with other women who are in a similar status to theirs, to receive inspiration and empowerment and to continue to develop personally and professionally, despite the new reality.

The decision was made - together as a team we worked to achieve the common goal and steered the ship to the safe islands.

In order to implement the change, we recruited new spokespeople who connected to the virtual concept, trained the participants in the Zoom software, and set off. As mentioned, although the meetings took place remotely, it was important for us to create intimacy and allow a sense of sharing and openness, just like in regular meetings. Alongside the speaking lectures, we did not give up authentic and enabling discourse; We found many of us sharing similar feelings in this confusing time, such as; Adapting to the new routine, feeling uncertain about the career, concern for the health of the home and family, financial anxieties and even loneliness. The meetings allowed us to draw strength from the group, to maintain optimism and vision for the horizon. From week to week, we did everything we could to adapt ourselves in response to the discourse that arose.

In conclusion, despite concerns and initial glances that arose from the uncertainty, we look back with pride on the way we acted, and more than that, are grateful for the privilege these days to succeed and bring together the students and the most influential and senior women in the Israeli economy through the screen, and to provide the platform for a discussion about self-fulfillment, Career development and finding balance alongside personal life. We learned that through processes, teamwork and listening to needs, even in the stormy waters of uncertainty, it is possible to lead far-reaching changes.

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