What are HBS CircleSpaces?
When executive ed participants attend programs on the HBS campus, 8 participants share a living room and form a learning group. With the help of some structure, coaching and action learning assignments, the intentional diversity of the group becomes a strength. They learn from each other and push each other. A CircleSpaces program replicates this popular element of the HBS experience online.
How It Works
Each session is designed for impact and efficiency. Live facilitators can guide the interactions
The experience takes place in a purpose-built space that shakes people out of their daily mindset as if they were on campus
Unique technology makes it easier to organize groups and measure outcomes
These highly engaged groups continue learning between and after modules, applying concepts to actual challenges. Along the way, leaders get better at facilitating inclusive, trusted, dialogue themselves.
A typical Program timeline
A space to connect
CircleSpaces comes from the age-old tradition of storytelling and gathering as a community. It enables the same kind of human connection, virtually. The video space is perfect for hosting facilitated, inclusive sessions. The unique setting and features shake small groups out of the day-to-day and into intentional dialogue about their most important challenges. Once a circle “jells” they continuously meet to apply and practice, engaging over months instead of days.
[sg_popup id=”1006″ event=”click”]Take a CircleSpaces tour[/sg_popup]
Why add CircleSpaces to a program?
Graduates report that one of the most valuable outcomes of our learning programs is that leaders build strong social connections. Circles amplifies this, virtually, in a way that work as a large cohort doesn’t. Second, making space within a program to apply concepts moves leaders towards concrete business outcomes and behavior change faster. This is easier to accomplish in a dedicated setting, with support, away from the day-to-day. Third, getting better at collaborating in small teams is itself a valuable outcome for leaders.
Why not use my standard corporate video platform?
If you’re using your corporate video platform to virtually gather larger audiences for webinars or general sessions, CircleSpaces easily links out to provide a better breakout experience for small groups.
CircleSpaces is a video platform built on best practices. There are no rows or static backgrounds that make it hard to concentrate. The circle layout is accompanied by easy to view controls, features for equal talk time, visible agendas to spark conversations and keep your session on track, and an ombre animated background to combat fatigue.
Also, CircleSpaces allows for small group interaction at scale. It is easy to intentionally coordinate multiple circles at once. Agenda and facilitation support produces consistency with each experience, generating impactful outcomes. Features make it easy for anyone in the room to be a 9.5/10 facilitator.
And finally, CirclesSpaces provides managed experiences. Sometimes you need more than just a video platform. Sometimes the best interface is actually a human face. CircleSpaces experts develop high-quality programs, facilitate sessions and coordinate logistics.
How many people are in a circle?
We recommend 4-8, although sometimes there are reasons to have larger or smaller circles. Sometimes we reduce the size of groups because they spend less time together virtually than traditional living groups, which have 8.
Is it secure?
A CircleSpace is designed to host highly confidential conversations. Entry is only through a unique link per participant. There is no recording or observing sessions. No participant data is stored beyond name and email. Communications streams are highly encrypted.
How much does it cost?
Your program design team will work with you on the components of session design, facilitation and logistics of a CircleSpaces program. A rule of thumb for most of our cohorts of 30-100 people for 4-9 month experiences is $500/participant, including all design, facilitation, program management and technology. At scale, this price can drop as custom content is reusable and leaders from within a company master the facilitation skills needed to kick off future cohorts themselves.
Does my corporate technology group need to be involved?
Usually not. The CircleSpace is a place you go, not an application you run. It is similar to the Harvard Live Online Classroom. It is possible that some organizations will have firewalls that block access to certain 3rd party sites. If this is the case, and you are not able to use a personal computer to access CircleSpaces, we will send the instructions to your corporate IT department to remove these blocks.