A few weeks ago I began a new consulting gig as the Interim Executive Director of the Friends of Oakland Animal Services (FOAS).
No big new thing there. I've taken Interim ED assignments half a dozen times before. But I've not taken an assignment like this during a time of official Shelter-in-Place orders (but, really, who has?).
Previously, the only "virtual" consulting I've done has been limited to very short engagements. A few conversations, and advice, dispensed by phone or email. I've also been conducting my Basic Grant Proposal Writing course online, but again, for each student, it's a limited amount of contact and a few messages exchanged while they complete the class.
This is an entirely new adventure, with my work - at least to start - being conducted entirely online, via email, phone, and a seeming endless number of Zoom and Google Meet video calls. It's a very different experience, having staff that I've never in person, and building relationships with them, and with my Board members.
Hopefully, it won't be too many more weeks before the Shelter-in-Place restrictions in the Bay Area ease to the point where we can meet "in real life," but even after that, it won't be a daily thing. This is a small organization, with no actual office space. They mostly worked remotely already. When shelter-in-place ends, many of our regular meetings may be in person, but the bulk of the work will still be done remotely.
At FOAS, our work is changing along with the rest of the world during this global pandemic. We will find ways to transform the organization that will be stronger and even more successful than before shelter-in-place. This is a new and different way for me to be an Interim ED, but the challenge is exciting, and I'm looking forward to seeing what develops.