Thinking Differently about Collaboration

Most people don’t think of collaboration in terms of hubs and spokes.

They should start.

In fact, hub-spoke model is the fulcrum of my new book on collaboration. Trust me: I’m not unique in viewing collaboration in this manner.

The top brass at Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom don’t look at their wares as traditional software programs. Rather, they view them as internal collaboration hubs. Asana, Jira, ZenDesk, and other third-party apps and systems serve as spokes. Even better, thanks to Zapier, IFTTT, and Workato, everyday employees can connect hubs to spokes without much technical proficiciency.

Make no mistake: This is a big deal.

Think of Zoom and Slack an operating systems.

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Against this backdrop, announcements at the most recent Zoom and Slack conferences reinforced this notion. Case in point: Zoom’s launch yesterday of Zapps. In this context, stop thinking of Zoom as a videoconferencing program. Rather, think of it as an operating system. The other apps, tools, and systems live on top of it. Platform thinking at its finest.

Simon Says: Collaboration and knowledge work evolving. Are you?

The question isn’t whether critical third-party apps can seamlessly connect, automate manual tasks, and change the fundamental nature of knowledge work. They can; in fact, they already are. Slack, Zoom and Microsoft Teams are moving in this direction — and have been for years.

The question is whether people are willing to change their habits and business processes.

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