EP. 51 New Perspectives for Fostering Collaboration & Teamwork on a Hybrid Team

Team Anywhere Leadership Podcast

Aug 8 2021 • 34 mins

In today’s episode we interview Phil Simon, author of Reimagining Collaboration: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and the Post-COVID World of Work. While many leaders are focused on how to go back to the office, Phil cautions that instead of focusing on when or how to go back, we should instead focus on how best to collaborate.


It is possible to collaborate in a hybrid environment effectively and efficiently, but it will require curiosity and experimentation. Leaders will focus on culture and priorities first, and then choose their collaboration tools to design the best ways of working. The winners in the future will build engagement and grow profits through maximizing collaboration to Team Anywhere.

What is Hybrid collaboration?

Success begins with a common understanding of terms. What do we mean by collaborating on a hybrid team? Is it the same as productivity? Having these kinds of conversations with your teams is going to open up opportunities to see new perspectives and expectations as to collaboration.

Collaboration vs. Productivity

Collaboration and productivity are not the same. An independent team member can work alone and be very productive. Alternatively, several team members can collaborate poorly and thus hinder productivity. Consequently, it is important to clearly define both concepts--what does collaboration look like for us? What does productivity look like? Let’s make both happen.

In terms of Collaboration, We’re Never Going Back

Before the COVID pandemic, collaboration was different. There was much more synchronous and in-person collaboration. The pandemic taught leaders and teams that remote work and collaboration was possible. Many employees have liked the ability to work from home and they want to continue their remote work. After a year and a half of learning to collaborate remotely - many teams and companies have realized that there really won’t be going back to the way collaboration was before the pandemic.

Create Curiosity when there’s a Resistance To Change

When it comes to making changes to how you collaborate, there’s bound to be resistance to change. Sometimes it's a team or team member, and sometimes it's the leader. It can be hard for team members to speak up and encourage their leaders to leverage, purchase, and actively learn collaboration tools. Fortunately, when most leaders realize the benefits of company-wide collaboration tools, they can’t believe they didn’t embrace the change earlier.

We Need to Reimagine Collaboration and Teamwork in a Different Way

Much thought is needed to re-imagine collaboration and teamwork as we move into an increased hybrid environment. Leaders are asking questions, such as, “How do you evaluate employees?” “How do you look at workflow in terms of collaboration?” “What part of the performance review measures collaboration?” If collaboration is important, it should be connected to performance check-ins and used to support an entire high performance culture


Collaboration isn't just about tools; rather, it should be the infrastructure of our emerging work world. It is the glue for business processes, organizational culture, hiring, change management, and engagement.

Click here for the full summary.