PETER SMIT is the Founder at Collabogence, a company that helps measure how well your teams are collaborating and how productive they are. They use big data analytics to measure collaborative performance before and after a company makes a major transition (for example, going from co-located to remote). We discuss where leadership is failing, the importance of social networks, and the value of searching for more information.



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His tips on collaborative intelligence:

  • Don’t underestimate the value/importance of being able to search information
  • Let your decisions be driven by data.
  • Modern businesses are moving from competitive to collaborative.
  • Define where you think you are and then ask yourself where you want to go.
  • There’s no excuse not to know what people are doing.


Podcast production by Podcast Monster

Graphic design by Alfred Boland


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Original transcript

Lisette:                    Welcome to the Collaboration Superpowers podcast. My name is Lisette and I’m interviewing people and companies doing great things remotely. Hello, everybody. Welcome to episode 158, and happy first week of September. In this episode, I’m back with another interview, this time with Peter Smit, the founder at Collabogens. It’s a company that can measure how well your teams are collaborating and how productive they are. But before we get into the interview, I want to give you guys this week’s one-minute tip. This week’s tip comes from an experience that I had on the Happy Melly team, and that is one of my tasks was to edit a document, and it was really boring. It was a really boring document. I didn’t have a lot of motivation to do it. And it sat on my task list for weeks and weeks. And eventually, I had to get to it, so I had to figure out a way to motivate myself to do it. And I decided to reach out to a colleague and ask for help. So I reached out to Sam, another person on my team, and I said, “Sam, I’m having a really hard time with this. I think it would be a lot more fun and probably faster if we did this together. Do you have the space and bandwidth to help me with this right now?” And she, being the awesome teammate that she is, jumped right on it and helped me out. So we ended up getting this document written, it was a lot of fun to write it together, and it ended up better than it would’ve been if I had just done it on my own. So this week’s tip is when you’re stuck, reach out because there are lots of solutions out there that you’re not going to think of on your own. So utilize your network and your team members reach out and get creative.

Okay, but not let’s get on to the interview. Like I said before, I’m interviewing Peter Smit, the founder at Collabogens, a company that helps measure how well your teams are collaborating and how productive they are. They do this with big data analytics and they measure the collaborative performance before and after a company makes a transition. So this is actually a great thing for companies who are transitioning from co-located to remote, for example, if they want to be able to measure the levels of collaboration and productivities on their team before and after to see the effect that it’s had.

So in addition to that, we also talk about where leadership is failing in the remote world, the importance of social networks, and not just things like Facebook but also our online collaboration tools and how powerful search can be. But before I give it all away, I’m going to stop and let Peter tell you. So I hope you enjoy this interview with Peter Smit.

Let’s start with the first question which is always: What does your virtual office look like? What do you need to get your work done?

Peter Smit:           Oh, really, I need a seat to sit on and a computer and an Internet connection. That’s about all we need. And I do that quite a bit from my home, and I do that from clients and from– and the usual thing from coffee shops and different places as we move forward.

Lisette:                    Okay, so you’re a founder at Collabogens. You said it has a very flexible work schedules or work environment. So tell us what is Collabogens. What does it do?

Peter Smit:           I’ve spent the last 30 years working for large multinationals, consulting the large multinationals, and working with tech startup companies. And one of the things that I found was that every company, no matter who you talk to, is all at this point of time striving to actually improve productivity in their collaborative performance. And they’re undertaking all sorts of different things that are suggesting people work from home, that are suggesting people work in different work environments like activity-based work environments, and they’re implementing a lot of different tools to help people become more collaborative, and then they’re trying train them on that. And my observation really was as you look at all that money that’s being spent by organizations to do that is how do they actually establish whether or not they achieve the objective of improving productivity and increasing collaboration. And if [inaudible – 04:21] benchmark where you start, then you can’t establish where you end. So you can’t measure what’s actually happening. So that was the light-bulb moment that said, “We’ve got to measure collaborative intelligence.” And that started the journey, and that was about three or four years ago. And I had spent quite a bit of time working with analytics and predictive analytics to know that every application has an activity to log, and nobody actually looks at the activity log data to do something. So we actually use activity log data which we de-identify, so it’s all anonymous. And then we can start looking at organization’s performance before and after changes and how people are collaborating in these types of things.

Lisette:                    How do you get that information? It’s probably a trade secret but I’m asking. How do you get that information? So it says Activity Log Data. So you’re taking the information from all the tools that people are using. How does that work? Say, for instance, we’re using Slack and we’re using email and we’re using SharePoint, all these three things. How do you get that information from all those different places?

Peter Smit:           Fundamentally, it starts really with the culture of the organizations that you’re working with. Fundamentally, they have to be committed to it, and they have to be an organization that is relatively open. Technically speaking, the employees are working for the company—I mean paid by the company—and the applications are being paid for by the company also. So the legal piece there. The big-brother element is something comes in play in many organizations, but I’ve seen organizations that are so decentralized and so remote and flexible, in their office they now actually have gone to the point where they have Wi-Fi tracking, which means that people come to the office so rarely that when they do come in, they want to know who’s there, and they want to be able to find them because they don’t know what desk they’re sitting at.

So what they can do is actually look to see who’s on campus and where they are and they can go find them. In other organizations that I talk to, if you were to mention something like this, people say, “Oh, that’s impossible. That’s big brother. Peter, they can check to see how often and how long you go to the washroom.” And my observation is that the people sitting around you know how often you go to the washroom anyway because they see you go. And the second thing, if you’re really concerned about that, then don’t take your laptop or your phone to the washroom because what they’re using is the Wi-Fi signal of your tool to track where you are. It’s very interesting from a real estate perspective also because they can track space utilization. So how often are conference rooms used and how close to capacity are they used? So there’s a real valid point for having that, but the side effect is that you could actually see where people are. We’re interested in people’s social behavior and the spontaneous, collaborative exchanges that take place that aren’t scheduled in somebody’s calendar or something like that.

Lisette:                    Okay, that’s interesting. Talk a little bit about what you mean about how do you get the data. What are the mechanics behind that?

Peter Smit:           Each application typically has an activity log. Most applications in today’s environment also have APIs. And it’s a question of hooking into the APIs. There are already some programs out there like Vyopta, a company of Texas, where you give them access to your WebEx API and they will give you the analytics of how often who is using WebEx and how many people are on each meeting and these types of things. That’s an open API that’s available for WebEx, and you can authorize them to access. So what we do, which is a little bit different, is we pull the metadata. So we pull no content. We say it’s who did what, when, and who else was involved.

Once that data is pulled, the first thing that we then do is run that through a program of ours which actually does all the de-identification. So we take people’s names out, we can take email domains out, and we put unique identifiers in there so that we can’t see anybody’s name, these types of things. And based on that, then we do the export to our servers so that we can actually start running things on the idea of trying to sit people in there in each other’s proximity. So one of the things that we were asked by this bank that we’re working with is their goal is to have half of people’s primary business partners in the same space, but they have no idea of where they are now. Is it 20% or is it 80%? They have no idea. So we can actually run that and show that half was driven by proximity on one side. And they know that proximity breeds more exchange of information. And there are studies done by MIT already. In ’97 they published results that show that if people sit out further away than 150 feet (50 meters) from each other, they don’t talk to each other face-to-face anymore. So they want to breed the exchange which is driven by proximity. And then the other 50% of people around them actually want to create an environment that creates new, spontaneous connections. So what we also do is we look at the breadth, depth, and strength of people’s networks. And the beauty of doing this with a dataset from before, like an office move to a new environment, and everybody seeing [inaudible – 10:32], we actually look for the change in people’s networks. So how many new net connections? How many net connections are stronger?

And then what we also look for—what we call our collaboration clusters—is we actually put a rule in the system that looks at groups of three or more people that during a period of time have a higher level of activity amongst each other. So that’s actually a cluster. Whereas social network analysis today has always been focused on the one-to-one connection. When you do the diagrams of social networks, you can see where people cluster around where are those exchanges. But to separate them out into clusters is actually very interesting because it’s closer to being able to measure team performance because social network analysis today can’t separate a team. So we can actually, over a period of time, see a group come together, work together, and then as the project completes, disband again.

Lisette:                    What have you noticed? I’d like to focus on the difference between in-person teams and remote teams. You said that you’ve done the transition from in-person to remote as well. What have you noticed? What has the data told you about these transitions if there is anything clear from it? I know that’s a big question.

Peter Smit:           One of the striking things that many organizations don’t actually look at or don’t even consider is there was an organization that we’re spending time with that was doing a real estate change. And one of the things that they were looking at was better asset utilization as they call it, which is more people saying, “Let’s use our space more effectively.” So they said, “In order to increase employee engagement, let’s give people the flexibility to work from home.” And they set up an agreement that the employees actually signed that committed them to work remotely at least two days a week.

Lisette:                    Everybody had to.

Peter Smit:           No, they were given the option. So if you wanted the flexibility of the when and where you do your work, you signed that agreement and you could work from home to at least two days a week. And they put policies and procedures in place. They had all sorts of tools that were available. And I was sitting in one of the meetings where a whole group of people had signed up for this.

Now the counterpart or the piece that goes hand-in-hand with it is that the company then also takes your test. You don’t have a fixed test anymore. When you come in, they have a [inaudible – 13:07] arrangement where you can book the test for the day that you’re going to be there.

Now from the meeting that I was attending, there were questions being asked which gave me a strong indication that there’s a large number of people sitting in the room that were actually not efficient users of the tools that they were going to become dependent upon.

So my view is you should be looking at how well they use the particular tools before you even give them the option of working remotely because the more distributed your work, the more remote work you do, the more dependent you become on the technology.

Lisette:                    What were they doing in the office where they could get away with not using the tools? Was it just like being in constant communication with each other? I would think you’d have to use some of the tools. I suppose not email and maybe not Slack. The communication tools you wouldn’t use, but task tracking and calendars.

Peter Smit:           That to a certain extent. I think the biggest one—surprisingly enough, even with Skype and FaceTime out there—was there are still a lot of people that are very uncomfortable with web conferencing, repositories, and even task tracking and Slack and these types of things for many people is still a very difficult thing. They get away with emailing things. I’ve seen people do impossible tasks on Excel spreadsheets, which is always hilarious to see but it works. You can do it all.

Lisette:                    It’s true. I’m guilty. I have to say I relate [laughs]. Okay, interesting. I have to say I have noticed that as well. And I’ve always been a little bit surprised by the lack of– I don’t want to say digital literacy, but that’s the first thing that’s coming to mind, the lack of digital literacy in some areas.

Peter Smit:           The other interesting thing, especially with the focus on collaboration and productivity from that perspective, is one of the things that we look at in the data is how much people search. So even searching your email or searching a repository because one of the interesting things is how much you search is a reflection of how much you value other people’s expertise, experience, and know-how. And there are a lot of people that make [inaudible – 15:31], intuitive, gut feel, whatever you want to call it. And they’re not leveraging it. So the more you reach out, the more you search, it’s a reflection of leveraging the collective know-how of the organization. And one of the interesting tools that often is underutilized and poorly utilized in many organizations is the social collaboration platform. [inaudible – 15:56] world. And I’ve seen so many organizations that are so proud of the statistics of what they’re using, but it’s not part of a strategy to share information and work together. And posting a question requires somebody [inaudible – 16:15] I need to know more about something. And then on the flip side, you need people to look at it and say, “Oh, but you should talk with John because John did something similar to this [inaudible – 16:23] connections, and that’s a part of your culture and putting value on it.” And leadership has huge impact on that. And most of the leadership don’t touch the social collaboration platforms, and they really should.

Lisette:                    I agree. What is the resistance, do you think? It seems like such a valuable place for leadership to spend time and energy in, so much better than email. Think of the institutional knowledge that you lose in an email account when somebody quits a job, all of those conversations, decisions, and everything. So what is it that leadership is resisting?

Peter Smit:           I think they don’t see the value, they’ve never done it, and they’re too busy. And it’s all a question in terms of figuring out your own balance in terms of where can you be most effective and tools like that. Early into my career, there was two senior executives in the organization I was at. And one would walk around and he would ask you what time it was that you were motivated for six months. And the other one would walk around and it came across totally unspontaneous. And it was like, “Oh, I’ve got 15 minutes before my next meeting, so let’s go do some management by walking around and talk to the people,” which came across totally insincere and didn’t have much credibility in the organization because people didn’t see it that way. So that has to do with what is it that you’re trying to accomplish. And interestingly enough, I’ve worked with a tech company, and they actually have a program where they do reverse mentoring, and they take millennials and pair them with senior executives–

Lisette:                    Oh, brilliant.

Peter Smit:           –to help them not just on the social collaboration platform within the company but also social media in general.

Lisette:                    Right, yeah, there is an age divide there. Facebook bridged it pretty well. I have to say it’s very impressive. The members of my family that are on Facebook, they would’ve never done anything like that before. So, you’re right, there is a divide. But I want to get to the question of productivity because that’s why companies are hiring you. They want to see the data behind their productivity and why things are working and why they aren’t. Is it possible to show that remote teams are more productive? Or are they less productive in your experience with the things you’ve analyzed?

Peter Smit:           The analysis is pretty difficult because there are three groups. There are the people that work permanently remotely. There are the people that work remotely, one, two, three days a week. And it could still rely on the second group, can still rely on their presence in office from social connection and these types of things. So the challenge for the people that work remotely is a bigger challenge. And then what we haven’t really had yet is a data set where we can actually compare a group of remote workers versus people that are on site and a shift. So that’s kind of really the ideal client that we’re still looking for is a company that is about to implement a remote-work policy and procedure and encourage the people to do more remote work so that we can actually compare the data [inaudible – 19:58] the people when they were used to work full-time in the office to part-time in the office or full-time remote. That’s where we would be able to look at that. And I go back to my old days [inaudible – 20:09] started work is there’d be people that would be so busy and they’d say, “Well, tomorrow I’m going to stay at home to get some work done because it was a reflection of the interruptions that were taking place in the office, and they didn’t have space that was [inaudible – 20:27] space-time [inaudible] office or they had a desk and people just come by. And now if you look at some of the companies with activity-based workspace, they actually have library-type areas which is absolutely no talk. And if you need to go sit down and really focus and not get [inaudible – 20:45], that’s where you go and sit. But 30 years ago, the solution was, “Well, I’m going to work at home because people won’t bother me because [inaudible – 20:51] the cell phone [inaudible].”

Lisette:                    That attitude exists even today. I often give workshops and organizations where I encounter that. And I have to say that’s not where working from home is, not in your context anymore. Maybe it used to be, but working at home, you’re now meant to communicate as if you were in the office.

Peter Smit:           So the interesting thing in my observation, it started with bring your own device. And all of a sudden, your work being issued [inaudible – 21:19] anymore. So they outsource the phones to you. Then it came to bring your own computer. And you could actually because it was all the people that had an Apple at home wanted an Apple the office [inaudible – 21:30] okay, bring that on. And now some of the remote work programs that I’ve seen is they’re outsourcing the desk and they’re basically saying [inaudible – 21:41] work remotely and use your own desk. That way you don’t have to pay for as many desks. So that can be part of a strategy. If you want to keep your business, and all of the companies, let’s say, that they want to maintain their business and improve productivity, it has to come with a whole bunch of other things. It becomes the place where if you have papers, you keep them at the desk at home because if you’re in an office that you have activity-based workspace, you don’t [inaudible – 22:10] because you don’t want to [inaudible] it with you. Where do you keep it? So it was actually 25 years ago. I think it was Xerox who was talking about the paperless office. In many environments it’s finally coming because people don’t want to carry the paper. So with the cloud and SAS-based platforms and tools to make notes on documents itself, we’re finally seeing that shift take place. [inaudible – 22:37].

Lisette:                    It only takes a few times where you forgot the document back at the office and you really need it over the weekend for something, yeah. It only takes a few times before that document gets in the cloud somehow [inaudible – 22:50] access it everywhere. I want to get back to leadership again, which is are you seeing leadership resist flexible work programs? Or is it more embracing out of need? Because usually, when I ask what’s keeping people from going remote, what’s keeping companies from going remote, the answer is always completely swift and shockingly direct in its management. And I’m wondering are you seeing that in your experience too. Is it management or–?

Peter Smit:           A bunch of different things. But certainly, management is at the top of the list. If you look at it now—and I’m 58 years old, so I’m part of this guard of people that is through circumstances, being at the right place, at the right time, they’re in senior roles. And many of them haven’t changed a whole lot. And as a result of it, we end up– They didn’t become leaders by being highly collaborative and sharing of information. They were at the right place at the right time, they made the right decision by gut feel, and there they are. There’s still a lot of senior management that wrestles with the challenge of I didn’t need it to get to where I got and why should it matter for you. So if it was good enough for me, why can’t you [inaudible – 24:09] work that way. So that’s one aspect of it. A lot of companies are still really afraid at the security side.

Lisette:                    Yeah, that’s a genuine concern.

Peter Smit:           It’s a genuine concern. So there are still companies that want no data out of their own control data center. So having all bunch of people working remotely is scary for them. And as a result of it, they actually shut down information access. And my comment is in the collaboration world, that actually means that team A can’t see what team B did. And as a result they [inaudible – 24:46] the wheel again and again and again. And no company will actually ever calculate or even publish the data on duplication of effort within an organization. And if you have truly open and sharing type of environment, there should be a lot less duplication. [inaudible – 25:04] are classic ones that always [inaudible], well, I can’t share what I did with this client with you because of the confidentiality agreement. The knowledge and the wisdom that you gain from doing a particular [inaudible] from a client is absolutely transferrable and is not in violation of a confidentiality agreement. So the knowledge [inaudible – 25:27] they want to keep it as theirs. And this is one of the fundamental things that again is nobody wants to touch what is the holy cow in many organizations, which is their compensation and performance management program. And there are still a lot of companies that have a very much of a you-focused bonus program that is not in line with encouraging collaboration. So why sharing the information with somebody else if at the end of the day it could cost me money? So a lot of people are trying to make people [inaudible – 26:02] organizations are trying to make more people collaborative. But at the same time, they’re not taking the roadblocks out of the way.

Lisette:                    Right, they’re keeping their cushy management positions and their annual salary bonuses.

Peter Smit:           Yes.

Lisette:                    Yeah, indeed, you’re right. It’s [inaudible – 26:20] going from the competitive to the collaborative environment. I didn’t think of it in that way. But indeed, that’s a huge shift in mindset and culture on the team, I can imagine.

Peter Smit:           Yeah, yes. So that’s one that many organizations don’t touch [inaudible – 26:37] and performance management. The other one is information [inaudible] access. You need to have a good policy in place so that information can be captured and it can be searched by other people. And search technology is making huge headway right now with contextual and semantic search coming. AI is influencing it. We’re going to be able to find much more [inaudible – 27:06] pertinent information much faster. And this is again back to what I said originally: the value of search. The value of search or the importance of search is a reflection of attaching value to other people’s experience, expertise, and knowledge.

Lisette:                    How do you get around the idea of it feeling or the perception of it being big brother to take and looking at everybody’s interaction data. You make it anonymous, but then people have to trust that you make it anonymous.

Peter Smit:           Most organizations today do some sort of employ satisfaction survey. And they have to put their email address on it. But the first thing that’s done is email address is removed because everybody should be able to criticize their boss or the CEO or senior management and the direction of the company. So most employees are okay with that now. They have accepted it get synonymized. But typically, organization is still a group of people. So they do it by floor or by department or some sort of a grouping that’s statistically significant so people can’t be re-identified. So typically, what we say to the organizations is give us the groups with which you look at your employee satisfaction survey, and we’ll show you how well those groups work with each other, exchange information with each other, they’re open to each other, these types of things.

So in this type of work, I think it’s important to keep away from the big-brother element is to actually keep it focused on groups, departments, quadrants, floors, and buildings to show what’s actually happening and not making it about looking at the individual.

Lisette:                    What are some of the effects that you’ve seen of your analysis? What happens in an organization when you’ve measured their productivity and you come back with [inaudible – 29:08]. Does it change the culture? I don’t know what insights you’ve gained.

Peter Smit:           So there are lots of insights. At this stage in time, we’re still too early to actually look at the long-term consequence. I’m a big believer that this is going to start the journey for the organizations that are working with the data. And we’ll give them [inaudible – 29:28] level. They’ll learn to work with the data that they have and say, “Oh.” And typically, they’ll come down the road that come with how about can we get this too.

Lisette:                    Of course.

Peter Smit:           There was a client we were talking to about [inaudible – 29:43] proposal because we’re stripping. We’re using email. They attached high value to strategic customers. So in the proposal I said, “Well, included in that, what we’ll do is we’ll show you a whole communication picture of the breadth and the intensity of communication with ten of your big clients,” because on the email domain area, we can see where the people that they’re corresponding with. And then they came back and they said, “That’s really interesting. How much more would it cost if we were to do it with 50 as opposed to 10?” And interestingly enough, the last conversation we had on Friday, they said, “We’re doing a bigger analysis of what it costs us to deal with all our customers. What would it cost to do a profile of all 800 of our customers?”

Lisette:                    Awesome.

Peter Smit:           So once you give them the information, people start thinking about it from, “Oh, this is interesting, but what could we do with this?” Or “Can we go there?” So I’m convinced they’re going to come up. There’s going to be request from customers, from clients that are going to open new doors for us because we haven’t even thought of them yet.

Lisette:                    Right. And I’ve had the same experience in terms of collecting my own data for the OKRs that I have for the company that I work with. I’m a remote office manager for a company, so we have our OKRs. And as we measure how we’re performing, every time we look at it, we come up with a new statistic that we want to add onto that because we think like, “Oh, I didn’t know that about this batch of data. I’d love to dive in just a little bit deeper.” So yeah, I suspect that every company will have that to a certain extent. They’ll want some sort of base [inaudible – 31:31] part of data, and then they’ll add on whatever metrics as they discover things.

Peter Smit:           Yeah, but just back to your original question in terms of the productivity piece is if we take static data—so one data dump from 2-3 months from a particular company—we can do a measurement. It becomes more relevant and more interesting if there is a change that takes place: an office move implementation of a new software package or a cultural change, these types of things because then you can actually see the people in the organization from the beginning to a certain point afterwards, seeing what the actual impact was. If we don’t have that, as we’re building the database, what we’ll be able to do is to actually benchmark them against other companies. So that’s a way to see– So you can start looking at the mix of tools being used in one company versus the mix of tools being in another company. And what does the average profile look like of an individual and what they do in a day? So we’re really excited about building the database, and we don’t have enough clients really to do that significantly. But ultimately, I want to do it by sector or by department type, these types of things. So as the database grows, it’ll be very interesting.

Lisette:                    I hope you get a few people from this podcast who listen and think, “Yeah, that’s what we need for our company.” Is there such a thing as too much data?

Peter Smit:           It’s always been. And I go back to business school in terms of watching some of my classmates at business school, is the ability to look at all the data and to decide what’s relevant. Some people are really good at pulling that out, and other people don’t have a clue. So for the people who don’t have a clue, there’s too much big data. For us, it’s [inaudible – 33:28] more about what are the filters and really what are the objectives of what are you trying to ascertain and what are you trying to drive from it. And in most data sets, there’s always some interesting things that we figure out from the data that we didn’t really plan on because we [inaudible – 33:43] things on that. So that’s what [inaudible – 33:46] little surprised in the work that you do too.

Lisette:                    Oh, yeah, I can imagine. So I have so many questions, but we’re reaching the top of the interview. I have two more then. One is what’s your advice for people who are just starting out? They’re coming to you. They don’t measure anything [inaudible – 34:04] start measuring productivity. They have a big change coming up. What do you advise?

Peter Smit:           If they have a big change coming up, then it’s really interesting, I think. What I would advise is where do you think you are, and let’s figure out where it is that you want to go. What do you want to affect? What’s your objective? And the interesting thing is I always say there’s no excuse not to know what your people are doing. So most organizations don’t know what their people are doing. So if they figure out what their objective is, then we can give them the baseline in terms of where they’re starting. And from there, we can then help them figure out what the different groups are and why their journey toward the objective would be significantly different. So if you’re at a particular location, some person may have to come over a mountain to get there, somebody else may come down a river, and the other one may have to go across an ocean. But they’re coming toward the objective from a completely different direction, and that also impacts the leadership, the culture of the organization.

Lisette:                    Oh, yeah. I can only imagine. But you want to be data-driven in terms of your decisions, especially when it comes to productivity, when it comes to everything, actually. You want to have the numbers behind what you’re doing. It’s often we make intuitive decisions. And sometimes they’re good but sometimes they’re not. It will be much better to [inaudible – 35:34].

Peter Smit:           So it’s interesting. This organization that we’re talking to now that’s moving over 10,000 people [inaudible – 35:39] space, they’re moving them into 20 or 25 new spaces, all activity-based work. And the first one will do the full analysis of the productivity change, the impact of the change as soon as we can because the process of them moving into the other 25 spaces is going to take a year. So after two or three months in the new space, we’ll be looking at the impact of behavior, and that may actually change the path and the change process with which they move the other people into the other spaces.

Lisette:                    Right.

Peter Smit:           Now there’s a lot that we can derive before about people’s behavior and the effect of space and tools before the implementation takes place. And we can actually help them assure that the change is going to be successful because there are insights that we will have [inaudible – 36:35] come across that they won’t have otherwise and they won’t have considered.

Lisette:                    Right, of course. We all [come at it with – 36:41] our own biases also. That’s what data helps. Data has no bias. Data just is when it’s done right, [laughs] when it’s done right. [inaudible – 36:53].

Peter Smit:           This is we live in the world because a lot of people working in the space, they’re looking at self-reported data, so questionnaires. And there are still a lot of people that think they do it this way, and really they don’t. And in circumstances where we can, I love to put the self-reported data next to the actual data because that will help you learn more about the people too.

Lisette:                    Right. Oh, man, I would love that. I’d love to see what my biases are, or maybe I wouldn’t. But [inaudible – 37:23] love to see what my biases are. Last question is how do people get in touch with you. What is the best way to contact you?

Peter Smit:           Easiest way is email, certainly. That’s peter@collabogens.com. It’s easy. Maybe you can put that on the email too and we’ll respond quickly.

Lisette:                    Thanks for listening, everyone. I hope you enjoyed that interview [inaudible – 37:52] I gave you some new ideas and inspiration for how to improve remote work on your team. If you want to hear more great stories and tips in video or podcast form, just head to the Collaboration Superpowers website. You can get everything there. And if you want to get all the best stories and tips delivered straight to your inbox, then head on over to collaborationsuperpowers.com/newsletter. Every other week we’ll send you some great stories and tips directly to the inbox of wherever you are.

Our weekly thanks and shoutout to the awesome Nick Jaworski, the producer of this podcast. He’s the one that makes us sound so pro. You can hire him to make you a star at podcastmonster.com.

And another big thanks to our dazzling designer Alfred Boland. He’s the one that makes us shine so bright. You can hire him to make you look cool at bolanden.nl. All right, everybody, until next time, let’s remember to reach out when we need help and be powerful.


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