My favorite actors, musicians, and writers zig as much as they zag. That is, they don’t just churn out the same idea over and over again. Nothing against bands such as AC/DC, but their albums never really evolved all that much. Rush and Marillion, however, frequently change approaches. That’s how they grow and ultimately become better at their craft. You just can’t typecast them.
I’ve got no musical chops, but writers can benefit from taking the same tack. I decided while writing Zoom For Dummies that my next book would be more conceptual in nature. In other words, I wouldn’t be detailing the ins and outs how one specific application worked.1 Software vendors often release new features on a daily or weekly basis; keeping up with all of the changes is exhausting and ultimately futile. After all, books eventually need to ship. They reflect snapshots in time.
Way it goes…
Exploring New Opportunities
Over the last month or so, I have been speaking with marketing Yoda, award-winning author, and all-around smart cookie Rohit Bhargava about writing a guide for his Non-Obvious series. I liked the cut of his jib and vice versa.
I pitched him an idea on a guide about collaboration that immediately resonated with him. After briefly noodling with a few other topics, we ultimately came back to the initial one and I’m glad that we did. In one form or another, I’ve been writing about collaboration since 2010’s The Next Wave of Technologies and dozens of times on this site.
Effective collaboration means embracing a new mind-set just as much as new applications.
Against that backdrop, I’m pleased to announce that my next book will be The Non-Obvious Guide to Virtual Collaboration from Ideapress Publishing. My early interactions with Rohit and his team have impressed me. Something tells me that I’m in for a very different ride than this time. At the very least, I’ll learn how another contemporary publisher works.
A Big Question
At the core of my next book is the question: How can employees collaborate more effectively?
It’s a simple query without a simple answer. What’s more, it’s a critical question right now. In-person meetings and traditional office-based work are not returning anytime soon.2
Yes, effectively navigating the new normal requires the use of new tools. That’s only half of the story, though. True collaboration means embracing a new mind-set as much as new applications. In a way, whether an organization uses Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Chat, or some other newfangled collaboration tool doesn’t matter. The tools’ features are converging—a trend that will only intensify in the future.
Case in point: Slack had long provided private channels while Microsoft Teams did not. Given their utility, you didn’t need to be a soothsayer to predict that Microsoft soon would ape Slack’s valuable functionality and it ultimately did. The fast-follower strategy at its finest.
Simon Says: Stay tuned.
I’ll provide more updates in the coming weeks. Expect this book soon.
What say you?
- As a parallel, Rush mentioned after writing 1978’s Hemispheres they wanted to move to shorter songs.
- Ditto for classes, but that’s a topic for another day.
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