Editor: We had an opportunity to interview the CEO of CollabWorks, Michael Grove, who explained the vision behind his company and what may be a huge breakthrough in the art of corporate management. Mike believes he has found the secret to how to grow a company from a start-up to a billion-dollar corporation without losing the small company’s adaptability and ability to innovate.
Kindly walk us through the inception of CollabWorks. A brief introduction to the company.
We began our journey with research on how corporations can become
nimbler and more virtual. We worked with Cal Berkeley’s Haas School of
Business and interviewed 26 corporations including Facebook and
Autodesk. The result of this research and over 20 subsequent workshops
lead to the fundamental insight that organizations need to optimize
around individuals and teams instead of around structure and job roles.
We are now aiming to streamline managing and empower the individuals
to manage the customers they serve. Our thesis is: the less managing
overhead, the more agile and productive you become. We recommend
limiting managing to the bare bones essentials.
CollabWorks has created a new patent-pending technology that
represents a new class of software that we call Digital Management
Systems (DMS). We named our DMS product FrameWork. It incorporates
management best practices with special focus on improving external and
internal customers’ experience, setting measurable objectives and
priorities, and continuously adapting to drive increased value creation.
The CollabWorks FrameWork application reduces managing time, waste,
and misalignment of talent by creating transparent and efficient
communication between teams and managers.
CollabWorks is now in the early stages of revenue with a fully
functional and proven enterprise platform. The company is led by a very
experienced team that has previously delivered multiple start-up
What are the current trends you observe in today’s landscape
that you serve? How is CollabWorks positioned in concurrence with those
Overall, competition across most industries is becoming more dynamic
and fast-paced. Speed and agility are becoming more important than
traditional strengths such as process improvement and control. Companies
can no longer afford deep silos and time-consuming synchronization
meetings. To speed up decision processes, more needs to be delegated to
individuals and teams who directly serve internal and external
customers. Jobs or titles do not create business value – people do.
Thus, the successful organizations in the future will become more
human-centric where the alignments of individuals with corporate goals
are what drive increased value creation.
What is the pain points you are trying to address in the industry today?
Talent is in short supply, yet a significant portion of the existing
talent is being underutilized, misaligned, and less than fully engaged.
In spite of management training and periodic reorganizations, large
organizations continue to operate inefficiently. Typically, the larger
the organization, the greater the inefficiencies.
What is missing today is a transparent metric for the work produced by
worker x for customer y and at value z. The FrameWork includes several
metrics that measure quantitatively the value and margin contribution of
the all work performed. Thus, the benefits of both small and large
improvements across the organization become quantitatively clear and
What differentiates/separates your solutions from the rest of
your competition? Why should a potential customer choose you over the
Our biggest competitor is the status quo. Clarifying work and its
quantitative value is new and different. The idea of putting management
and improvement processes into software is new and different. We
currently have not discovered direct competitors although we are
confident that the DMS market will eventually exceed the CRM SaaS
Is there anything else we have missed to cover or something you would like us to specifically highlight in the article?
We believe that the largest business opportunity worldwide today is
to encourage innovation from the whole workforce. We essentially have
managed the same way for 100 years and it shows as huge losses in value
creation. Billions have been spent trying to improve work productivity
as well as moral and the results point largely to failure. Engagement
scores, turnover, revenue per employee, etc., are not improving. Our
view is that organizations need to shift their focus from refining job
roles and processes to customer-driven responsiveness empowered by a
human-centric organization were the individuals own and manage their
direct customers’ experiences. In effect we need to evolve steadily to a
more market-driven entrepreneurial model of a fluid start-up like teams
where value creation is measured and rewarded by individual
performance, not by job title or position.
We have just finished a study of 455 services provided by HR and examined each service for its application for bots. No surprise – candidate and employee communication are the best near term potential. The study examined the use case among many bot ventures and included in-depth interviews of several vendors and their customers. The study estimates a served available market (SAM) of the 2x of the Forbes 2000 to be about $2.2B by 2021. This is based on a bottoms up analysis which estimates that 7% of the 455 HR services will be performed by bots by 2021, accelerating to 21% by 2023, and thereafter flattening out to about 25% by 2025. Initial traction is primarily in high volume talent acquisitions and employee (customer) service applications. We don’t see jobs being replaced, rather we see jobs transforming to higher value services.
For further details please contact David Coleman, Director of Research at CollabWorks. (firstname.lastname@example.org).