Forget the gigs, and the sharing, and the demand. What we are really talking about is freedom. Why not embracing a new name for the budding global economy fueled by independent contract work? Let’s call it ‘the Freedom Economy’. The freedom to work on what you want to work on, for whomever you want to work for, with a team of your choosing, on the hours that you select. That is the freedom we seek in the Freedom Economy. Looking at our work life, isn’t that what we all want?
In this second edition of ‘hot or not’ I’m discussing the gig economy. I was triggered by a few articles I stumbled upon last week. Although gig economy and portfolio working is still immature, it could be the future of labour market. Technology is empowering an on demand talent market, the millennial generation is leaving behind the nine-to-five workday and financial pressure is causing organisations to think differently about resource allocation. An interesting development I find both promising and challenging at the same time for the future of the labour market and HR.
Can you imagine the mail carrier never walking through your street anymore? Or taxi’s disappearing from your city’s street scene? We got used to the way our society has been functioning for decades. A lot of people might not realise that we are transitioning to another phase when it comes to labour. But we definitely are. Will you still be a part of the labour market within 20 years? Than you should start thinking about another career for the future. Or when you are about to start, it’s probably best you don’t pick these jobs and you choose your education wisely. During an insightful TED Talk McAfee suggested that the increased productivity from sophisticated machine and computing power will lower prices and reduce “drudge”. Technology is developing at fast pace and innovative solutions are rapidly integrating in our society’s lifestyle. What are the consequences for some jobs within of 20 years from now?
The latest buzz is the ‘new industrial revolution’. The advances in data science and artificial intelligence are creating new ways to approach businesses that can lead to a major increase of productivity. The insights that are generated by these technologies will give businesses the opportunity to rethink their operational model and the needed human skills. Will it affect the workforce? Will it change the labour market? Yes, we need to accept that and look at the benefits of finally being able to empower the human-to-human approach.
Humans are afraid of change, always have been. Change means stepping outside the comfort zone. Why do we feel threatened by that, instead of feeling challenged by the opportunities it provides us?
Put a group of people together and you will discover there are many corresponding and contradicting characteristics, believes and opinions in that one room. These can level, reinforce, but also sabotage a situation. If you want to strengthen your business, how can you ensure that the first two values, the ones that create synergy, will dominate within your organisation? It’s all about behaviour and the culture that is steering that behaviour.
Recently I read an article on Linkedin about Michael Jordan’s attitude as a ‘jerk’ and how that was actually empowering his team, not sabotaging it. The writer states that hiring for cultural fit is overrated. Is it? In sports you often hear outrageous behaviour from leading talents. What happened first, their success or their jerky, arrogant outbursts? So you could question what causes what in these cases. How does this work within companies?