The Gig Economy

It was a great honour to address the Winmark NED Group recently in a roundtable event sponsored by Russam GMS. The focus was The Gig Economy, the term given to the growing trend for short term contracts and freelancing to take the place of permanent jobs.

It’s a phrase that is often used when talking about new kinds of roles – such as Uber drivers or Deliveroo couriers – but in my opinion it could be just as relevant to describe portfolio career. This was hotly debated at the session!

What’s certain is that companies on a global level are beginning to recognise the value of the Gig Economy in harnessing innovation and disruptive thinking. Corporates don’t have the skills they need at every level within the organisation – and as the freelance/gig workforce grows they can be easily brought in for varying periods of time to complement an organisations skills.

Millennials are hot property in the Gig Economy, often as a source of ideas and innovation, but also in driving implementation. And this generation actively seeks flexibility in their work: the Gig Economy, with its short term contracts, is very appealing.

To embrace this new way of working, companies need to adapt. They must overhaul their mindset. It’s essential to move from traditional, hierarchical structures and instead embrace clouds, communities and networks. And they need to stop fearing failure. Real innovation comes in making mistakes and learning from them.

Look outside your own sector for disruptive thinking and inspiration.

Click here to view a video from the Gig Economy event

By Annemie Ress, Founder, Purple Beach. Annemie Ress is a leading commentator on people, talent and innovation topics. She has designed and led significant organisational transformation for multinational businesses including Skype, eBay and PepsiCo.

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