If you’re among the many businesses attempting to grow through digital transformation and innovation but struggling to execute on these priorities, you’re in great company. Our research indicates slow-moving corporate structures, inadequate access to talent, and outdated mindsets can be big barriers to progress. There’s just no way around it: Open models are a solution but they create friction. Open models mean a huge culture shift.
Dramatic shifts are happening, and we’re excited to be on the cusp of a major tipping point for talent. Open talent strategies and horizontal cross-functional teams are, in fact, beginning to replace traditional vertical hierarchies and siloed organizational models. At the same time, jobs themselves are changing dramatically. As many as 90% of organizations are redesigning jobs and 32% are redesigning them substantially.
As the talent market tightens, organizations are looking strategically at all types of work arrangements. As more businesses embrace open innovation and open talent strategy, CEOs and HR leaders recognize the growing need for integrated company-wide programs that communicate capabilities enabled by open talent models while reassuring traditional employees that their livelihoods are not at stake.
It’s all about flexibility and more collaborative work structures
Businesses with more fixed structures, such as traditional retail, are suffering while those that have embraced adaptability and flexibility are gaining. Businesses poised to gain in the next decade are becoming increasingly permeable, interconnected, collaborative. They change quickly in shape and size.
In the emerging open and flexible models, work is distilled into specialized tasks that can be executed through many work channels that include in-house (traditional employees) and freelance or contract workforces.
Businesses report increasing satisfaction with the on-demand talent hiring process. Open talent models are helping businesses accommodate for challenges and changes in the market, and for most that simply means expanding talent pools to include auxiliary networks, communities, and platforms of skilled workers.
HR is turning to open models to access and engage the best talent
We see that as pressure to adapt and innovate increases HR leaders are working more closely with CEOs to ensure that their talent strategy aligns with future needs of the company. HR is undergoing a profound philosophical shift, moving toward relational (networked) talent strategies and away from more limited and transactional models of the past.
Bottom line, HR is beginning to view talent differently—as networked and open talent ecosystems rather than self-contained talent pools that operate within the business’s boundaries. While HR is focused on delivering an effective workforce, project heads and managers also require skills and strategies to help configure and manage blended teams of traditional and contingent workers.
Open talent models are fantastic for worker development
Most businesses are still structured with clear hierarchies and siloed business functions—a model in which workers are expected to start at entry level, slowly acquiring skills and expertise and advancing into new roles over many years. Open talent models offer a radical departure to the slow pace of worker development.
We’re thrilled to ride alongside bold businesses that are taking steps to utilize or test the open talent approach—integrating freelance or contract workers, utilizing talent communities and platforms, and encouraging internal open innovation and problem-solving through cross-departmental collaboration or organization-wide “crowdsourcing” contests or challenges.
How is your business experimenting with open talent? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.