We’re excited to announce our latest report, Networked Organization: From Theory to Practice, which provides a framework and roadmap to tap into the global workforce ecosystem of open talent and keep pace with the transformation of work. We’ve shared how to develop the mindset, strategy, culture, and systems fundamental to leading and building a new Networked Organization.
Our entire community at the Center for the Transformation of Work and the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard is to thank for helping to bring all of this thinking together, under the masterful editorial and design leadership of Team Magenta, and UntapSocial who brought this concept to life. Topcoder, the world’s largest technology talent network and digital crowdsourcing platform, sponsored this piece, and it goes without saying we’re really grateful for their ongoing partnership in spreading the word on how more people and companies can benefit from using open talent. We welcome anyone interested in learning more to get a copy here: https://bit.ly/3sbNxMf and we also invite you to join the CTW community where we share and discuss all the emerging trends around the transformation of work.
Chat room transcript:
00:08:32 Alistair Hofert: 80s vibes…
00:12:32 CTW: San Rahi: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sanrahi/
00:14:10 Dyan Finkhousen: Welcome new folks!!
00:14:23 CTW: Beth Forstneger: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethkingforstneger/
00:15:02 San Rahi: https://www.c2montreal.com/#/
00:15:04 CTW: Niklas Lieb: https://www.linkedin.com/in/niklas-lieb-364239bb/
00:15:23 CTW: Vicoland: https://www.vicoland.com/
00:16:36 Dyan Finkhousen: Great model Niklas
00:18:17 CTW: Barry Matthews: https://www.linkedin.com/in/barry-matthews-2a51a32/
00:18:38 CTW: re-source: https://re-source.uk/
00:19:22 Steve Rader: @Niklas it is great to see you on! I really love all that you’re team is doing with putting teams together. You know I’m a fan and think that this capability is the future of the crowd!
00:20:22 CTW: Vistage: https://www.vistage.com/
00:21:12 Catherine McGowin: Here is the link to download the playbook: https://open-assembly.com/reports/networked-organization
00:22:06 Dyan Finkhousen: Changing the world one CEO at a time!
00:22:30 CTW: Dyan: 🙌
00:24:17 Gavin McClafferty: @John – I think you need to target those that have a vested interest in unlocking the future.
00:24:28 John Healy: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/13/business/hayden-brown-upwork-corner-office.html
00:24:36 CTW: Mark Hannant: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markhannantteammagenta/
00:25:11 CTW: Neil Fox: https://www.linkedin.com/in/neilevanfox/
00:25:35 Steve Rader: I just had a session with a cadre of startups at Mass Challenge and it was interesting to hear how eager startups were to leverage some of these tools/techniques.
00:26:59 Mark Gordon: ^^ I’m one of those startups! I’m here because part of our model is to create a network of specialized talent, but even in our core team, as we build up, we are using freelancers for several things and … need to be more strategic about it!
00:27:51 Dyan Finkhousen: We’re taking on redesign of both work and workforce.. we need to acknowledge that a simple playbook won’t provide the path to change, but it can get you started and coach you through the landscape of options.
00:27:56 CTW: Steve Rader: https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-rader-92b7754/
00:28:10 CTW: John Healy: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnwhealy/
00:28:46 Steve Rader: @Mark Gordon. You should say more about your experience
00:28:57 Gavin McClafferty: @John – find those that own challenges and have problems that keep the organisation awake at night.
00:29:09 Steve Rader: @Gavin +1
00:29:44 Dyan Finkhousen: Agreed @Gavin
00:29:58 CTW: Brian Salts-Halcomb: https://www.linkedin.com/in/briansaltshalcomb/
00:31:16 Barry Matthews: Thanks guys – gutted to have to drop early – great conversation as always!
00:31:22 CTW: Here be dragons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here_be_dragons
00:31:39 sheila mahoney: “there be dragons” awesome reference! LOVE IT
00:32:36 CTW: Balaji Bondili: https://www.linkedin.com/in/balajibondili/
00:33:10 Gavin McClafferty: @Balaji – the biggest challenge for organisational adoption is that most people don’t understand the value proposition of using open talent vs internal resources.
00:33:25 John Healy: +1 Balaji
00:33:35 Gavin McClafferty: @Balaji – the issue is their lack of understanding around Joy’s Law.
00:33:44 Todd Brous: @balaji: +1 Also… I think Open Talent platforms help reduce the friction for the Demand side to adopt freelancers and Open Innovation solutions
00:34:02 Balaji Bondili: That is a hypothesis not a fact.
00:34:08 CTW: Jeff Schwartz: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeff-schwartz-deloitte-consulting-us/
00:34:36 Gavin McClafferty: @Jeff 100%
00:34:43 sheila mahoney: @Jeffrey- YES!! ++++1
00:35:23 Mark Gordon: thanks @steve rader. we have about 8 people between FT and PT, some for $, some for equity only. but, for a number of key things, we’ve used freelancers on upwork: building our first website, for marketing via linkedin, for video editing, for adding human edits to machine transcripts, for editing slides, for posting / managing content on confluence. easy to find and bring people on. I don’t know what platforms are ideally suited to the skills we need, and want to be more strategic.
00:36:26 Steve Rader: @Mark Gordon …love to hear about where the rubber is hitting the road with this model
00:36:42 CTW: WORKFORCE ECOSYSTEMS: A New Strategic Approach to the Future of Work >> https://sloanreview.mit.edu/projects/workforce-ecosystems-a-new-strategic-approach-to-the-future-of-work/
00:37:13 sheila mahoney: crazy good podcast on transaction costs, with our friend Gretta Coporaal from Oxford Said
00:37:15 sheila mahoney: https://www.talkingaboutorganizations.com/e44/
00:37:36 Balaji Bondili: @Sheila Thank you! Love to listen to it!
00:37:41 Gavin McClafferty: This is useful history of business from Bain & Co: https://media.bain.com/history-of-business/
00:37:48 Dyan Finkhousen: +1 Steve – @Mark, would love to hear more
00:38:39 John Healy: 100% Neil!
00:38:59 Dave Messinger: +100 for outcomes!
00:39:14 Todd Brous: Outcome based work also has a problem of shifting the Risk of doing business onto the Workforce.
00:39:36 Dyan Finkhousen: +1 Neil and Mess… outcomes are the future. Challenges the role and capabilities of the orchestrators (fka managers)
00:40:58 Steve Rader: I think that the answer is “both”
00:41:25 Ashley Beaudoin: Clinton Bonner at TopCoder conducted a poll on LinkedIn recently on what the #1 skill needed to work with freelancers effectively, and the winning vote was for “clearly defining the work” https://www.linkedin.com/posts/clintonbonner_futureofwork-podcast-crowdsourcing-activity-6832345293036552192-HrEJ
00:41:27 Steve Rader: Hourly makes sense in certain conditions and task-based works for others
00:41:52 Jeffrey Schwartz: agree with Steve.
00:42:13 CTW: Gavin McClafferty: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gavin-mcclafferty-3146b43a/
00:42:16 Neil Fox: Completely agree Steve…
00:42:26 Steve Rader: I’m curious if AI will be effectively applied and transforming people’s project needs into clear project specifications (software world has made progress in this area)
00:42:33 Neil Fox: That’s part of the dialogue.. where do each models make sense
00:42:35 CTW: Gavin: Finding Game-Changing Innovations [Innovation Roundtable, Copenhagen 2019]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TK_mqcGBCM8
00:42:54 Todd Brous: Outcome Based work will not work in all scenarios.
00:43:37 John Healy: until organizations are willing to define value of work…for FTEs or for projects….there will be challenges to getting to outcome based solutions
00:44:20 Steve Rader: @Neil Fox I think that the Tokenization discussion we had with the DAO folks a few weeks ago very much started discussing some of this…
00:44:35 Gavin McClafferty: @Bryan – that’s how you get into Netflix vs Blockbuster.
00:44:36 CTW: Bryan Pena: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bryanpena/
00:44:51 Dyan Finkhousen: We’re a long, long way from migration to outcome-based work structures at scale… work design, workforce design and technology need to evolve significantly before we can convert work from the assembly line to outcomes
00:44:54 Neil Fox: Agree Steve.. we’ve made great progress at my company on making this a reality
00:45:03 Todd Brous: @Dyan: +1
00:45:17 Neil Fox: We have now productized several services using Gig workers on the back end
00:45:21 CTW: Stephen Wellbelove: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenwellbelove/
00:45:40 Steve Rader: Just for reference… we run fixed price task orders on our projects all of the time and it seems to work quite well. So outcome based is possible.
00:45:42 Neil Fox: to make scalability a reality.. should be interesting
00:45:54 Neil Fox: +1 Steve
00:46:16 Todd Brous: I’d argue that the shift to Outcome Based work may never work from a microeconomic perspective. The worker takes on all the risk and does not get the reward.
00:46:30 CTW: Satish Kumar: https://www.linkedin.com/in/satikum/
00:46:37 Dyan Finkhousen: Agree @Neil and @Steve… the more we run outcome based experiments on an ‘mvp’ scale, the more we can learn, refine, digitize and scale
00:46:51 Todd Brous: @Steve: are those projects for subcontractor company, or an individual worker?
00:46:59 Steve Rader: both
00:47:22 Steve Rader: We spend extra time defining the end product needed
00:47:49 Dyan Finkhousen: @Todd -excellent point, and that’s a risk… also enables the worker to ‘manage their margin’… they need to understand their capabilities – and only take on those ‘outcomes’ engagements where it makes sense based on their economic and strategic preferences. ‘me.co’
00:47:59 CTW: Todd Brous: https://www.linkedin.com/in/toddbrous/
00:48:55 Satish (GLIDER.ai): Agree @Todd
00:49:02 John Healy: Fit for Purpose
00:49:14 Dyan Finkhousen: Exactly @John
00:50:03 CTW: Dyan Finkhousen: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dyan-finkhousen/
00:50:06 Balaji Bondili: + 1 Dyan
00:50:15 Steve Rader: Every time Dyan’s clock chimes, you have to drink
00:50:20 Balaji Bondili: that’s the whole point of competitive crowdsourcing
00:50:32 sheila mahoney: ok steve…
00:50:36 Balaji Bondili: Not sure, if that works with loose scope
00:50:49 Gavin McClafferty: @Steve – it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!
00:51:24 Dave Messinger: I think it all depends on values, most of my experience workers love outcome based
00:52:06 Tom O’Malley: I find a hybrid of hourly and outcomes is far more interesting than thinking about the pure hourly or the pure project incentives. We use hourly as a guarantee, then a bonus on completion, and that works really well.
00:52:16 Neil Fox: Capitalism is a meritocracy – and so is open talet.
00:52:17 CTW: Dave Messinger: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dmessinger/
00:52:19 Neil Fox: talent
00:52:33 Gavin McClafferty: @Dave 100%
00:52:47 sheila mahoney: No worries- todd just opened up a huge can of very interesting worms, ie, who owns the risk and rewards? let’s discuss another time
00:52:51 Satish (GLIDER.ai): Definitely @Dave
00:53:09 Dyan Finkhousen: Exactly right @Dave…. Love this discussion @everyone
00:53:09 Steve King: Shifting risk to individuals and workers is a long term trend that’s been in place for several decades (see the book The Great Risk shift). This is a problem for workers, but increases efficiency for businesses.
00:54:45 Dyan Finkhousen: This is an amazing resource – well done everyone!
00:55:28 Todd Brous: @Steve King: Exactly!! This is HUGE for business. If your company isn’t using Open Talent and Open Innovation platforms, your competitors are. “Better, Faster and Cheaper!” is a major benefit.
00:56:22 Dyan Finkhousen: OMG @Steve Rader – just saw our drinking game challenge… I’ll open up my mike and we can see who ends up on the floor first! 🍹
00:56:39 Steve Rader: lol
00:57:00 Mark Hannant: We walked the talk. Outcome based agreement and the core team hadn’t worked together before. Big shout to @Aditya @Ashley @Ritika who did the hard graft
00:57:22 Ashley Beaudoin: +1 @Mark
00:57:27 San Rahi: @Sheila, I love this thread. Why in fact can’t the ‘doer’ have more opportunity at reward by taking on more of the execution risk? “Vested labour?”
00:58:34 Todd Brous: @San: That would be Awesome! How would that work?
00:59:24 Dyan Finkhousen: @Todd – I think we just need to be careful with the ‘cheaper’ reference (full disclosure, that’s where I started with my OTE messaging… I think I’m like the grandmother of that phrase)… I don’t think open talent and open innovation should necessarily be positioned always as cheaper… maybe rather ‘more precise allocation of resources, higher outcome yield’. I lean toward agility, resilience, precision. Thoughts?
00:59:31 Steve Rader: I’ve got to run. Fantastic conversation as always! John, the playbook looks amazing.
01:00:18 Mark Gordon: exciting Jon! have to go.
01:00:26 Dave Messinger: i have to run too love the playbook great job John and team and Magenta!
01:00:29 San Rahi: Same way as venture capital? As the ‘doer’, am I looking for a 10x pay on my hourly rate estimate in order to take on an outcomes based risk?
01:00:38 Matt Neal: Looking great, John!
01:00:39 Gavin McClafferty: @Dyan – I would pitch the capability as supercharger to the organisation. It can enable outcomes and insights that previously would have been impossible.
01:00:55 Bryan Peña: @ Dyan totally agree. Cost savings are a byproduct but are an unsustainable focus
01:01:03 Dyan Finkhousen: Definitely @Gavin
01:01:04 San Rahi: @CTW We should have this topic next call?
01:01:39 Bryan Peña: have to run. Great call everyone!
01:01:46 sheila mahoney: @Dyan- agreed. talent=cheaper, no. Talent=value, yes. Unecessary, cumbersome, traditional and expensive management overhead=no
01:02:00 sheila mahoney: in certain circumstances, not all!
01:02:22 San Rahi: Great to see everyone
01:02:22 Dyan Finkhousen: Completely agree @Bryan… we have to wean organizations of the post-industrial revolution mindset that they can ‘cut cost’ to sustainable growth and productivity… infuse ‘abundant, resilient and sustainable operations’
01:02:28 sheila mahoney: @San- soooo interesting! “vested labor” indeed. Mind=blown
01:02:46 Satish (GLIDER.ai): Love the playbook! Great resource to build the foundation for open talent.
01:03:43 Dyan Finkhousen: Gotta run tribe… awesome conversation!!
01:03:48 sheila mahoney: never enough time on this call. John, Catherine, Brandon, THANK YOU!! gotta jump
01:04:06 Dyan Finkhousen: +1000 Neil
01:04:15 Elizabeth Forstneger: need to drop – thank you!
01:04:24 Todd Brous: @Dyan: YES! “cheaper” may not be the best word. They kept using that phrase at HBAP, so it stuck in my head.
01:04:30 Alan Korpady: Any intention to create a playbook focused on the talent?
01:04:31 Gavin McClafferty: Playbook is a great resource. Worth adding a section on articulating value proposition for the book.
01:04:51 Dyan Finkhousen: ☺️ @Todd – I guess we just need to educate Harvard
01:05:08 Todd Brous: @Dyan: OMG, YES!!
01:05:23 Dyan Finkhousen: “Professor Todd”
01:05:29 Todd Brous: <3
01:05:35 Dyan Finkhousen: Tenured OTE expert…
01:05:41 Dyan Finkhousen: Emeritus…
01:06:25 Dyan Finkhousen: This was so fun… gotta run… catch y’all on the flip side… Balaji – want to hear about TN!