One year ago, 100 people gathered at the Crowd Academy held by the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH) in the halls of Harvard Business School. At that meeting, there was a feeling that we had all discovered our long-lost tribe. What a year! I want to share the journey that I’ve been on since that original gathering. There’s been so much good momentum in the open marketplace. Companies like Upwork and Fivver have gone public, and more is discovered, studied and communicated every day about the gig economy.
Our industry is following a typical trajectory. Those of us who were here in the beginning were the disruptors. We had to throw Molotov cocktails at the established way of doing things just to get noticed. In the last few years, early-adoptive thought leaders have taken up the charge and started to build the tools that incumbent organizations need in order to change. LISH and other academic organizations have done research to prove the open business models are better, faster and cheaper than those built on analogue models. And many brave souls, including Paul Estes, Dyan Finkhousen, Balaji Bondili, Steve Rader and Jose Silva have been leading change inside their organizations.
There is a chasm between the thought-leading early adopters and those organizations and leaders that sit squarely in the early majority segment of the diffusion curve. We sit at the precipice. Those in the early majority want usable tools, not thought leadership. They need help doing their jobs a little bit better, not overturning everything they do to find a new way.
So I’m super excited to share our latest publication with you, our 2019 issue of the Open Assembly Quarterly, or OAQ. This issue is the ladder to cross the chasm—a bridge from early adoption to mainstream adoption. Our goal with this OAQ was to work with Topcoder and other luminaries within the industry to provide a road map for thoughtful leaders ready to take the journey that will digitally transform their talent ecosystem.
This is the beginning of a dialogue between all of us. Enjoy. Pass along. Use it until it is in tatters. And please let us know not only what you think, but what’s working inside your organization and how we can support the tools we outline in this issue to continue to evolve.
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Forbes.