“Gig economy,” “crowdsourcing,” “human cloud,” “on-demand talent” … which term do you use? For our recent 2020 trends report, we spoke with language experts to unpack the issues associated with certain terms and to determine the most accurate terminology to recommend to businesses venturing boldly into open talent models. Here’s what we learned.
Are we being clear—or just using jargon?
As more companies adopt open work models, generic terms are sorely needed to communicate strategies to employees and stakeholders at all levels. However, popular generic terms go both ways—either serving or undermining efforts to unify teams. Future of work leaders must be careful not to confuse their own familiarity for the familiarity of peers, workers, or customers.
Are there better terms we can use?
Ill-defined terms like “gig economy,” “crowdsourcing,” “human cloud,” “internal crowd,” and “external crowd” do not always accurately communicate the potential of the future of work. Experts suggest that “on-demand talent” and “open talent models” more accurately redefine the space and complement existing concepts.
How can we influence work language strategically?
No one person or company has the ability to control language, but everyone has influence within a specific sphere. Relating to terminology thoughtfully increases the likelihood that exchanges will be meaningful and empower stakeholders. As thought leaders, it is our responsibility to influence future-of-work language conscientiously.