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There has been so much written lately about the gig economy, the uber-ization of work and several other buzzwords to make being a freelancer cool, Seb Haire, at ProFinda, on the other hand, prefers to say workforce as a service.
A phrase I like is workforce as a service — I read this somewhere recently and I think it sums up what everyone is trying to achieve perfectly. We are now looking at the workplace as a more fluid and agile environment and the phrase ‘internal mobility’ now really has some meaning.
Previously companies focussed on this to keep people. If we move them around internally, this will keep them motivated and they will stay. Some companies such at Toyota nailed this approach. 2–3 year secondments in new divisions and roles. Creating the all-rounder who can then specialise in what they excelled at. Whether it works or not is up for debate, but it’s an interesting model.
Companies are now gravitating towards this approach via technology. There is a movement that wants to focus on people’s skills, interests and spins teams up around that, rather than simply putting people in specific roles, divisions, silos.
Engineering companies have taken this approach within their departments for years. Companies such as BAE, Arup, Leonardo spin up project teams by skills rather role, effectively leveraging a large talent pool in an agile way — cross fertilising skills and experience around a project rather than looking at roles. This is the ultimate form of internal mobility.
The working world is changing at such a pace and companies are starting to put people at the very heart of the business strategy. So the better a company is structured to enable a stellar internal mobility strategy, the more exciting they will be to the employee.
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