Future Workforce: an always-on open talent capability is within reach

By Henry Crabtree

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The Center for the Transformation of Work (CTW) community calls bring open talent, freelancers, and organizations in these spheres together to change the world of work. In Thursday 15th September’s call, Tim Sanders, VP of Client Strategy at Upwork shared highlights and findings from Upwork’s Future Workforce Report 2022: Leveraging Independent Talent as a Key Workforce Strategy.

What is work?

To 19th-Century French mathematician Gaspard-Gustave Coriolis, “work” was the force needed to move an object, like a snooker ball. It was the first usage of the word, and resonates today: work is the effort and force used to drive things forward.

Tim Sanders, VP of Client Strategy at Upwork shared this trivia in the latest Center for the Transformation of Work discussion, while recapping Upwork’s latest research: the 2022 Future Workforce Report.

The report shows that following the effects of the pandemic, managers who had become comfortable leading remote teams reported that they were also comfortable working with freelancers and open talent. That’s because the modern world of work relies on outcomes, not hours – and both leadership and organizational structures are moving to reflect this.

Why is this change happening?

  • The opportunity: the growth in the knowledge economy means that you’re never going to be able to employ all the world’s smartest people. Using open talent gives you insights from the ‘long tail’ of experts outside your organization.
  • Projects and ‘taskification’ shift: projects are a specific and measurable way of parcelling work: they also serve to implement the greatest change and typically have the most value for companies.
  • Burnout: the report highlights that an increase in workload is the highest priority problem for knowledge workers – 4x the amount of the next issue.
  • Pay for solutions, not time: using open talent models with specific outcomes outlined is a great way to lift the burden from internal teams.

This ‘project economy’ or ‘taskification’ shift that’s happening in the world of work has opened up new opportunities. Now, when organizations conceive and fund projects, they can divide the work into portions and use open talent to speed up their outcomes.

“Through creative thinking and open talent, you can increase your chances to turn money spent into concrete results.”
// Tim Sanders, VP of Client Strategy at Upwork

Tim’s recommendations on how businesses can overcome the barriers to using open talent reflect Wazoku’s mission and values. Our Wazoku Crowd has proven effective at exploring opportunities and solving problems for organizations around the world. The millions of change makers in our crowd have been effective across the world of work: in research capability testing proof-of-principle for research.

At Wazoku, we know that our Solver community provides a critical value-add to any business, whether it’s through solving a 20-year oil spill issue or by supercharging NASA’s research initiatives when it needed a new perspective. Additionally, the Wazoku Platform is used by businesses across the globe for idea management and innovation projects. Waitrose use the platform to power a Partner Ideas scheme, which leverages the insights of employees and has resulted in £3.5m in realized savings for the organization.

Wazoku’s Innovation_360 offering is secure and integrated with the enterprise stack, so you can be sure that any collaboration is safe from prying eyes. If you’re working with our Wazoku Crowd, open innovation solution rights are protected by clearly-defined IP and usage rules. The efficiency of integrating open talent into traditional structures can be seen in our results from the last 20 years and to find out more, visit: Customer Stories.

Thanks to Tim and the CTW team for their presentation and the lively discussion that followed. Find out more about the report and the discussion here.

The CTW and its community of change makers want to make the world of work better for a billion people by 2030. Through community calls, open forums, and networking, the CTW connects open talent and organizations with opportunities for change.

By Henry Crabtree

Wazoku's Community Marketing Manager, Henry is also a life-long Manchester United fan - but we still love him, regardless. When he's not cheering the Reds on, he's working his way through an extensive reading list. Need a book recommendation? He's your man!