Saturday, June 4, 2016

Uberization of work continued

So, what does uberization of work mean?

As a person if you cannot afford a car (or do not want to take your car out mostly) you hire a car for that drive. Well, it is not radically different from hiring a taxi or an auto, but in the connected world, Uberization is the buzzword. It is like timesharing. With an app and algorithms running in the background.

Now translate that to a work scenario. If you are a small company and yet want the scale and experience of an experienced person, you go for hiring a consultant for a specific time frame. Nothing new there, companies have been doing it for years. Using consultants as Force multipliers is fairly common.

What is different is that many smaller companies are willing to experiment these days and as are large companies who want to do things with the nimbleness of start ups. On the other hand, start ups who do not have scale will be happy to get a consultant with specific expertise. Companies who want advisors or practitioners without having to hire them are happy to do so.

There are large companies which internalise all their functions - and it is a great idea to do so - it is like using Uber as much as you would user your car. Well, your car is way cheaper if your usage is high.

If you are a large company, there is merit in internalising functions - and I am a great believer of that (as my earlier blog posts affirm).  So,  if you are a large company, and you are just hiring employees who will program manage consultants then you might want to think about the cost benefit analysis.

But if you are a small/medium company using consultants to leverage your scale is a great idea. If you want to experiment on something without necessarily adding to headcount, it is a great idea. If you want to try out a skunk works project with someone who is not bound by the rules/culture of your firm, go for it.

Just a word of caution - go for practitioners - as George Lazlo cautions in his book Work Rules - not academicians. Go for consultants who have been there done that and who can truly help you scale...

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