Industry Research

Do Something! Ideas For Leading Change Amid Disruption

Posted on July 6, 2016 by Sara Eastwood-Richardson - Also by this author

Ben Franklin once said, “Americans will get the government they deserve.” His idea here is the American people are in control. We decide. When we don’t like the way the government behaves, or how Congress operates, or we don’t like the choices our President makes, we have no one to blame but ourselves. This is the height of responsibility and it falls squarely on us. Every day we make decisions that set our future course.

Industries like ours are a microcosm of the American political structure, complete with its own set of governance, rules and regulations, and leadership. However, each individual operator and vendor has a say, and the power to embrace change and make changes. Thus, we get the industry we deserve. All decisions are personal. We reap what we sow.

Today, we are experiencing a global business and cultural shift, bringing about opportunities and threats. I praise our industry warriors out on the front lines who are fighting for fair play against the Gigsters, when so many are armchair quarterbacking, tsk-tsk-ing, making excuses, or worse — venting on social media and pointing fingers.

It’s time for clear thinking and strategy. We are responsible for safeguarding our companies, but also the industry overall. We need it to survive. We are not collectively doing enough insightful, methodical, and strategic thinking on our own.

Where To Start?
Taking an idea straight from the Silicon Valley playbook, we need to talk this out. Structured think tanks bent on problem solving on local and national levels have never been more important. Face-to-face meetings require us to “do something,” and that’s what I am asking. We need to tackle issues starting with a new view of the 21st-Century talent pool.

By 2020, it’s projected that 40% of our workforce will be “freelance” in this new Gig World Order. What does that mean to our economy? To us? We need to study this out loud and back up our notions with solid research (that’s LCT’s role), and then push the “what to do’s” out to the industry through the media. Workforce planning should be a top priority for us.

Next is our technology infrastructure. Our industry requires us to not only be tech savvy, but big investors in the tech space for running our businesses. We have been averse to spending in this area for so long. Consequently, we’re waking up to find we’re years behind the eight-ball. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

Again, we will reap what we sow. The time to develop new workforce and automation models that focus on increasing employee and customer engagement is one of today’s most important challenges. Today, it’s neccessary to learn how to use new workforce segments and technologies to improve the quality, meaning, and value of internal (employees) and external (clients) customer bases.

The Bottom Line
On-demand service morphed into the Gig Economy bringing radical change for good and bad. We need to stop the madness and convene with thoughtfulness and purpose to solve our problems and reach a new level of business success.

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