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Digital Age Leadership: Three Things You Must Know About The Gig Economy

The Gig Economy. What’s all this fuss about, especially if you are a manager who has been with your organization for well over ten years or more?

Why should you care? How does this matter to your career?

When the millennium bug frenzy was at its highest in 1999, I first heard of the word “gig” in the context of a short-term contract. I was engaged as a data specialist in a major telecom company and an Australian colleague of , mentioned to me that he and his wife had decided to travel around Europe over a two year period, while depending on “gigs” in the region.

At that time, I knew that the word “gig” was usually referring an artists performance. A musical performance or perhaps a theatre performance.

It was not until recent times did I actually realise that most of us are an integral part of this gig economy. Having read the book, “Everyone’s An Artist (or At Least They Should Be): How Creativity Gives You the Edge in Everything You Do”, I am now certain that every circumstance in life can be a “performance”. Whether it is a meeting that I am running or a sales presentation for my business.

Every role in life can be a performance!

Importantly, a lot of investment goes into preparing for these performances. Sometimes even years. With this level of investment already committed, it surely does define the identity of the “performer” – whether as an executive, a leader or just a professional across any calling in today’s world.

Here are three things, you – as a digital age leader, must recognize in order to make best use of the “gig economy” that you are certain to be operating in.

  1. Recognize and acknowledge an alternate resourcing model, that is not new to the society but adds tremendous value if you structure is optimally, both for you as well as the contributing parties.
  2. Know that you are indeed, hiring an identity along with expert skillsets. You are hiring an “artist” who has possibly been honing their skill for years. So, plan and think through how you may want to maximise the return on your investment, both in terms of time as well as finances.
  3. Acknowledge and respect the fact that we are complex social beings – You and your gig contributing actors are all human beings with complex social needs. They are as important to the business ecosystem as all other entities and actors. Maximize their contributing value by putting best use of your ability to manage people.

Not recognizing the above is expensive both economically as well as emotionally. The best leaders transform any circumstances into positive outcomes. The gig economy creates an opportunity to make a profound impact in our world.

Make it count!