TALENT
SHIFT

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New Year, New Opportunity: Embracing the Talent Shift, Are You Ready?

In 2018, we can expect even more change and acceleration of pace in workplaces everywhere.

In my first post in this series, I explored how companies everywhere are facing what leaders are calling the “Digital Imperative”—transform your business with digital speed, scale, and value, or else. Our rapidly-changing Digital Economy has created a sharp increase in need for a new kind of corporate agility: an On-Demand Workforce that is transforming the way the world does business.

The question I asked is how will you and your company successfully navigate this unprecedented Talent Shift? In 2018, we can expect even more change and acceleration of pace in workplaces everywhere.

Studies also confirm that the On-demand Workforce is here to stay—and growing. There are a lot of highly-talented, highly-experienced professionals out there ready to serve your company and teams. I know this firsthand because I was one! I spent 14 years in the tech sector and supply-chain management, and I’ve worked with some of the biggest brands in the world. I know what it’s like to be the client and I know what it’s like to be the consultant. I love helping people, connecting with business leaders, and solving big business challenges. Part-way through my career, my life changed. I had my second child and realized that I wanted to work more on my own terms, and this created my own “talent shift” in my life. I had to think of a new way to work.

I wanted to control my own schedule, spend more time with my family, and cut back on business travel. I also wanted to do more high-impact work. As a director at Microsoft, a lot of responsibilities came with that job. I wanted to do what I was best at—only. I didn’t have any role models and I made a lot of mistakes. But I just kept learning and growing. The evolution of Simplicity has been organic. As the tech industry has evolved, so have we.

Creating on-demand teams and adopting our SPEED strategy takes the ability to fail fast and win to a new level. If you want to explore this new way of thinking, think of yourself as the conductor of an orchestra. You get to choose the musicians and the music for each concert. Some of the players might come and go, but you are always efficiently conducting your orchestra (team) to build an impactful and successful business.

The trends are clear. An unprecedented workforce shift is underway, driven by a constantly changing global business environment, a highly competitive marketplace that features hyper-specialization, project-based work, and a talent pool that aspires to—indeed demands—flexibility. Business cycles have accelerated; there’s a frequent need for fresh talent, and continuous “recruiting” has become a big part of every manager’s job. Clients are focusing on their business through a project lens. They’re looking at their goals as projects. These could be long-term projects; they could be strategic projects; they could be tactical projects. It’s really about identifying the right talent resources for specific kinds of projects.

There are many ways to successfully manage the Talent Shift. It’s a challenge to consider for the New Year. You can start with small steps. Try a project. See how it goes. It’s an opportunity you can build upon. It will give you a low-risk opportunity to look at your teams and talent, inspired by a whole new energy and seeing possibilities for success in a whole new light. Are you ready?

Lisa Hufford is founder and CEO of Seattle-based Simplicity Consulting, a consultancy of experts that partners with technology companies to strategically deliver Enterprise Marketing Services. For more than five years, Simplicity has been named to the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America. Lisa has been named an Inc. Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs, and has been named by Ernst & Young as an Entrepreneurial Winning Woman. She is the author of Navigating the Talent Shift: How to Build On-Demand Teams That Drive Innovation, Control Costs, and Get Results.

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