The traditional company needed to own and control its resources, including its staff. However, two important forces are making the need to own and control redundant and even counter-productive:
The result is that forward thinking managers are starting to question the need to own and control anything – including many managers and staff.
Beyond a core of permanent stalwarts, more and more functions are going to be left to “hired guns”, experts who can come in when they’re needed, often for the duration of a project, and then only on a part time basis, and are released at completion. These experts will share their time between companies and projects as and when needed.
Of course, contractors and consultants have always been a staple of the workforce, particularly in industries such as mining, software development and entertainment. What is different here is that the opportunity will not be limited to specific technical jobs or advisory roles. Rather, these guns will assume responsibility, and be remunerated (and rehired) accordingly.
The advantages to the contra-preneur are obvious: more varied work, more flexible hours, days and even weeks, and a drastically reduced risk of total unemployment, since they are not completely dependent on one source of opportunity.
As companies become less insecure about owning and controlling, and professionals less insecure about their ability to attract challenging work, this model will make for a far more fluid and flexible and ultimately motivated professional workforce.