Today work cultures are primarily based on the traditional mindset, with small doses of the gig mindset. Tomorrow we will see workplaces that primarily reflect the gig-mindset way of working, with doses of the traditional mindset, but only where it brings value. Organizations that live the gig mindset advantage will be more relevant and resilient.
Uncertainty is the way of life. We will not move back to an age of stability and certainty in our work lives. The reality is that our organizations have long been unstable; we just did not see it. Confusion, sometimes chaos, resulted from repeated efforts to restructure the company, re-engineer work practices and implement change programs, most of which did not work.
The stakes are higher now as we are forced to create new working conditions in response to the pandemic which has come on top of a host of other global factors. This volatility has been hard, but the good side is that it has both forced and stimulated people to discover new ways of working, of which the gig mindset is one.
I predict we are moving from “paradox to wholeness” over the coming years in three areas:
- From the individual vs. the group to a mutually beneficial balance with a new focus on we rather than me.
- From leaders vs. followers to an understanding that leadership is an outcome, not a position. Top-down and bottom-up are phrases we will no longer hear.
- From the inside vs. the outside to a new type of operational structure. People are identified by their skills and expertise rather than by their company affiliation. The distinction between internal and external will no longer exist.
When organizations become more gig-mindset oriented in the work culture, they will be more relevant and resilient. The only way this can happen is through individual people taking the lead. What do I say when people ask me what to do? The book offers a 10-point manifesto, to be personalized as appropriate by each person. The 10th point is the most important:
Trust yourself, believe in your capabilities.