Categorieën
Entrepreneurability

As busy as I want to be, having these principles

Last summer during a social event at Agile 2019 in Washington D.C. I had an interesting conversation with a fellow entrepreneur about being busy. This conversation started with telling each other what we were working on and from both sides it sounded like a lot! The question that came up was: So, how busy are you?

As busy as I want to be!

Having two companies and being the eternal (unpaid) intern at my girlfriends’ company, may seem very busy. But on average I work about three days a week. Work that I am being paid to do. One of these companies focuses on Agile training and consulting and this service is what pays the bills at this moment.

However, I made a deliberate choice not to fill my entire week with providing service. Of course, I could do that since Agile is a big thing in the industry now. I believe, I could have earned a lot more over the last couple of years. But I didn’t do that. I decided to limit the amount of time I spend on doing work so I can free time to work on new areas like entrepreneurial ability, working with four generations and the voice of the system. To make this happen I take up new assignments following these principles.

Maximum 24 hours a week

I do not believe a consultant should be present for more than 24 hours a week. An organization needs time to get work done, practice and internalize new insights. 

Once in a while, you need to close the oven door, so it can warm up!

This means that I spent no more than 24 hours at an organization and this not the same as 3 days! If it means I need to spread the 24 hours over 5 workdays at this organization to make an impact, I will do so. That is the risk I take as an entrepreneur

You pay when I am there.

I only show up at the organization if I believe I can add value. Being there for 8 hours just because my contract say so is bad consultancy in my opinion. The organization only pays for the hours I actually spent and the hourly rate is a little higher than they are used to. But when I am there, something is happening. If not, they don’t have to pay.

Longer engagements are more expensive

This principle feels counterintuitive for most organizations. They assume a consultant is aiming for long term engagements (and most consultancy organizations do believe that). A long assignment is predictable revenue. So organizations know this and expect a lower hourly rate for longer engagements since consultancy firms value steady revenue. I believe it should be the other way around. The longer the assignment takes, the higher the (hourly) rate. As a consultant, I add value based on the knowledge I have and share and the experience from many different environments I bring. So, if you hire me for a longer period of time, I take myself off the market for a longer period of time. Only gaining experience at one organization, decreases my value for future assignments.

Would you rather hire a consultant with experience from one organization or several?

Therefore, a longer engagement has to be compensated so I am able to invest in additional knowledge gathering, training etc. 

You do the work!

There is a huge risk being a consultant that an organization starts to depend on you. Everything is fine as long as you are there. As soon as you leave, things fall apart. From the first day I enter an organization I say:

I want to leave this organization as soon as possible!

The only thing I do is to teach the organization to be able to do things themselves. You do the work! I will help you, guide you along the way but change is up to you! For example, I have set up a course at one of the organizations I worked with as a consultant. This course is designed for a couple of talented employees to teach them what I do. Over the next couple of months, I will work with these five people so they will become the experts on Agility. They will learn and put it into practice at the same time. This way the organization will build their own capabilities to change and I will guide these experts along the way. They do the work, I will guide, coach and teach them. So I can leave as soon as possible.

Scary sh*t

Applying these principles work very well in being as busy as you want to be, freeing up time to invest in learning new things. But it is scary as well. You do not have long term assignments, you might end up working 5 days a week and only get paid for 24 hours. So money might not be as good as it could have been. And since your approach to the work you do is to teach organizations to do it themselves, might make you start looking for a new assignment sooner than you expect. But so far it has worked great for me. I am as busy as I want to be.

Categorieën
Generations on the workfloor

Hoe maak je werk aantrekkelijk?

Jobcrafting voor vier generaties – tegelijk!

Dromen van de ideale baan, helpt je niet zoveel verder. Zelf vormgeven wel. Het is een van de mode-kreten van de huidige corporate wereld: jobcrafting. Het zelf samenstellen van je eigen droombaan, begint natuurlijk met weten wat je belangrijk vind. Jobcrafting is een van de strategieën die worden ingezet om de impact van een langzaam steeds krappere arbeidsmarkt te verkleinen. Een andere strategie is om te ‘vinden & binden’. Hoe je het ook omschrijft, de woorden verzachten de cijfers niet. Krapte op de arbeidsmarkt vergt ruimer denken dan we gewend zijn. Zeker met vier generaties op de werkvloer.

We hebben onderzoek verricht onder werknemers en aankomende werknemers uit generatie Y (Millennials) en generatie X naar wat een baan voor hen aantrekkelijk maakt. Dat leverde interessante data op! Wat blijkt: ze zijn niet zo verschillend als het wel lijkt…De nieuwe werknemers (uit generaties Y en Z) staan te trappelen om die vernieuwing te accelereren. Werknemers uit generatie X en de Babyboomers gunnen we ook een jobcraft, maar willen ze dat wel? En hoe zit het eigenlijk met al die vrijheid in de inhoud van werk voor gen Y en Z? Willen zij dat wel? Nou nee. Niet.

Uit cijfers van het CBS blijkt dat er ook nog eens veel te weinig beschikbare werknemers in die leeftijdscategorie zijn. De beroepsbevolking om de exploderende vacaturestroom door hoogconjunctuur wordt steeds kleiner. Niet alleen is het niet meer kunnen vinden van werknemers een serieuze game-changer: wie niet productief is levert immers geen waarde en daarvoor wordt je betaald. Het houden van werknemers is tegenwoordig een baan op zich. Ziehier: de spanning stijgt. Niet alleen in de zorg en techniek, maar nu over de sectoren heen.

Wisseling van de wacht

Terwijl dat gebeurt, vindt op de werkvloer een zogenoemde generatiewissel plaats. Niet dat dat nieuw is. Het is een bekend fenomeen onder andere beschreven door de Nederlandse generatie-onderzoeker Aart Bontekoning en de socioloog Henk Becker. “Iedere 15 jaar vindt er een generatiewissel plaats. En op dit moment zitten we op ongeveer eenderde van die wissel. We hebben het bij een generatiewissel over een natuurlijk proces van het verlopen van levensfases van werknemers. Het bijzondere in deze generatiewissel is dat er, terwijl generatie Z vanaf dit jaar  de werkvloer opkomt, de generatie van de Babyboomers nog in een groot aantal organisaties de scepter zwaait, waar generatie X’ers de leidinggevende en transformatie-rollen hebben. En er dus voor Millennials in die verschuiving nog veel meer redenen zijn om de sterke drang om te vernieuwen een extra zet te geven: it’s time for a revolution! En deze revolutie is er eentje met een sociaal tintje! In ons eerdere blog: Why we should let Millennials be our managers, zeggen we dat al: laat dat gebeuren. En kies voor mentoring, in plaats van mijlpalen slaan. Want krapte op de arbeidsmarkt vraagt om andere vormen en om ruimer denken!

logo entrepreneurabilityWil je met alle vier deze generaties werken? Meesterschap verbinden aan innovatie-power in je organisatie? Dan heb je op managementvlak wel wat lef nodig. Niet verbaasd zijn als je recht in je gezicht wordt gezegd wat je niet snapt en wat er niet deugt aan je organisatie. Messcherpe analyses hoef je niet om te vragen. Dat krijg je erbij. Dan ook nog het lef hebben om met het meesterschap in je organisatiestructuren en de verbinders klaar te staan om vernieuwers de ruimte te geven, dat is wel moedig. Raak je de juiste snaren? 

De juiste snaar raken

Hoe je de juiste snaar dan raakt? Hoe positioneer je je voor generatie Y? En straks voor gen Z? Die employer branding journey, nog zo’n buzz-word…. Het blijkt dat een droombaan niet alleen gemaakt wordt door ingrediënten die te maken hebben de inhoud van je werk, zoals taken doen die aansluiten bij wat je al kan, nieuwe dingen leren en taken doen die impact hebben op klanten. Het heeft vooral te maken met de omgeving waarin je werkt. En dan niet per se waar je werkt, maar met wie je werkt. En, hoe dat voelt.
Dus: hoe je werkomgeving is, gaat niet over je uitzicht of over je bureau. Het is met name de sfeer, hoe mensen met elkaar omgaan en in hoeverre je echt betrokken wordt bij werkzaamheden van je manager en of die manager ook oprechte interesse toont in jou. Als je dat weet te integreren in hoe je je positioneert als werkgever en het dan ook nog echt toepast, dan maak je kans op die felbegeerde titel: ‘Aantrekkelijkste werkgever van het jaar’.

Spider graph
Bron: Dijk, F.S. van (2018), Wat maakt een organisatie aantrekkelijk voor millennials? Employer branding in een krappe arbeidsmarkt. Entrepreneurability.

Beter nog: wie werknemers het gevoel kan geven dat ze zichzelf herkennen in jouw organisatie, die doen het beter dan andere werkgevers. Zelf-identitficatie noemt Joeri van den Bergh dat in ‘How hot brands stay hot, branding for generation Y and Z.’ Het herkennen van je eigen normen en waarden in die op je werk is een belangrijke voorspeller van tevredenheid bij werknemers.

Verrassing!

Het zal je nog verrassen dat de verschillen tussen generaties hier minder groot zijn dan dat wordt beweerd in de huidige media. Is wat bij generatie X’ers werkt dan zoveel anders? Nou nee. Volgens ons onderzoek willen generatie X’ers, met een paar kleine nuances dezelfde dingen: goede sfeer, autonomie en groei. Een rustige werkplek is voor hen bijvoorbeeld belangrijker dan voor gen Y, die zoeken juist contact: ze werken graag samen, met verschillende afdelingen en collega’s. Waar generatie Y’ers, wel echt op afknappen is dat eeuwige getwijfeld over wat hun functie nou inhoudt. “Wees nou eens duidelijk wat je van mij verwacht”, zo verwoordde een collega eerder deze week in helder termen. “Als je me gewoon zegt waarvoor ik verantwoordelijk ben, dan krijg je dat ook!” Die duidelijke kadering van werktaken is ook voor generatie X fijn. Sterker nog: zij zijn daar nog meer naar op zoek dan gen Y. Het verschil zit hem in hoe een Millennial dat communiceert en hoe we dat te weten komen van een Babyboomer of X’er. Dàt is er zo anders aan!

Op dit moment in werkgeversland is vooral aandacht voor Millennials en generatie Z. Zij zijn immers vernieuwend, aanstormend talent. De toekomst. Belangrijk is om ook gen X en de Babyboomers mee te krijgen. In het meesterschap ligt de sleutel verborgen. En wie steeds weer de verbinding weet te leggen tussen meesterschap en innovatiekracht, lees: wie de Babyboomers verbindt met Generaties Y en Z, die behoudt zijn groeikracht.

Categorieën
Bearing risk Business Decision Making

Are you an entrepreneur or just minding the shop?

Recently, I was listening to an item on the Dutch radio on research about employment and management. It stated that companies fear a lot of people will leave their company and look for a new challenge. With the economy back on track this is nothing new. However, politicians and unions are screaming for raises! Research states that this is not the primary reason why people leave a company. According to the research done by Berenschot and ADP; It is management. Here are some contemplations based on my personal experience.

Mind the Shop

After years of little or no raise, a better outlook of the economy, raising salaries seems like a no-brainer. Politicians and unions are screaming for this to happen to prevent people from leaving companies/industries. It seems that management is ruining the engagement of employees. Is it on purpose? Probably not, it’s never the intent of management to scare people off. If it is, then something is seriously wrong with that company. So let’s assume this is not the case.

It is my personal experience that most company cultures and management behaviour have nothing to do with being an entrepreneur, with running a business. All the mechanisms like multi year strategic plans, proper micromanagement, annuals departmental budgets etc, are all  in place to mind the shop. Look after the place until the next person comes to mind the shop. As long as at the end of the year we didn’t exceed our budget, we’ll be just fine. It has nothing to do with entrepreneurship, by employing innovation, taking risk and most of all taking initiative.

It is the responsibility of leadership and management to give opportunities and put demands on people which enable them to grow as human beings in their work environment.

 Sir John Harvey-Jones

Training already sold

One of the reasons for me to become an independent professional was lack of entrepreneurship from management. I wasn’t allowed to do a training course that exceeded my personal development budget. I just received a plain and simple ‘no’ as a reply to my request. The rules stated it was not allowed. And there’s no use arguing with the rules that help ‘minding the shop’, right? Well no, wrong! Because there was a very plausible reason to break the rules: paying customers. The course would certify me to provide courses myself and before I attended the training I had three potential clients willing to pay for such a course. It still was a ‘no’.

To me, that is a simple sign of minding the shop and lack of entrepreneurability. This internal rule was created to prevent employees from attending courses that do not bring any value to the company. However, this course would almost immediately earn a profit to the company. So, deviating from the internal rules were valued over servicing clients, investing in employees’ knowledge and earn a profit. Explaining this to the management team a couple of times from various angles couldn’t make them to change their mind. They said: “We understand the situation, however, these are the rules of our company.”

The Monitor

Another example, a few years back, I ran a proof of concept with an international team. One of the team members was a designer and requested an IPS monitor (or something like that) to be able to deliver quality in her work. After a request and even an escalation to upper management, I received a ‘no’. The designer would have to settle for a regular monitor just like everyone else. Budget wasn’t the problem, some IT hardware configuration restraining jacket was. Again, I was held back by management that did not want to deviate from internal policies and see the benefits of the request. This is not where the story ends.

The Entrepreneurial Manager

Ultimately, I found one entrepreneurial manager who said, you just get the monitor, I have some part of my budget which covers special expenses which still has some room left. Just hand me the receipt and I will take care of it! So, I went to the local electronics store to buy this monitor and have the designer deliver quality! That is the kind of behaviour I am looking for in management. Them using the internal rules and procedures as guidelines but keeping in mind the reason the organisation is in business. And when people, proactively, offer solutions to increase the impact of the organisation. Not only for their own gain but for a greater good and then supporting them.

That’s what we need. Servant leaders! The last manager is one I want to work for, a person who sees past current boundaries and restrictions and sees the potential value in new or different ideas. They have the guts to get it done and get it done!

The only companies that innovate are those who believe that innovation is vital for their future.

 Sir John Harvey-Jones

So ask yourself, are you an entrepreneur or are you just minding the shop? If you are an entrepreneur I bet you employees love to work for you! If you mind the shop, then you need help! Your employees might already be looking for a different job, it’s not the money you offer them. It’s how you facilitate them to be a professional, to let them contribute to your success. Leave a comment with your thoughts!

Categorieën
Entrepreneurability

What is Entrepreneurability about?

Traditionally to make a product or provide service you need three primary factors. First, we need resources: like land, water or wind. Let’s call these resources.  Secondly we need time and money, starting or scaling capital.  For the sake of simplicity  let’s referred to this as the monetary component. Third, we need labor resources, or human resources: people.  to create it. Now, these three primary needs: resources, money and people together we  call them input factors. By connecting them we can create. The input factor will indeed make creation possible is the fourth one: entrepreneurial ability.  And this factor is becoming the differentiating factor in our current economy. In this article we will explain what entrepreneurial ability (in short Entrepreneurability) is and how we can plant its seeds, cultivate and grow from it.

Stick and stones

In the first human labor practices we used primarily natural resources like sticks and stones, nature provided us to fulfill our primary needs. As we developed into tribes and later smaller communities, we started to specialize and focus on a particular product (farming, blacksmith etc.) doing so people we no longer able to fulfill in their basic needs by themselves. They would withdraw from consuming to produce their product, in order to do so they would need capital to bridge this gap hence we were introduced to an economy in a smaller scale.To accommodate this withdrawal we created financial institutions like banks to facilitate the exchange of products and service. This resulted in an enormous growth in productivity and wealth (for some).

This worked well for smaller communities, however we were unable to scale to larger groups of people. Until the industrials revolution. This is where we began utilizing the potential of the combined efforts of machine and labor forces. This led to significant economies of scale and enabled organisations to reach a global market. At that point, those who were able to control and utilize these three primary factors were successful. Large corporations dominating the markets because competitors are unable to obtain the natural, monetary and labor resources and to maximize these rewards we adopted numerous ways to optimize them.

Optimizing the primary factors

Since the industrial revolution we have been trying to optimize our production processes. We have created an impressive number of ways to govern it. In the past couple of decades we introduced Projects and Project management frameworks like Prince2, to optimize our productivity we introduced Lean and to facilitate in creative environments we introduced Agile values and principles along with numerous frameworks and practices. All to optimize our labor resources. Capital resources are nowadays heavily regulated and controlled (for obvious reasons) and we try to be more careful in using our natural resources by focussing on circularity.

Applying and optimizing these three factors alone, won’t make your organization a successful organization in these times. Adding entrepreneurship to your mix might do the trick. Here are the key ingredients.

Entrepreneurability

The ability to optimize the utilization of the production factors is entrepreneurship. This involves four elements:

  • Taking initiative – Action oriented and driven by forward motion
  • Strategic business decision making – Based on a clear vision and strategy being able to make decisions
  • Innovation – Exploring and experimenting
  • Bearing risk – taking the consequences of the previous three elements regardless the outcome.

In future posts, we will elaborate on these factors. These four elements determine if a product or service produced will actually come to life. Go to market needs these skills. Improvements to keep going and arriving at a market need this way of thinking. And  with an increase in the number of independent professionals, the purpose economy and a generation entering the workforce that is raised with Entrepreneurability, so the skill are already available too. This might explain why more and more organizations are exploring concepts like ‘ Lean startup’ and organize hackathons to facilitate in Entrepreneurability.

What hasn’t evolved though is the organisational structures of companies and the rewards and compensation structures. So if we need these skills to work, how we will adjust our organisation formats? And maybe more important, how will we rewards people if we expect entrepreneurial behaviour from them. Will we get away with just paying them a monthly salary?

Where the three primary factors generate income through rental income (natural resources), interest (capital) and wages (labor). The fourth factor , Entrepreneurability, is compensated through profit and loss. Owning a company you only earn when profit is made, if not, you get nothing. With the rise of Entrepreneurability in our labour force we need to radically rethink our organisational structures and rewarding and compensation structures.

In practice

Entrepreneurability  is already happening. There are several companies already experimenting with elements of Entrepreneurability.

RYSST

A small student startup RYSST (Rent Your Student Scrum Team) founded by two software engineering student as part of a school assignment. They identified the need for companies to early bind talented engineers and students wanted to have a meaningful job to build experience and earns some money as well. A great combination and continuation for companies since students are available to work at night and during holidays. You rent a team of students and when they graduate you get first pick in hiring them. Onboarding is a piece of cake since they are already familiar with the product. A completely new concept using the rise of popularity of the Scrum Framework and a shortage of software engineers. Within a year they employ over 30 students and starting a new branch in another university city.

ITM Group

A machine manufacturer for among others the tobacco industry. A highly competitive market where ITM is able to do things differently. Self-organising production teams are responsible for the development, assembly and aftercare of a production line. This organisation’s leader took a conscious choice to delegate a portion of the entrepreneurial abilities to their employees.  There is no innovation department.“I honor  personal initiatives from the work floor by challenging my employees to work on innovative projects. They will also be inspired to take responsibility of the future of the customer relations though.” Of course that requires a special kind of leadership.(source)

Incentro

This IT company is only steering on happiness. They believe that when their employees are happy, they make their customers happy. Having a no-policies-policy and teaching people to balance both the personal, company and customers’ interest has resulted in more and sustainable growth in profit and headcount since 2012. While continuously experimenting with stock options for employees (that is not really creative of course) or having employees dividing the budget for raises themselves and where people are encouraged to start new services and adopt new technologies they have expanded their portfolio in various directions. Starting and stopping services when needed and continuously looking for new interesting opportunities, not by a sales team or innovation team but by its own employees. Teaching them to act as an entrepreneur.

Netvlies

An internet bureau with more than 50 internet professionals, with clients like Dick Bruna’s Nijntje, NautaDutilh and Karcher Netherlands. Their bureau does not employ a single manager. Each and every one of their employees applies Entrepreneurability and takes it to a next level. If you are selected to be their client, the work to be done is posted on the intranet, for all employees to look at, who has the most interest, the best fit. When a team has been formed, the client has an official place in the team.

Since teams apply the Scrum framework, each client becomes a Product Owner. Being part of the team, part of the process and always aligned with what’s being created. Often Netvlies adds value to their clients’ teams because they not only deliver the requested product or service, but also a way of working, insights in how to work with high performance teams and maintaining the power of collaboration, while honoring individual talents too.

Challenges

As all these four companies acknowledge that enabling Entrepreneurability is necessary, a great way to work and of course all of them are struggling too. Experimenting to find  the ideal culture and governance structures. We want to help them and inspire them to find formats, models and ideas to enable Entrepreneurability.

We are curious whether you have other examples of organizations experimenting with Entrepreneurability (or elements of it). Please leave a comment.

Categorieën
Entrepreneurability Generations on the workfloor

How Millennials, labor market dynamics and the purpose economy will disrupt employment!

In a few years time, you will no longer work for a company. You will own it! In fact, we bet you will own over 20 companies! Why? Because the way companies and employees work together is about to get disrupted. Here’s a way to organize companies that fits this transformed way of employment.

Entrepreneurability: skill to be an entrepreneur in company formats

Ideas need skills, talent and expertise to come to life. If a company no longer has employees, but employees with those skills, talents and expertise, own the company, the ideas become the asset base of all involved. The ideas can then be realized by a set of owners that have the fitted skills and knowledge for the idea and an equal benefit to get the best possible value out of it. In exchange for their contribution, these contributors become co-owner of the company with equal shares. Regardless of the amount of effort invested. If the product or service provided is valuable to the market targeted, everybody benefits. If not, no harm done you only spent a few hove it’s already happening and it will become a common way of doing business. Here’s why:

Purpose economy

Why do you do what you do? Why do you do this type of work, what makes you get out of bed in the morning and get to work? Let’s look at the four generations that we have in our labor force now and their drive to work. The baby boomers were looking for a job for life, making sure their families were able to survive, generation X was working on their work-life-balance and they are motivated by the ability to do so within a career and generation Y (also known as Millennials) rather work for a purpose and they need to be flexible and free. Their focus is to work with a company not for a company. So gradually the prehistoric driver of work to earn the money to buy food, living and education (eg.survival), to a profit maximization will disappear. And in it’s place we find: having a purpose for the work that you do. Not just our personal purpose, doing the things we love, picking up new challenges and expressing ourselves. Also a purpose that includes a contribution to others and to the world around us. Making money and doing this is widely accepted as the new way of working.

The purpose economy is mostly a primary driver for Millennials. “While many generations have sought out purpose, Millennials make it a greater priority than ever before, in everything from their consumption to their work to their communities to their relationships” says Aaron Hurst in his book The Purpose Economy, Expanded and Updated: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World Paperback (2016).The purpose economy is a new context and a set of ways in which people and organizations are focused on creating value, and it defines the organizing principle for innovation and growth. (1)

Over 76% of people participating in the Great Place to Work surveys acknowledge they feel good about the contribution to society they make as a company.(2) It is an important factor in people’s choice to join an organization.

Trend number 1: Entrepreneurial abilities facilitate maximizing purpose. Not only does this work-life-model provide you with the freedom to choose which ideas create value or meaning to you and thus identify you. You have control over the amount of time spent and which benefits it generates.

Labor market development

change_work_population Millennials are tough to manage! Says Simon Sinek.(3) The generation that was raised with the ‘anything-is-possible-concept’ needs a different approach to those raised with limits or with working conditions as the baby Boomers or generation X. Millennials use technology as a mean – not as a purpose – to connect to each other and to anything that maximizes the purpose as mentioned before.  Combined with an enormous amount of information accessible and the ability to change industries by intelligent utilization of technological developments, makes this group very skilled disruptors, even without them realizing it, mostly.  They enter the labor force from a different starting point.

These dynamics change the labor force. And with the baby boomer generation leaving the in the upcoming years, it puts a challenge on how we do our work. The number of jobs keeps on growing while the number of members of the workforce decline.(4) So not only do we have a changed labor force, we also have a lot of pressure on its efficiency and effectiveness.

Trend number 2: Entrepreneurs skill create an opportunity for professionals to more be more efficient and effective in the utilization of their skills and knowledge by adding value to multiple organizations instead of being part of a single organization.

The Gig Economy – Independent Professionals  

iprofs_leaving_companiesThe trend of approaching the markets has already been set. The way employment is organized is changing already.  Younger people do not tend to stick around too long at a single company any longer. We all know that’ lifetime employment’ is a thing of the past. In the 1980’s over 50% of American employees were in their job over 10 years. (5)

The Generation X thrived on the ‘job hopping’ phenomena covering on average 7 jobs throughout their career, Millennials are expect to stay at an organization for less than 3 years.(6) But next to switching jobs there is an even more disruptive change happening..

The number of independent professionals (iPros) has been growing rapidly over the past couple of years.  Where in 1996 roughly 5% of the workforce  in The Netherlands where self employed, in 2014 this was already roughly 10 percent. Although the trend is flattening out (7), more and more highly educated professionals are still making this transition. Research done by Intuit states that in 2020 40% of the workforce will be work on a freelance basis.(8) Why do people take this step? What makes them move away from a sense of security, stability? Especially now the economy is recovering?  

From the Zelfstandigen Enquete Arbeid 2015 three reasons for starting to work as an iPro stand out:

  • Looking for a new challenge (34,4% of total respondents),
  • Autonomy. Making your own decision when and how much you want to work. (25,7% of total respondents)
  • No longer willing to work for a boss (20% of total respondents)(9)

This trend is being referred to as the Gig economy.(10) In this approach to economy temporary positions are very common and organizations collaborate with independent professionals for short engagement.(11) This tendency is the third trend on which Entrepreneurial concepts are built.

It already happens in the current concept of the flexible layer of independent professionals which many organisations use. This benefits both the organizations – who can use skills and knowledge as they need it, and the independent professionals, that can work for multiple companies.

The biggest risk organisations encounter in this rapid changing world, dominated by small start-ups, is employing people. Mitigating this risk by employing people on a need-basis is extremely tempting. You pay for what you use. For the independent professional benefits are rich as well. They are able to share and develop their expertise by applying it in different environments, only adding value when being present and charge accordingly. Like a playing a gig!

Trend number 3:

  • As an idea owner in the a Company of Owners, one of the formats in which to optimize effectiveness, you host gigs for people who can contribute, without the risk of having to employ them on a fulltime basis. You can pull knowledge and skills from a large pool of professionals in the subject area;
  • And as an independent professional you are facilitated in your need to show your purpose and skill in any challenging area and add value without having to work for a boss. You are in control how much and when you will invest your time.

Liberty?

One more thing: why the equal share? Isn’t that a bit too socialistic in the way you’d like to work the market liberation? It certainly looks like it and might be a bit new. Like the story on the right (12). It has it’s roots in the value added base of rewards. Where in marketing it’s fully accepted to have value based pricing, somehow within awarding people’s skills we still value them differently. We base this reward on experience, education, location and some personality aspects but do not take into account the value added to the idea. Anyone contributing to the result is perceived to add value and without their contribution the value will assumably be less.

companies_billing

On the contrary, the current compensation scheme used in organisations is out of balance as well. Over the last couple of decades the compensation of top management has grown completely out of proportion compared to the average production worker. In between 1978 and 2014, inflation-adjusted CEO pay increased by almost 1.000%. Meanwhile, typical workers in the U.S. saw a pay raise of just 11% during that same period.(13)  This has been heavily debated in several countries and attempts are made to regulate this. In addition, more companies look into decoupling the performance review and the any raise in pay. Organisations are discovering new ways to tap into compensation.(14) A Dutch IT company, Incentro, let’s their own employees determine their raises among their peers.(15) These experiments and trends in HR shows that organizations and professionals are ready to reopen the discussion on compensation.

What about the amount of time involved? What if the contributors have a difference in the amount of time they put in. So what? We think it’s up to contributors to organize their way of working. Bottom line is: the result is what counts. And that will be addressed by the idea-holder and the rest of the team. It doesn’t matter if you spent 5 minutes adding value or 5 days. If the idea cannot be created without those 5 minutes of expertise the 5 days invested is useless, same goes the other way around. Think for a minute about the effect it has. What if you organize your work exactly the way you’d like and put in the amount of time and effort you think is necessary, within a time frame that you have influence on as well? How does that make you feel? Exactly: it’s means the liberty to do things your way! Ask Daniel H. Pink, the author of Drive. What motivates people more than anything? The autonomy to do things how they’d like to, develop mastery over their work tasks and do them with a purpose.

Trend 4: So to bring back balance in the rewarding of labor. The Company of Owners values the input of all contributors alike and therefore gives equal shares of awards to the input and skills. This way the process provides a very strong motivator for all – also alike: autonomy.  Furthermore it takes away the discussion about giving a raise based on performance. Performance in The Company of Owners-format is determined by value added of the whole team.

Entrepreneurability: concluding remarks

The above demographic and labor market trends combined, as well as the readiness for disruption for the labor markets thus gives us reasons to believe we are well on our way to optimize Entrepreneurability. This model provides instant feedback on the anticipated added value to the market by facilitating in maximizing purpose. It provides the freedom to choose which ideas to create value or meaning for independent professionals as well as employees that would rather work with a company instead of for a company.  Additionally it gives flexibility over the amount of time spent on each idea or value creation. This makes it more efficient and effective in the utilization of skills and knowledge for both the idea-holder (company) and the professional contributors (owners). The latter get to add value to multiple organizations instead of being part of a single organization and the first are able to realize more ideas. It values the input of all contributors alike and therefore gives equal shares of awards to the input and skills. This way the process provides a very strong motivator for all alike: autonomy. Furthermore it takes away the discussion about giving a raise based on performance. Performance in the format of The Company of Owners is determined by value added of the whole team. And it has a low threshold to contribute or start-up. If you have an idea but no funding or you have a little time to spare you can easily apply this model.  The format of the Company of Owners host gigs for people who contribute, without the risks of employment on a fulltime basis. You can pull knowledge and skills from a large pool of professionals in the subject area. And independent professionals are facilitated the need to work for a purpose and use their skills in a challenging area, staying flexible and developing skills and knowledge along the way.

Sources:

  1. The Purpose Economy, Expanded and Updated – Aaron Hurst
  2. https://agconnect.nl/artikel/it-bedrijven-behoren-tot-de-beste-werkgevers
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXWNChoIluo
  4. https://futurehrtrends.eiu.com/report-2015/profile-of-the-global-workforce-present-and-future/
  5. https://www.fastcompany.com/1802731/four-year-career
  6. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2012/08/14/the-future-of-work-job-hopping-is-the-new-normal-for-millennials/#2e7078ed13b8
  7. https://www.cbs.nl/nl-nl/nieuws/2016/46/toename-aantal-zzp-ers-stokt
  8. https://http-download.intuit.com/http.intuit/CMO/intuit/futureofsmallbusiness/intuit_2020_report.pdf
  9. Zelfstandigen Enquete Arbeid 2015, ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid, TNO, CBS (2015), http://www.monitorarbeid.tno.nl/databronnen/zea
  10. https://youtu.be/bhm2fdQg_Aw
  11. https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/gig-economy
  12. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/charles-proteus-steinmetz-the-wizard-of-schenectady-51912022/
  13. https://fortune.com/2015/06/22/ceo-vs-worker-pay/
  14. https://hbr.org/2015/09/why-more-and-more-companies-are-ditching-performance-ratings
  15. https://www.mt.nl/business/zo-bepalen-incentro-medewerkers-hun-eigen-loon/87810 – Dutch