Re: Internal Gig Marketplaces #future-of-work

Arthur Shelley

I Folks,


I have been operating in the “Gig Marketplace” since launching my business in 1999 (sometime in parallel in the early years with other more traditional organisational roles, but not since 2007). The market goes up and down a lot, especially so in crisis time such as recessions and the Pandemic, during which “gigs” are seen as optional extras and an easy budget to cut with limited internal pain.


I have often said there is huge NEED for what we do, but limited DEMAND. Every organisation can become higher performing from external insights and knowledge that accelerate their learning. This is because organisations run so lean now that they have limited spare capacity to build their capabilities, because they are so focused on delivery or routine tasks. Learning and development budgets are not as generous as they used to be, I think (at least partly) because organisations are less willing to invest in a more mobile workforce (fearing that this will be lost before they get return in the investment). I think his is a very short sighted (and self-fulfilling) prophesy.


In KNOWledge SUCCESSion, I discuss the impacts of the “projectification” of the modern workplace (where projects have largely replaced process) and what this means for capability development. I believe that the most important thing that comes out of the project are the intangibles such as learning, knowledge, relationships, trust etc (rather than the physical “thing” that we delivered) . So if we do not consciously invest in these intangibles and plan to keep/manage/develop/leverage them in our organisation, the organisation gets less productive over tie (and people are reluctant to stay because they personally treasure their learning and feeling of belonging and value creation more than the physical outputs of projects).


What the gig approach can do (is doing for those willing to participate) is to bring in these external insights into their organisations. In doing so they can establish a longer term trusted relationship in strategic partnerships with gig style facilitators, to have the best of both worlds. However, this is a diminishing mindset among many managers who wish to hold on to the feeling of “control”. I believe the ecosystem created by networks of collaborative experts (blend of internal and external) is the true structure of future organisations. I have been doing this for over 20 years and can see the value it creates when people engage with it. However, closed mindset and fear of uncertainty remain significant barriers to this approach. You need trust to establish the relationships, but you need a relationship to generate trust. We will all benefit by getting these ideas shared outside “ingroups”  (those who already know and buy into this) to flow across and influence wider networks (those who are yet to be enlightened on what the future will look like) and building more confidence in uncertainty.


Constant “lifestyle learning” is a big part of this transition, as shared in this free online article:



Dr Arthur Shelley

Producer: Creative Melbourne

Author: KNOWledge SUCCESSion  Sustained performance and capability growth through knowledge projects

Earlier Books: The Organizational Zoo (2007) & Being a Successful Knowledge Leader (2009)


Founder: Organizational Zoo Ambassadors Network

Mb. +61 413 047 408  Skype: Arthur.Shelley  Twitter: @Metaphorage


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From: <> On Behalf Of Tammy Bearden via
Sent: Wednesday, 18 November 2020 7:47 AM
Subject: Re: [SIKM] Internal Gig Marketplaces #futureofwork


[Edited Message Follows]

@Catherine - Thank you!! I LOVE Alex's talk. And I look forward to Jane's book in the Spring, though I hope to launch something internally well before then, so I'll aim to reach out.

@James - Thank you for affirming Catherine's reference to Jane! I will look forward to connecting with Jane in the coming weeks. If either of you feel comfortable doing so, I would appreciate a warm introduction. 

This gives me so much hope about helping employees bringing their WHOLE self to work! I've studied Designing your Life, Love Em or Lose Em, MBTI, StrengthsFinder, Enneagram, and Making Work Human. I've designed and executed recognition programs, trained new consulants, and regularly match-make people to opportunities...yet without a marketplace to scale that, I feel like we are NOT optimizing the working and learning experiences inside most organizations.

Excited to try this out!!

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