I read some good articles recently on what the workforce could look like in 2100. A common theme centred on the idea of people working for multiple companies as a supplier or contractor, and not as an employer. Exactly how this plays out is unknown; however, I believe we can adopt part of the theory today in our own work environments.
How often do face a problem and find that your business is lacking the skills and experience to solve it? You rack your brain as you look across your otherwise competent team and see gaps in its ability to solve this problem.
You can decide to start on the journey of building your own competence or that of your team, but the timing and patience of your customers might not align. You can engage a consultant, which is a great option, however sometimes you require something quicker and less expensive.
How do you find a professional who can solve a problem for you? Simply take 15 minutes to write a brief containing the answers to the following questions:
- How would you define the problem you need to solve?
- What does success look like?
- What are your objectives and metrics?
- How do you like to work?
Then get your assistant to search for the professional on:
- Google Search for keywords
- Your contacts It can help to tag your contacts by speciality or competency to make this search easier
- LinkedIn Search for keywords, send a request out to your network, and look for groups that might fit your needs
- Expert marketplaces For example clarity.fm, zintro.com and expertguide.com.au
- Twitter Search for keywords and hashtags
- Past providers Establish and regularly update a log of people you or your company have used in the past
My team then screens the results to come up with a shortlist of three people. They set up a 30-minute video call between them and myself, where I define the problem and give them a small piece of the work to test their competence.
Based on the results, I then pick one professional and engage them.
I keep a record of the people I have used and rate their service, so I or others in my company can use the reference again.
Success in the future may be a function of people’s ability to seek out professionals who complement their skills in solving complex problems. With advances in the cloud and social networking, finding professionals will become easier for those who know how to work the system.
For some people, the only barrier to implementation could be the question of who pays for it and how to get it signed off. My advice is to start small with available discretionary funds and prove the business case.
We live in a world of connectivity, and I hope this article inspires you to find professionals who can help you solve problems faced in your busy work life.