TalentX - The Talent Experience Podcast

Ep. 06 - Edie Goldberg

July 01, 2020 Fuel50 / Edie Goldberg Season 1 Episode 6
TalentX - The Talent Experience Podcast
Ep. 06 - Edie Goldberg
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TalentX - The Talent Experience Podcast
Ep. 06 - Edie Goldberg
Jul 01, 2020 Season 1 Episode 6
Fuel50 / Edie Goldberg

In Episode Five, Yvette Cameron touched on the Gig Economy and this week host John Hollon and guest Dr. Edie Goldberg dive right into the concept of The Inside Gig (the title of Edie’s recently released book). Together they cover the benefits of gig work within a company from both the employee and employer standpoint. Listen out for her great basketball analogy on agility in the workplace. As a recognized expert in talent management strategy and organizational effectiveness her knowledge on sharing untapped talent within organizations will leave you wanting more.

Find Edie on Twitter @EdieLGoldberg, LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/edie-goldberg-phd/ or at www.elgoldberg.com. You can buy her book The Inside Gig at: https://tinyurl.com/yx3hrsvb

For more insightful conversations visit www.talentxpodcast.com. We hope you enjoy this episode of the TalentX podcast! 

Show Notes Transcript

In Episode Five, Yvette Cameron touched on the Gig Economy and this week host John Hollon and guest Dr. Edie Goldberg dive right into the concept of The Inside Gig (the title of Edie’s recently released book). Together they cover the benefits of gig work within a company from both the employee and employer standpoint. Listen out for her great basketball analogy on agility in the workplace. As a recognized expert in talent management strategy and organizational effectiveness her knowledge on sharing untapped talent within organizations will leave you wanting more.

Find Edie on Twitter @EdieLGoldberg, LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/edie-goldberg-phd/ or at www.elgoldberg.com. You can buy her book The Inside Gig at: https://tinyurl.com/yx3hrsvb

For more insightful conversations visit www.talentxpodcast.com. We hope you enjoy this episode of the TalentX podcast! 

John: Hello. I'm John Hollon and welcome to TalentX, the Talent Experience podcast. Today's guest is Edie Goldberg. Dr. Eddie Goldberg is president and founder of ELL Goldberg and associates in Menlo Park, California. She's a nationally recognized expert in talent management strategy and organizational effectiveness and she's also coauthor of the recently released book, the inside gig, how sharing untapped talent across boundaries, unleashes organizational capacity. Thanks for joining us, Edie, how are you doing? And how is the new book being received?


Edie: Great, John, thank you so much for having me here. I'm thrilled to say that the book is being very well received. It seems to have, hit at, it's certainly a different time than we expected. Who knew COVID would break out in the middle of our book release. But, there are so many principles and ideas that come from the book that are so applicable to our current, situation. And so it's been very, very well received.


John: Well, that is great to hear. And there's certainly a lot we can talk about. So let me start by asking this. In the forward to your new book, the Inside Gig Josh Bersin, who we all know, and is a frequent guest here on Fuel50 writes that we're all gig workers now, even those of us with full time jobs in large well-managed companies. Can you explain what he means by that? Because I think a lot of people believe that a gig job is driving for Uber or some other kind of work like that.


Edie: Yeah, I think that's a pretty common perception. That gig work is really often some kind of side hustle or more menial work. That's easily available to people. You know, I drive for Uber because I want some extra money or because it's, you know, the job that I could get right now.

But think about where the term gig work came from. Right. It came from the music industry where people performed. In gigs to hone their craft. So in general gig workers were originally highly skilled professionals who opt into work, that's meaningful for them and express their passion and their interests. So when I think about gig work, John, you and I are both gig workers, right?


John: We are.


Edie: Fun. Right? So we work on different projects of our own choosing. Because they fit with our skills or our interests, and that's really what gig workers do. So I bet you, a lot of the people listening to this podcast have skills or hobbies, that they don't use in their day job. And they like to put those skills to use. And I think that's a little bit of where Josh is going in some respects. So I think Josh was talking about two different things.

First. A lot of people are taking on side hustles or gigs because they're not getting to fully utilize all the skills that they have in their day job, or because they want to explore a passion and their job just doesn't provide them an outlet for that.

So that's one, but I think second, probably really primary to Josh's comment is that you can break most jobs into a series of projects or into a series of gigs. And project based work is becoming a lot more popular because it allows companies to kind of move talent onto the projects of growing importance to the, to the company.  And you know, when you think about breaking everybody's work into a series of projects, then all of a sudden we all become gig workers. And I think that's what Josh meant.


John: So just what is an inside gig and what is the upside of most everyone being a gig worker these days, both from the standpoint of the workers and for their organizations.


Edie: That's a great question. So in our book, when we refer to an inside gig is really, it's a project that's outside of your day to day job responsibilities that an employee opts into, they volunteer into it. So, while today a lot of employees are taking gigs outside of their company to pursue a passion. Kind of our idea around the inside gig is that companies can offer their employees diversity and choice in the work that they do. And deliver the kind of experience that employees are seeking.

I don't know why we can't kind of mirror what's happening on the external gig economy inside of our company. So when we do that for the worker, I'm seeing a future that's, you know, that provides me with the ability to apply the skills that I have in a new context or with different people. And that helps me to learn and grow. Or it's the ability to work on projects where I get exposed to new approaches, new technologies or new disciplines. That's let me explore different possible career interests for the future. You know, I may not always want to do what I'm doing today.

And the benefit to the company then is now they have, Hey, they have a process to upskill the current workforce and what I call the flow of work, meaning while doing important work, rather than learning while sitting in a classroom and also I think a benefit to companies is, employee engagement is going to increase because we're providing employees with the ability to learn and grow and bring their whole selves to work. So that is going to result in greater productivity and employee retention.


John: You make the case in the book that it's time to create a new talent operating model that leverages technology to improve agility. Can you talk a little bit about that and how leaders and managers can make that happen?


Edie: Okay, so let me, let me break this down a little bit. So what is a talent operating model? A talent operating model defines the ways of working for a company. It's about the processes that we have, the capabilities, our technology, about how we get work done within our organization. Today for a lot of companies, it's, you know, a job defines how we get work done. And I talked earlier about breaking down jobs into projects. When companies do that, they can then start to leverage new technologies like artificial intelligence to match the skills that your employees have against the skills needed on different project-based opportunities within your company. So that helps companies to optimize the use of their talent by not limiting employees to the confines of their own jobs. I mean, right.

You know, we hire people for their jobs because they're really great and they have all these fabulous experiences, but then we box them into their job and we forget everything else that they brought to the table. So this new talent operating model provides, you know, opportunities for career exploration, for learning and growth.

What managers and leaders can do to make this happen is a big part of this is understanding that employees or the talent that you have within a company is the company's talent. Not a manager sole possession, right? A lot of our managers kind of covet and hoard their talent thinking it's their own. And when you view employees as kind of the, the resources of the entire organization, you then give the employees in your company space to explore other interests or use their skills in different ways that are important for the organization.

If your managers aren't letting that happen. we know that employees are going to leave. There's a really common phrase that we hear, you know, it's easier to find a new job in a different company than it is to find another role within your existing company and the talent operating model, that the inside gig kind of stands up, really helps us to break down that problem, by, by moving talent around within the organization.

So. Let me get to the last part of your question, which is so there's this talent operating model that leverages technology to improve agility. So I'm wanting to get to the agility part of your question. In the past 10 or so years we've seen so much workplace disruption because of all the new technologies, let us do things that we could never ever do before. So the ability to pivot and react to change is really, really important for companies today.

So I want to paint a picture for everybody listening to this podcast. Imagine that you're watching a basketball game. The teams are tied and it's the last 30 seconds of the game. The coach calls a timeout. He knows that his team needs to score to win. So he considers the talent that he has available and he reshuffles the players that are going to go back out on the court, he makes sure that his best shooters and his best passers get out there. So we quickly resembles that team, the right team to get the job done. So then now the play resumes, the players go back out on the court, your player has got the ball. He looks like he's covered and you know, the team's going to go down, but then he pivots, he breaks free, passes the ball to a teammate and passes it back further down the court. And your player makes the three shots, three point shot to win the game that is what being agile is all about. It's about being able to quickly pivot and go to where the ball's gonna be, not where it is right now. And I tell this analogy because our customers' needs today, they change on a dime. It isn't, his dynamics are changing quickly.

The inside game talent operating model helps companies be more agile to help them pivot by busting functional silos. And helping an organization to pull together the team that's needed address the business challenge of the day. And if you give those teams the decision making rights they need, that team is going to beat the competition in the marketplace.


John: You know, that's a great description of agility in the workplace. And I've worked with a lot of those managers who like to hoard talent. So it really hits home with, with me. One concept that jumped out of your book, which by the way, I think is very timely. And I know you got a little bit lucky given all the changes going on, but a lot of times luck is more important.
Anyway, one of the principles that in the book that jumped out at me was the principle of you get what you give. And when we talked on the phone, I mentioned to you, my God, that sounds just like the last lyric of the last song on the last album, the Beatles ever made Abbey road. And where they sing "the love you take is equal to the love you make". It sounds a lot like that, but anyway, how does. That principal, you get what you get, what you give, how does that work and how does it differ from the way more traditional workplaces operate?


Edie: Well, it's more similar to your musical analogy than you would think. So you get, what you give is really about talent sharing across organizational boundaries, as a better way to optimize the talent within your company. And so what it means is when managers give way some of their personnel resources, what they get in return is talent from elsewhere in the company that can help them to complete their important projects.

So all you guys listening to this know that managers often can't get their projects done because they don't have the capacity or the capabilities to get their work completed. But this is a way of kind of moving talent around the organization to kind of give and take resources that are needed as needed.

We're not all on all the time. Although some of us feel that way. Okay. Now in practice, we have found that this does to tend to work out over time. So everybody's like afraid. If I give my tell in a way I'll never get, you know, other people in return. So they're afraid to give, right. But we have found that it does tend to work out over time. So we encourage managers to allow their employees to spend, let's say up to, and this is different for every company. So up to like 20% of their time. To let their employees leverage their skills or opt in to projects to learn something new, but they have to work with their manager to discuss what projects or activities they're doing that either, maybe they're not value added or they could be automated, or they can be provided to somebody else for a learning opportunity for somebody else. Some things I do is, are so. Wrote for me that, I'm not really adding a lot of value, but maybe be a great learning opportunity for somebody else. Then we can start to move projects around, right?

We could outsource projects or, or resource them to other people within the organization. If we compare that to the way traditional workplaces operate, traditional talent operating models either box, you into a job. So it's the only thing that you're allowed to do. And that often leads to boredom and disengagement, or many of you listening are familiar with Google 20% time. It's very, very popular several years ago to, to innovate Google gave their employees 20% of their time to work on any project of their choosing. And it did not have to be about pursuing the real work going on in the business, it could be about innovating something completely new. That's a bit different than what we're talking about.

But what we often heard was that like Google 20% time. It was really 120% time. So a lot of the companies that are offering time to innovate or offering opportunities for development, they're doing it on top of an employee's job responsibilities. So as long as you get your work done, you can take on this additional thing. Our approach to breaking work into pieces, and then understanding where employee, where your employees are kind of adding the most value and where they're not. And then moving work around to make room for a new project is what differentiates the inside gig I think from other talent operating models.


John: Well that's great to hear because, you know, the Google 20% you can work on your own project time. I had heard, kind of got out of hand for them at one point. And I don't even know if they still do it anymore. I think they do some version, but maybe it's not exactly what they thought, but, yeah. I could see a lot of organizations wanting to add that on top of their regular job, which to my way of thinking defeats the whole purpose.


Edie: But yes, I, you know, the putting that on top of employees, it really makes it only available to those individuals whose lives are more conducive to people working 80 hours a week. And we really want to, you know, in this, in the concepts, around the inside gig, we wanted to create something that created more opportunities for everybody, not just for those people whose lives are, are conducive to this, but really thinking about work as Josh Bersin said, you know, we're all gig workers. Let's think about our work in terms of projects and then move things around. Okay. I want to hit on this cause I think it's so important in today's day and age. And you said, I may have been lucky by, COVID Pandemic breaking out in the middle of the launch of my book, but nobody would really say that.

But. It is during this time, all of a sudden we're seeing companies look at how do we be more agile with our workforce? You know, you've got Verizon closed half of their stores or probably more than that. And they had to take all those store employees and they repurposed them in other roles that were more, like customer service type of roles, helping people get their, you know, their internet set up or, you know, working, so that they could create their own zoom, a conference call, into different jobs.

Ford and GM used to make cars they're making ventilators today. So they had to move talent around to do that. My friends at Willis Towers Watson recently did a study. And I mean recently as in just a couple of weeks ago, so it was during the pandemic and they were looking at the number of companies that were looking to be more agile and to move talent around like this. And, they found that, what was it at 36% no no 27% of companies already moving talent around to meet what the new demand is and their company based on what the pandemic has kind of created for their organization. But importantly, there was another 36%. So a total of 63% of companies that were planning or considering moving talent into different roles to address the changing needs of the organization. So that's a lot of talent redeployment.


John: That certainly is. And you know, this happens in every podcast. We do, we get going talking, and there's so many great things to talk about. We could go on and on, but we are limited by time. So there's always one question that we ask everyone who comes on the podcast right before we close. And I need to ask you this one too, here at the TalentX podcast, we wholeheartedly believe that everyone should have a job that they love. One that they're passionate about. So, Edie, what do you love about the job that you do?


Edie: Gosh, I'm so I'm so fortunate to do the work that I do. I am passionate about creating new talent strategies that help both individuals and their organizations achieve maximum potential. So I think the inside gig leads us down that path. And clearly it's only somebody who is so deeply passionate about this new approach to work that would make the time to write a book. So I would say, I'm really passionate about this.


John: Well, that's great, Edie. Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us and congratulations on the inside gig. It's, yeah, like I said, it's very time timely given the huge changes we're seeing in the workplace. And I know you can find the book on amazon.com and other places where books are sold. So from the TalentX podcast, this is John Hollon, thanks for listening.


Edie: Thanks so much John.