The Future of Work – Ben Casnocha

theallianceThis past Tuesday, May 19th, #StartupCincy’s HR leaders heard about the future of employee-employer relations from co-author of The Alliance – Managing Talent in The Networked AgeBen Casnocha.

In his talk, Ben described how the traditional “family” relationship between employers and employees is broken. Because companies no longer have the resources to fulfill the “family” relationship, more and more organizations have switched to a “free agent” model.

As Ben pointed out, both of these models have significant flaws and, if companies want to stay innovative, they need to adapt a new model.

The Employer-Employee Relationship is Broken

The fundamental flaw with the current model of employment is it’s based on an out-dated model. In the past, companies were like families and made pacts with their employees. Companies pledged to take care of their employees and employees fully committed to the company.

Today, however, the world is more competitive and employers and employees can’t enter into the same “family” pact they traditionally did.

The Free Agent Model

So what replaced the “family” model? The “free agent model”. Companies began to distance themselves from employees and vice-versa.

But this free agent model comes at the expense of trust and hinders any relationship building between companies and their employees.

Employees as Allies

Instead of the “free agent” model, which inhibits innovation, or the “family” model, which is unsustainable, Ben advocated for an alliance system.  A system where both sides come together, find common ground and work towards common goals.

Tours Of Duty

This alliance model hinges on a concept called tours of duty. In a tour of duty, the company defines a mission objective for an employee and a realistic timeline for that mission to be completed.

It allows companies to recruit talented employees for specific projects. It also gives employees a set of skills that transforms their LinkedIn profile and makes them more marketable for future tours of duty.

Key to this system is transparency. Companies need to be upfront with both the tour’s timeline and in what specific ways the employee’s career with be transformed.

The alliance is built on trust and transparency. It requires employees and employers to have honest conversations about each of their goals. Switching to this model allows both parties to be more agile and more innovative.

Cintrifuse wants to thank Ben for coming and talking to our community. He gave us a lot to think about and truly provided #StartupCincy with some unexpected value.




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