What can businesses learn from the gig economy?

For business leaders, however you define the meaning of the word ‘gig’ there are things to learn. If it’s ‘flighty girl’, you might ask how you can harness the fresh, naivety of younger minds? If it’s ‘live music performance’ you might ask what set your company would play if it went on tour or what could our business do to make more of the experience economy?

More typically today the word ‘gig’ is used to describe an economic model resourced by freelancers, the self-employed and the independently-minded.  Driven by technology, the economy and changes in people’s attitudes to work, it’s clear that part-time workers and part-time work can be the source of new value for your business. This aspect of the gig economy has dominated the headlines recently, The Taylor Review on Modern Employment PracticesDeliveroo riders wanting workers’ rights without being workers (in the eyes of the law) and the King of Gig losing his job All of this is interesting but can distract business leaders from richer insights. Like can we now get access to new talent we couldn’t normally afford? Can we scale our business without committing to more fixed overhead? Can we create a more productive work environment by allowing people to have more than one gig, ours and others?

The poster children of the gig-economy, AIRBNBUBERLYFTTASKRABBIT and in particular the unicorns among them (start-up companies valued at over $1 billion), remind us of the real opportunities to learn. These companies and others like them are really about better utilisation of assets, homes, cars and labour. Their propositions recognise that sharing and collaboration are the new frontiers for businesses today. In effect the capital assets are the gigs just as much as the people and the business models are based less on ownership but more on rental and subscription.

Whether you’re in the oil and gas industry or the food and drink industry, a wider perspective of the gig-economy can inform your brand, product and service innovation allowing you to better meet customers’ needs.

If you’d like to learn more about how Genoa Black can help you discover, design and deploy ideas based on learnings and insight from the gig economy, contact us – we’d love to hear from you.