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We were ‘gig’ before ‘gig’ was big

Posted by on May 30, 2018 in Osborne Insights Blogs | 0 comments

There have been many articles and a lot of discussions recently about the ‘gig’ economy and how it will impact the economy going forward. From Forbes to Harvard Business Review and Fast Company to The Globe and Mail. Everyone, it seems, has something to say about it. It is seen as an extension of the sharing economy and is characterized in part as organizations contracting with independent workers for short-term engagements. While there are many discussion points and views to take, it appears that the gig economy is here to stay, at least until the next ‘ways of working’ evolution takes hold. We at The Osborne Group have been working the gig economy since our inception 25 years ago. We feel like we were part of the laying of the foundation of this ‘new’ phenomenon. We love it and we thrive on it, but the real benefit is to our clients. Here are just a few reasons that taking advantage of the gig economy may make sense for you: Gives you the ability to inject experience and knowledge for the short-term, or long-term, often at a moment’s notice Saves the cost of on-boarding and employee benefits May save the cost of office space and personal technology needs, depending on the project/role Gives you greater control over your talent budget with quick access to a deeply talented team that can work for the hour, the day, the week or the month – whatever your needs require Little or no ramp-up time is needed – we have the experience and knowledge to hit the ground running Our extensive experience and focus means we often complete projects and assignments in less time than is planned If any of these appeal to you I urge you to give it a try. You will become part of the growth of this new way of managing human capital and I know you will be glad that you...

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Technological disruption is here to stay, it’s time to start paying attention

Posted by on Nov 22, 2017 in Osborne Insights Blogs | 0 comments

Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different? – C.S. Lewis   Change is everywhere, but we often don’t notice it until it hits us with full force.  At an event a few weeks ago, I was fortunate to be able to attend a presentation on the fintech industry in the GTA. The discussion eventually focused on 3 main areas of change that are happening now, right in front of us: Internet of Things Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Blockchain technology Most people have heard of these, but they sound too ‘techy’ to be real. But here are two examples that suggest these are not as far off as we may think: The explosion of Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa software in the last 12 months. The burgeoning internet of things technology, likely coming to a home near you this holiday season. Uber has just announced they will buy 24,000 self-driving vehicles from Volvo to put on the road over the next 4 years. Self-driving cars are ‘driven’ by artificial intelligence and machine learning. Blockchain technology I will save for another blog…but it will be a significant disruptor of many industries. In a TED talk on innovation, David Lee states that the rate of change from a farming economy to an industrial economy was 100 years, from a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based economy was 60 years, and it is predicted that this most recent economic base change will take 10-15 years at most. I think that with much of the above technology well on its way, that estimate is very accurate. Staying current on the deluge of technological change can be mind-boggling, but once you have a sense of the impact it can have, it becomes a necessity. There is a lot of content out there to help you keep on top of things from traditional books to online content, pod-casts, seminars and speaker series. I encourage you to check it out. Visit Osborne-group.com for other Principals’ ideas and opinions on a range of topics. The Osborne Group provides interim executive management, consulting and project support across all sectors and over a broad scope of service...

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Business Trends Growing in 2017

Posted by on Jan 4, 2017 in Osborne Insights Blogs | 0 comments

Another year end is upon us, and there is much discussion on what the trends in business will be for 2017. Inc.com’s recent article, 10 Business Trends That Will Grow in 2017, gave a pretty good synopsis of what could be coming our way next year.  From technology, branding, hiring and training to the continued trend of baby boomers selling their businesses, this is a good list for both small and mid-sized businesses.  It is worth taking some time over the holidays to think about these trends, and others you may research yourself, and how they will affect your business for 2017. Of course, it is always a challenge to predict what will happen, but a lot of the changes detailed in the article have already begun.  The challenge is to recognise them, understand how they can impact your business and act on them to keep your business thriving. No matter what 2017 holds for your business, the new year is a good time to take stock of where it stands and how you might increase its overall value next year and into the future.  The first step is to take just 15 minutes to respond to our on-line Value Builders questionnaire at http://visit.osborne-group.com/.  Your answers will generate an immediate and detailed report examining 8 key factors that impact the value of your business. When your report based on data from thousands of similar businesses is received, one of our Value Builder consultants will make an appointment to meet with you to share the results and discuss its recommendations on how you might improve your overall business effectiveness while increasing its value to potential buyers. Jennifer Langlois Operations & Sales &lt;/p&gt;<br /> &lt;div style=”display:inline;”&gt;<br /> &lt;img height=”1″ width=”1″ style=”border-style:none;” alt=”” src=”//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/940422155/?value=0&amp;amp;guid=ON&amp;amp;script=0″/&gt;<br /> &lt;/div&gt;<br />...

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Count On It – Things Will Change

Posted by on Apr 27, 2016 in Osborne Insights Blogs | 0 comments

Early in my financial services career one of my managers told me there will never be a financial transaction allowed that is not sealed by an inked signature on paper. A pretty strong prediction, but he didn’t believe the industry would ever change to allow anything else.  I think of him whenever I come across significant changes in business and it reinforces for me that change is a constant and nothing is ever written in stone. One recent change that caught my eye was in an article on Money.com – ‘Mastercard Wants You to Pay with a Selfie’.  Credit card user authentication has gone through many changes in the drive to ensure legitimate transactions –  from signature, to pin, to chip card.  Now biometrics looks like the next evolution.  Whether facial recognition authentication via a ‘selfie’ or fingerprint authentication via a finger scan, making user verification as easy as a swipe or a click of your phone is a smart move.  Not only will it engage a very huge ‘selfie obsessed’ demographic, it makes use of something we have with us all of the time, with the added benefit of not having to remember passwords or codes. While it may not be 100% foolproof – a blink of an eye is required to ensure that the selfie is real – it does move transaction security to a whole new level.  And, it is only the start of the move to biometrics. If the predictions prove right – your heart beat could be next. Another recent prediction that caught my eye was an article on MSN.com – The robot revolution could wipe out 2.1 million jobs by 2020.  A more alarming prediction from FuturistSpeaker Thomas Frey is that 2 billion jobs are to disappear by 2030.  Some sectors thought to be most impacted by this change are transportation (think driverless cars), education (think Apple’s iTunes U) and manufacturing (hello 3D printers). While all of this may seem dire, I personally feel that change creates new opportunities and industries.  While some jobs fade, others sprout up.  Going back to my early financial services days, the introduction of the automatic teller machine certainly changed the need for teller positions, but the manufacturing and maintenance of ATMs became a growing sector. The key is to be aware of coming changes and work to adapt to them.  Thinking things will always stay the same is a sure pathway to falling behind. Jennifer Langlois Operations & Sales </p> <div style=”display:inline;”> <img height=”1″ width=”1″ style=”border-style:none;” alt=”” src=”//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/940422155/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0″/> </div>...

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Holacrocy – A New Way of Organizing

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in Osborne Insights Blogs | 0 comments

On one of my daily commute runs last week I was listening to a radio program and an interesting ‘business-minute’ commentator talked about Holacracy, an innovative approach to organizational management and structure.  It really interested me because it has been adopted by Zappos, a US based company that is highly admired for its entrepreneurial tenacity and its creative and innovative approaches to business.  It is a company I have studied and admired from its boot-strapping start-up in 1999. Holacracy is an organizational system in which authority and decision-making are distributed throughout a group of self-organizing teams rather than being vested in a management hierarchy.  Authority is distributed throughout the organization and there is much more autonomy for the individual.  The traditional hierarchy is done away with but surprisingly, the system is much more structured.  As someone who has spent a lot of time managing hierarchical structures, this certainly sounding intriguing to me. In doing a little research, I found that Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, has embraced this system to enable his employees to encourage entrepreneurial thinking and productiveness.  He states it this way: “Research shows that every time the size of a city doubles, innovation or productivity per resident increases by 15 percent. But when companies get bigger, innovation or productivity per employee generally goes down. So we’re trying to figure out how to structure Zappos more like a city, and less like a bureaucratic corporation. In a city, people and businesses are self-organizing. We’re trying to do the same thing by switching from a normal hierarchical structure to a system called Holacracy, which enables employees to act more like entrepreneurs and self-direct their work instead of reporting to a manager who tells them what to do.” While this approach not be for every organization I know I will be watching to see just how it plays out. Jennifer Langlois Operations &...

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