Crowdsourcing, crowdworking: the future of work?

NaBloPoMo Blog 2

In July of this year whilst engaging with the HR/OD Twitter community I noticed a Tweet from @dds180 (David D’Souza)  about crowdsourcing a Book of Blogs and a call for contributors.

Having never been involved in such a project I thought it was a novel idea and sent in my contribution, ‘No need to act like a man: Women in Leadership’

Over the months, I watched as bloggers collaborated, David curated, the HR community supported  and Simon (@SimonHeath1) created a fabulous front cover for the book. 

On the 29th October I received a tweet :

David D’Souza @dds180Humane, Resourced – out on Kindle – you are in it – @LetSdeG @verawoodhead @HRswitchon @TimScottHR

 Humane Resourced bookThe book was published and on sale at Amazon. It draws upon the experience and expertise of 54 international HR and business professionals and provides an eclectic insight into the world of work and the people within in. All proceeds from the book go to charities which were chosen by the authors.

I have never met the curator or any of the bloggers face to face nor had a  spoken conversation with any of them.

 Is collaboration the future?

Our world has become increasingly more globalised with technological advancements and cloud and mobile computing resulting in the ability to communicate, connect, engage and access data more quickly than ever before.

Social media sites such as Twitter enables global engagement through a myriad of networks for real time rapid collaboration.

Over the past decade there has been an increase in people coming together to create services and products by sharing their expertise, experience and ideas, often without any numeration.

Wikipedia is a well known example with over 100,000 volunteers writing and updating its content. More recently the world of academia has embraced this concept of sharing as can be seen by the multitude of  Massive open online courses (MOOCs).

One such is FutureLearn  where you can study a range of free online course from the ‘Secret Powers of Brands’ to ‘The Mind is Flat: The shocking shallowness of human psychology’. Never has it been so easy to learn, to make fresh discoveries and to connect with other learners and educators across the globe.

In October of this year, a 2 year project, by the London School of Economics started to crowdsource a new UK Constitution by seeking input from ordinary English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland residents on how their country should be governed.

Whilst there are many crowdsourcing projects ( list on Wikipedia) I wonder how this will translate to paid work?  

 Is crowdsourcing the future of work?

Remote workingSites such as Freelancer  and Elance have seen sharp  rises  in workers and employers using their sites. Crowdsourcing marketplaces such as InnoCentive, have capitalised on this concept and  ‘crowdsource innovation problems to the world’s smartest people who compete to provide fresh ideas and solutions to important problems and challenges’

Work is no longer confined to a place and organisations no longer need a permanent workforce and a 9-5 routine to match. The talent pool is global and the emerging workforce is technology driven. Is crowdwork the future and how will this impact on the routine, culture and structure of organisations?

For me this throws up even more complexity with an ever changing technical infrastructure and shifting work force / talent pool – will work be a better place experience?

What is your experience of crowdsourcing or crowdworking?

Do you see the future of work heading down this route?

And if so what might some of the implications be?

This is my 2nd blog in the NaBloPoMo challenge. Another 29 to go!

Photo courtesy of anankkml at FreeDigitalPhotos

About verawoodhead

I'm an executive coach, leadership facilitator and learning & development consultant working with managers and leaders to develop the skills and behaviours to inspire performance and drive results; achieve promotion ; make successful career changes, be resilient and thrive at work. Within organisations, I help to facilitate better conversations, design learning interventions which deliver practical and lasting solutions aligned to business strategy and goals. Connect with me on Twitter @verawoodhead
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2 Responses to Crowdsourcing, crowdworking: the future of work?

  1. Catherine says:

    Hi, nice to “meet” another blogger doing the NaBloPoMo challenge! I think crowdsourcing and crowdworking are definitely having an impact on the way we work. I am a freelance legal researcher, and also founded a small international charity, and can work from anywhere, as long as I have an internet connection! One of my posts for NaBloPoMo is sort of to do with one implication of the changing technological infrastructure – people who do not have access to the internet, or computers, will not be as able to compete for work in a global, interconnected marketplace. (My post was about the impact on children who do not have the opportunity to learn computer skills, or use the internet: Thanks for the interesting post. I am glad to have found your blog!

    • verawoodhead says:

      Hi Catherine
      Good to meet fellow NaBloPoMo blogger and thank you for the kind comments. Have just been reading your blogs and looking at your CHW website…what amazing work you do. Kind of resonates as I spent my early childhood in a third world South American country and started out life as a paediatric nurse. Let’s have a ‘chat’ and see how we can work together

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