Futurist Thomas Frey has projected that the change to a sharing economy is going to be a major disrupter to business and society. In his article The Disruptive Nature of the Sharing Economy: Finding the Next Great Opportunities, he writes about the existence of a number of businesses that are already in place and founded on the concept of “sharing.” To him the sharing economy is wrapped around the concept of using other people stuff. It is disruptive because he says we are currently a society of hoarders essentially. We save stuff. We have closets full of clothes in case we need it; we have extra cars, homes, jewelry, etc. just in case we need it.
Frey points out that there are already businesses modeled under the concept of sharing. These include:
- Car services such Uber, SideCar or Zipcar;
- A pet sitting option called DogVacay where someone will take your dog while you are away;
- Airbnb for helping locate places to stay while visiting other countries;
- Task Rabbit for finding people to do odd jobs of any sort.
His list is very interesting.
Frey talks about a number of business opportunities that may await in a number of industries such as medical, capacity sharing (you have room and you let someone else use it); and experience sharing. One of the areas he mentioned is what prompted this post. He mentioned executive sharing. To him this meant “Bored with the same old job and responsibilities, let’s try a new management team this week and shake things up a bit.” I thought that might be a good direction for the field of HR.
There are a lot of people in the field of HR. Many are between jobs or even trying to break into the field. There are a lot of small companies that need HR help. Why not have a company that helps small businesses locate and engage for a short period someone with an HR background to help with a policy, write a handbook, clean up a filing system, do some training or some other HR related task. These people would not have to be consultants. They would most likely not be used for any long engagements. The HR people would not have to be selling. They would be able to fill out their resume as they continue to search for something more stable, or they might opt to remain in this more freelance mode.
In reality this might work for even large companies. Rather than have experts on hand you could engage them as needed. Just-in-time HR!
What do you think? Is this a model that would work and be useful to both HR practioners and to companies alike? Are there any models for this out there yet?
Is this a potential future for HR?