Writing about the global talent economy (and blogging less?)


I’m now back from holidays and launching myself into 2008. We went up the North Coast of NSW, and had a rather adventurous time of it, what with massive flooding in the region (see below one of the bridges we crossed which had been through a tough time, while other roads we attempted were completely cut off).


It was a very refreshing break, and it does feel to me that I’m moving into a new phase in my work. Part it is that I have committed to carve out time from my burgeoning speaking work, the growth of Future Exploration Network, and organizing our Enterprise 2.0 and Future of Media summits this year to write a book about the global talent economy.

Full details will come later, as I’m still writing the proposal and haven’t sold the book yet. The five key premises behind the book are:

Almost all economic growth will come from talent. As the economy shifts to the intangible, everything that has value – knowledge, ideas, innovation, content, expertise, effective strategic positioning – comes from talented people.

The global availability of talent is exploding. Professionals are leaving big firms to work as independents, retirees are selling their expertise part-time, and most importantly communications technologies are allowing people anywhere on the planet to provide high-value services based on expertise and creativity. Global talent is becoming a massive highly liquid economy which will dominate the global economy moving forward.

Organizations increasingly rely on external talent. The lesson of core competences has been learned, and companies are actively seeking to get work done outside the firm. For example behemoths IBM and Procter & Gamble increasingly rely on outside experts for their innovation, something that used to be the essence of the firm.

Top talent is scarce. There will never be a shortage of professional suppliers offering their services. But only a handful are exceptional. My definition of top talent is those who choose who they work for, and who they won’t work for. Those are the ones that make a real difference in what they work on.

Success is increasingly founded on the ability to get the best external talent. Those companies that can not only get the best talent in the world to work for them, but get the very best from those people and suppliers, have a massive competitive advantage. If you can truly tap the potential of the most talented free professionals on the planet, the possibilities are staggering.

More on all this as the year progresses, including interesting case studies and insights as I go.

The last time I wrote a book – the heavily revised and expanded second edition of Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships – it took a heavy toll on my blogging. I don’t know yet whether I’ll be able to keep blogging at a steady pace this year as I write the book and do everything else I have on. I will definitely do my best to blog consistently. If I don’t, at least there will be a book to show for it at the end.