What are the objectives of this research?

The first phase of the gig mindset research took place in 2018. It resulted in the book The Gig Mindset Advantage: Why a Bold New Breed of Employee is Your Organization’s Secret Weapon in Volatile Times.

The purpose of the second phase of research is to identify changes in how individuals and organizations are working today, in early 2021. We will also look at the impact of the pandemic on the workplace and organizations.
The questions cover:

  1. Individual behaviors, habits and attitudes
  2. Organizational work cultures, practices and priorities
  3. Pandemic impact on individual work and organizations
  4. Future outlook

Part 1. What is the Gig Mindset?

Gig-mindset people are a new breed of employee who dare to challenge the traditional thinking and ways of working in order to make the organization more resilient and successful in volatile times. Does this sound familiar? If so, what does it mean for you and your organization?”

Gig-mindset people are a new breed of employee who dare to challenge the traditional thinking and ways of working in order to make the organization more resilient and successful in volatile times.

They are in effect a secret weapon because they are unseen and not yet recognized for their impact on organizations. …


A number of people have written to tell me they need more time to get their colleagues and network contacts mobilized for the Gig Mindset survey.

I therefore extended the deadline to 12 March. The more input we get, the better the analysis will be.

I thank the pioneers who did the original survey in 2018 and have come back again, nearly three years later, for a reality check.

Wonder what we will learn?


One week after going live, 70 people from 17 countries have taken the survey.

My research in 2018 with 300 people around the world was the trigger for writing “The Gig Mindset Advantage“, which will be published in May.

I would be grateful for your help in phase 2 of my gig mindset research where the goal is to see how the gig mindset has changed over the past 2 and a half years.

The purpose of the second phase of research is to identify changes in how individuals and organizations are working today, in early 2021. We will also look at the impact of the pandemic on the workplace and organizations. …


Are functional roles disappearing inside organizations? Yes, I believe they are. This is part of how hierarchy is fracturing.

Functions are based on job titles and roles in a hierarchy more than on skills and talent that people have.

A member of my 2018 Advisory Board in Phase 1 of my Gig Mindset Research said:

“When you eliminate roles, you start to fracture hierarchy. The culture, the technology, communication, employee performance reviews, and nearly every other aspect of traditional business structure is stressed.

“If companies have not developed systems to measure talent and skill inventory separately from full time employee…


The companies described in the six case studies in the book are living in the future in different ways. They are examples of values and practices that are an exception today, but that will be common in the future, as expressed by a senior manager I quoted at the beginning:

“Today the gig mindset is the exception, not the rule. But it’s like [they’re] early adopters who may well become the rule in the future.”

Each organization presented here has found an approach that makes sense for them. Each has found ways to leverage the gig mindset advantage in their…


What has triggered the current gig mindset movement?

The term “gig mindset” refers to the attitudes and behaviors of people who, even though they are salaried employees in an organization, approach their work as if they were independent freelancers. Their attitudes and behaviors contrast with those of salaried people who work with what we might call the “traditional mindset”, with an approach to work influenced by defined roles, hierarchy and established procedures.

For the last few years I have seen many people, salaried, inside organizations, showing signs of behavior much like freelancers:

  • People were moving fluidly from project to project, changing roles and bosses (meaning project owners) more…

Josh Calabrese, Unsplash

The opposing forces of what I’m calling civil disobedience and strategic blindness underlie the gig mindset inside the organization.

They are the fundamental forces that will make or break the gig-mindset way of working inside companies and are the subject of an early chapter in my upcoming book.

This article about strategic blindness is part two of a short series. Part one, about civil disobedience is here. (You may wish to check out a couple earlier articles on the gig mindset inside organizations for background on my work: The emergence of the gig mindset and How a gig mindset inside organizations will shape our future.)

Why strategic blindness?

A well-known analyst and journalist, based in India, explains how he sees the resistance…


Russ Collins, www.provencebeyond.com

This article about civil disobedience is part one of a short series.

The opposing forces of what I’m calling civil disobedience and strategic blindness underlie the gig mindset inside the organization. They are the fundamental forces that will make or break the gig-mindset way of working inside companies and are the subject of an early chapter in my upcoming book.

Part two, about strategic blindness is here. (You may wish to check out a couple earlier articles on the gig mindset inside organizations for background on my work: The emergence of the gig mindset and How a gig mindset inside organizations will shape our future.)

Why civil disobedience?

A senior test engineer in a global…


The shape of organizations in the future will depend in large part on how we as individuals take control, steer our own lives and interact and communicate with others in the workplace.

For the last few years I have seen many people, salaried and inside organizations, showing signs of attitudes and behavior similar to external freelancers. I use the term “gig mindset” to describe this phenomenon and decided to explore it further.

  • How does the gig mindset differ from a traditional approach to work?
  • Is it just a question of nuance, of degree, or are there real, meaningful differences?
  • What does it mean for people and their individual development?
  • What impact does the gig mindset have on organizations? Does it build resilience, and trigger innovation? Does it create disorder and increase risk?

Jane McConnell

20 years of front line advising with large organizations + 12 years of global research about work culture, leadership and emerging mindsets in the digital age.

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