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Navigating the Gig Mindset Paradox

Navigating a Paradox with a Moving Target

How gig should your organization be? When and why? How traditional? Where and how? People find themselves struggling between these two approaches when decisions need to be made, strategies defined, initiatives launched. Discussions turn around questions of the “right” way to reach the goal or solve the problem. Opinions collide and conflict builds.

Start with the big picture.

1. Define the purpose, the vision, the overall goal or direction.

Look at each mindset outcomes in detail.

3. Describe the upsides, positive observable outcomes of a gigmindset way of working

Find action steps to achieve the upside benefits and early warnings you may have gone too far.

7. Identify action steps that correspond to building a GIG mindset approach.

Adjust based on early warnings.

When early warning signs occur, on one side or the other, you need to reinforce the actions you have identified for the benefits of the opposite side. In the example below, an early warning sign for the gig mindset is that clients are asking for more and more new features as the project is on-going, making the projet undeliverable. One way to approach this is to look at the action steps for the traditional mindset, such as using project managers with more experience in managing client expectations, or defining deliverables or an agreed scope statement from the beginning.

Overcome arguments, overcome consensus. Achieve flexibility.

The examples on the chart below are intended to give a sense of how you can navigate the paradox of the gig mindset versus the traditional mindset flexibly, without falling into extreme disagreements, or worse still, meaningless consensus.

Get in touch if you decide to experiment with this method. I’d be pleased to talk through your case, and am interested in comparing how it works in different contexts.

Originally published on NetJMC.



Gig mindset employees ensure resilience and meaningful outcomes for people and organizations.

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Jane McConnell

Author: The Gig Mindset Advantage. 20yrs advising large organizations, 12 yrs of global research on work culture & leadership. Podcast