Workforce Ecosystem Orchestration: A Strategic Framework | MIT Sloan Management Review

Talent Management

Organizations increasingly rely on external contributors—such as those performing gig, contract, or freelance work—to help meet their talent needs. However, firms often struggle to integrate external contributors into their workforce—resulting in fragmented and uncoordinated work efforts across internal employees and external contributors. This new article offers a framework to help leaders adopt a more integrated approach to managing their workforce of internal and external contributors as a workforce ecosystem. It provides a four-component framework for enabling this ecosystem through (1) management practices, (2) technology enablers, (3) integration architectures, and (4) leadership approaches. For example, regarding technology enablers, organizations can identify and implement appropriate technological tools and platforms that facilitate seamless collaboration, communication, and coordination among internal and external contributors. For integration architectures, firms can establish systems and processes that enable smoother integration of internal and external contributors, such as developing clear communication channels, shared knowledge repositories, and standardized workflows that ensure seamless collaboration and information sharing. Other ideas are discussed, including ways to foster greater collaboration between procurement, IT, marketing, business units, and HR in enabling this ecosystem approach. To supplement this article, I am resharing the Workforce Ecosystems and AI report by The Brookings Institution, which explores the intersection of workforce ecosystems and AI.