Book review by Gill Ponder- Agile Talent: how to source and manage outside experts by Jon Younger and Norm Smallwood
It has been well-documented that fewer young people look for long term careers in the same company and instead desire the variety, flexibility and challenge of a portfolio career. Similarly, businesses are less dependent on employing all the skills they need at different stages in their development, sometimes because they have no long term need for those skills, but also because there is now a bigger pool of external expertise available to them. Getting the most from both internal and external resources by integrating their efforts and creating the right environment for collaboration and success is a growing challenge facing businesses. This book explores these issues in a methodical manner, using examples from different companies and the authors’ own research to illustrate their points.
The authors have coined the phrase ‘cloud resourcing’ to describe the shared use of agile talent. The book explores everything from when to use outside experts, to how using them changes traditional approaches to talent development. The book offers a number of practical tools that can be applied in any situation, to help make decisions and to create the conditions that enable the most successful use to be made of agile talent. Whilst some of this is undoubtedly common sense, the advantage of this book is that it presents the information in an easy to digest style, making it very simple to apply the ideas discussed in the text in a logical sequence.
This book should be read by anyone responsible for decisions to utilise outside experts, as well as those employees who need to work with them and those working as outside experts themselves, as the ideas covered are relevant to all their different perspectives. I would also recommend it to anyone thinking of leaving their employment and offering their expertise on a freelance basis.
4 stars: Strong, strongly recommended for managers and leaders