Article: Why gig CXOs are well placed to drive leadership change


Why gig CXOs are well placed to drive leadership change

While gig workers are almost a norm in the blue- collar segment, a Gig C- level professional (CXO) is still considered a bit of a dark horse in the white-collar segment.
Why gig CXOs are well placed to drive leadership change

With the changing dynamics at the workforce and hybrid models taking center stage, many organizations are looking at the gig economy model to map their leadership trajectory.

Some organisations are adopting out of the box initiatives and outsourcing CMOs. This not only saves valuable HR costs and delivered tangible results for the company, but also puts in place a robust marketing system that was aligned with the organisation’s long term objectives.

The operative word here is ‘Gig CXO’. While gig workers are almost a norm in the blue- collar segment, a Gig C- level professional (CXO) is still considered a bit of a dark horse in the white- collar segment. And the reasons are many; from a legacy mindset to inadequate awareness about the possibilities inherent in it. A legacy mindset also means perceived notions of risks associated with unconventional ways of hiring CXOs and an unwillingness to let go off established organisational practices.   

But at a time when agility and being adaptive are professional virtues and strategic change is the fulcrum of measurable growth, it is imminent to embrace new leadership models.  The good news here is that the gig economy is already throwing up reassuring numbers.  As per a recent media report, some 5,000 to 6,000 companies, particularly small and medium enterprises are hiring CXOs on a gig basis. The report highlights the cost advantages for organisations, in terms of a reduction in their HR bills and the saving of time and resources otherwise spent on full time hires. 

A Harvard Business Review (HBR) also reports a 2016 survey of 125 HR executives, which shows that 41% thought their companies did a good job of onboarding external executive hires. 

But the better news here is what a Gig CXO can bring to the table in the long run, especially with new hiring models that are emerging. These new models not only cover the risks associated with the practice, but also offer distinctive value-additions in the long term and across functions. For example, organisations can today hire a Gig CXO, with flexibility being an inherent aspect here. A Gig CXO is free to offer his or her services to other non-competing organisations and is not restricted by place or time. There are obvious personal advantages in this work model for a CXO typically a seasoned professional more inclined towards better life-work balance and fulfilling opportunities than the grind of a vertical climb-up through the ranks of an organisation. Beyond that, it also helps an organisation leverage the freedom and exposure that a Gig CXO gains by virtue of being associated with multiple professional networks / organisations / projects. And all of this, without incurring the costs involved in engaging a full time CXO. 

By onboarding a trusted partner in the whole process of sharing a CXO level resource, an organisation could guard itself against potential risks and have a well-placed vetting and orientation process in place.  

As the world works its way through uncertain times, one thing is pretty clear that business and transactions are no longer restricted to brick and mortar confines and efficient working can transcend the need for cubicles and conference rooms. 

India, which is reportedly now the second-fastest growing market for gig work in the world, has a huge potential to gain from new work practices. According to Deloitte’s 2021 Global Resilience Report, Indian CXOs (77%) seem relatively confident about their organisation’s ability to adapt, and their own ability to lead through uncertain times as compared to their global peers. The report shows that Indian CXOs who had taken actions to move to new-age work mechanisms, seemed to have been better at weathering the change. It’s thus just a matter of time before these CXO’s look to the gig model to chart their own journey or devise their organization’s leadership strategy.  


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Topics: Leadership, #GuestArticle, #GigEconomy

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