Photo Credit: YouTube, Rachel Botsman
Trust me. If you ever have the opportunity to hear thought leader Rachel Botsman speak, don’t miss it. Don’t miss her.
I discovered Rachel Botsman just a few weeks ago and, of course, wrote a bit about her work.
The concept of “shared economy” and “idling capacities” isn’t new. However, when I heard her use those terms in a TED Talk, my heart about leapt out of my chest. This resonates so with my idea of work and workplace, in terms of valuing people and resources as well as maximizing outcomes.
Rachel Botsman defines these terms as:
Sharing economy – “an economic system that unlocks the value of underused assets through platforms that match ‘needs’ with ‘haves’ in ways that create greater efficiency and access”. – Rachel Botsman
Idling capacity – “untapped social economic and environmental value of underused assets – tend[ing] to fall into three categories: physical stuff, labor assets (time, skills, human potential), and capital assets (crowd-funding, crowd equity, peer-to-peer lending platforms)” – Rachel Botsman
She talks about this broken system of supply-and-demand. “How can we extract more value from existing assets?”
These ideas are captured in a short video of her speaking here.
I see idling capacities and underused assets in all areas of my life… maybe it’s because I struggle with my own idling or being “idled”. That is not for this conversation. What matters more is how to get folks “in the game”, so to speak, who have so much to bring to the table. Yet, for whatever reasons, are idling. At their work station. In meetings without voice. Working at an idling pace when they have capacity for so much more.
Are you aware of such a situation? Share it in Comments below.
A sharing economy breaks down organizational silos, even departmental and team silos, and creates an environment where assets (people, products, places) are maximized. It can be a messy fuzzy-boundaried process. If organizational leaders are willing to give some latitude to the process and the people “idling”, a much healthier and more efficient workplace could be birthed.
Botsman introduces how technology has spurred the evolution of the sharing economy.
Photo Credit: Rachel Botsman
In considering how to have a more expansive mindset related to applying available resources to a problem, we have to be willing to do some difficult things. There are those who will have to give up some control. In a sharing economy, there’s no such only one “smartest person in the room”. Trusting other people on our teams with chunks of decision-making along with the work both conserves and optimizes.
We have to be willing to think outside that proverbial box and ask questions like “what more can we do with….” or “who else can we include….” or “what is it we don’t want to leave out”.
I love those kinds of questions!
Maddening for some, I know. I get it…
For today, I just wanted to introduce this subject…still very much a preschooler in this arena. However, I see it as so influential positively in today’s workplace. So fundamental, too.
Build in idling for reflection, rest, and recalibration…but don’t leave assets in that state for very long. It devalues people and delays product development.
Even when we have the technology to streamline processes and move projects to completion, we have to understand how technology affects trust. Botsman has a quick summation here:
— Rachel Botsman (@rachelbotsman) May 29, 2018
Again, this is just the start of learning in this area for me…Will stop for now. Any thoughts on what you have read or watched?