In my previous posts, I looked at the way digital transformation is reshaping the world of work as we know it. In this post, I’ll share insight into how Accenture is embracing an adaptive workforce. I defined an “adaptive workforce” as one that can respond easily, quickly and effectively to change, as well as being more available on demand. At Accenture, we’ve embraced both components.

I believe our story is a powerful one; we’ve reshaped our workforce into five talent pools:

  • Operations and support teams dedicated to clients;
  • Delivery centers with multiple skill tracks;
  • A flexible workforce that offers real-time supply and demand;
  • A curated external group of freelancers; and
  • A group of external people—the peer crowd.

Accenture Operations Adaptive Workforce: talent ecosystem

By creating these talent pools Accenture is moving ever-closer towards an agile workforce that can adapt to any disruption in its path. A key feature of our agile workforce is that it enables internal and external talent to move fluidly based on need and skills, and reorganize quickly when change is needed.

Accenture's Talent Ecosystem: Internal and External Crowds

Accenture Operations Adaptive Workforce: features and benefits

Accenture’s agile workforce enables over a hundred thousand people with diverse skill sets and talents to contribute to client and internal demands. This work spans communities, clients, domains, geographies and specialties, offering an agile, efficient and effective method of sourcing for tasks and projects.

People First: The primacy of people in the digital age

How does digital disruption impact culture?

In my second post, I looked at four key industry trends shaping the adaptive workforce. At Accenture, we know that each of these—strongly influenced by digital disruption—has an impact on work culture.

  • How work is organized: Flatter hierarchies, self-organizing teams, and more open business models call for increased trust and empowerment; openness to ideas from anywhere in the organization; transparent communication; and agility and flexibility.
  • What work is performed: The impact of more automated work; robot-human interactions; and creative aspects of work, is that it enables people to be creative and decisive and give sound judgment.
  • The employee experience and who performs the work: For organizations to be able to tap into global workers anytime, their cultures need to be attractive to prospective employees and to align with their personal values.
  • How work is led and managed: Leaders who want to support a digital workforce need to do things differently. This means that they need to share thinking, act as part of a network, make space for innovation, allow for thinking time and integrate diverse talent.

So, how do we design a work culture that aligns with these key trends? The following design principles can help organizations conceive of an agile, adaptive workforce model:

  • A specialized, skills-based, and on-demand (tag on or off) workforce: the ability to quickly scale up or down; work has an end date or expiration in sight;
  • Boundary-less, flexible, comprised of internal and external talent;
  • Organized around specific projects or tasks (i.e. capability or skill gap, operations surge, project based, new ideas, etc.);
  • Leveraged through digital interfaces/

In this blog post, I presented a case study to illustrate how we’re embracing an adaptive workforce at Accenture that can adapt to change and is more available on demand. I also shared some design principles that will help organizations create their own agile workforce. If you would like to discuss these concepts, please get in touch.

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