At M Squared, we've always got something on our minds about conducting business more effectively with the top-tier of the flexible workforce. Our staff and consultant experts write frequently about theory and practical considerations on a range of subjects. Use these white papers and articles for your own research or to get ideas for speaker and seminar topics. Our authors are available for press opportunities and public appearances.
The Shift is On
Against the backdrop of a fragile economic recovery, a fundamental change is quietly but most assuredly taking place in the American workplace: the balance of power is shifting from employers to professionals who work contingently (sometimes called “independent” or “flexible” talent) — a fast growing segment of the country’s labor force. In fact, millions of Americans are now working for organizations on a contingent basis. They are freelancers, independent professionals, temporary contract workers, and consultants.Download PDF
2013 Consultant Survey Summary Report
While budget deficits and tax policy continue to dominate the headlines, the issue of jobs is never far behind. Yet lawmakers and pundits typically focus their attention on the unemployment rate, largely ignoring the fundamental shift that’s taking place in the American workplace. That is, the growth of the independent workforce. Aberdeen Group says that more than a quarter of the workforce is contingent; the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the figure at closer to 30 percent. And, according to Staffing Industry Analysts, the majority of contingent workers are white-collar professionals.Download PDF
Thriving in the Gig Economy
Today, almost 30 percent of Americans work contingently – either part-time or on short-term engagements (the gig economy). And that number is rising, particularly among highly-skilled professional consultants opting for more independence, challenge, and work-life balance.
Yet as an independent consultant, you can be incredibly smart and personable and still be underemployed. It takes much more than that to be successful.
So…how does an independent consultant thrive in today’s gig economy? Here’s how…Download PDF
The Islandization of Talent
Throughout history, human migration has been driven by resources. Business migrations are similarly driven. Industries grow near the resources they need most. And, today, knowledge is that resource.
For the knowledge economy, this migration is self-perpetuating. Businesses that require educated workers migrate to areas where education and innovation are prevalent. As more businesses move in, they bring with them jobs and, in turn, even more knowledge workers. The cycle continues until knowledge-based skills are disproportionately concentrated in a few islands of talent.Download PDF
Desperately Seeking Talent: Human Capital Trends for the Remainder of 2012
As our domestic economy places a premium on knowledge-based skills, the people who have these skills will be in greater demand. The supply of skilled talent, however, is not growing fast enough.Download PDF
The Rising Risk of Misclassification
As more companies take advantage of the benefits of the flexible workforce model, they must remain in compliance with changing legal regulations.
Use of the flexible workforce – which today includes millions of highly-skilled independent consultants – is increasing rapidly across Corporate America. It now accounts for an average 22 percent1 of employment and 30 percent2 of procurement spend at large organizations. Companies seeking to grow and innovate use top-tier interim talent to get important projects done and save on the cost of full-time labor. And experienced independent consultants get the balance, challenge, and variety they seek from the workplace. It’s a win-win scenario.Download PDF
2012 Outlook on the New World of Work
Job creation will be the central issue of 2012 and the upcoming presidential election. But like a lot of political issues, the facts lie far below the headlines and rhetoric. Overall, unemployment is unacceptably high, but different groups or classes of workers are faring differently.
In contrast to the highly publicized 9.0 percent U.S. unemployment figure, the unemployment rate for "management, professional, and related occupations" is just 4.4 percent. It’s no wonder many hiring managers can’t fill higher-level, strategic, management and technology positions. The data suggests there aren’t enough applicants eligible, available or willing to fill those jobs.Download PDF
2012 Consultant Survey Summary Report
Job creation is the central issue in 2012 and the upcoming presidential election. But like a lot of political issues, the facts lie below the headlines and rhetoric.
The overall unemployment rate remains unacceptably high, but in contrast, for managerial and professional positions the rate is very low. The definition of work itself is changing, with more people than ever working outside of the traditional FTE structure. It is not uncommon for a Fortune 500 company to draw as much as 20 percent of its professional workforce from what we term the “flexible workforce”.
In the midst of this dynamic market, we conducted our annual M Squared Consulting survey to get the perspectives of independent consultants about the economy and the consulting environment.Download PDF
Creating Your Flexible Workforce Strategy in the New World of Work
Uncertain times demand flexible strategies throughout an organization. But human capital management has traditionally been the antithesis of flexibility – with limited, rigid, and generally ineffective choices. Fortunately, there is a better way.
Today, a significant and growing number of professionals are choosing to work independent of corporate or consulting firm handcuffs. They see a better professional path – one that provides greater challenge, variety, growth, and indeed flexibility. And they are in great demand!Download PDF
Flexible Business Strategies in a Flat World
Leading an enterprise in today’s flat and fast world is a white-knuckle experience for any leader. The world is connected like never before, filled with smart devices and juiced by social media; all news travels fast and loud. Knowledge and uncertainty are thus amplified, and as a result leadership must be both clear and adaptive.
The Recession of 2008 taught us how fast things can happen. While the indicators were building for years, the crash seemed to happen almost overnight. Since 2008, the recovery has taught us how small the world is. Everything is interconnected, business is global, and competition can come from anywhere. Consequently, enterprises today – and in particular their talent and human resource strategies – must be flat, fast and flexible.Download PDF
With the speed of business today, a wasted moment can represent a missed opportunity to grow sales or mitigate risk. A portfolio manager hears about a stock freefall on the car radio and responds before getting to the office. A bank director immediately adjusts lending rates following an announcement by the Federal Reserve Board.
In situations like these, managers must quickly evaluate a situation and respond in accordance with established company protocol. Consequently, the need for well-defined processes and operational excellence is more vital than ever.Download PDF
2011 Independent Consultant Survey Summary Report
The purpose of our annual survey is to take the pulse of the consulting marketplace and gather firsthand insights from our network of experienced independent consultants. This seasoned bench of talent represents deep functional expertise across all major business verticals. The survey allows us to tap into the collective wisdom and experience of our consultants, while getting a snapshot on the vitality of the overall market for consulting. In particular the survey uncovers the business trends of independent consultants and the clients they serve.Download PDF
The New Innovators
True innovation needs to start with a clean slate. It needs to be unencumbered by the “way we’ve always done it” thought process. And it needs to plow new ground and combine varied insights from a wide range of experiences.
As the economy continues to gain steam, more companies will look to the high-end of the flexible workforce as their bridge to better times.
Cloud Consulting - Applying Leading IT Practices to Human Capital
Cloud computing is changing the business IT landscape through its ability to provide scalable computing resources without the traditional technology overhead. Now, the same characteristics powering this charge—virtualization, integration, and value-added management—are poised to alter the face of business consulting. This cloud consulting white paper highlights the parallels between cloud computing and cloud consulting, as pioneered by M Squared Consulting, and explains how the new model is an effective alternative to the expensive, cumbersome, and outdated traditional consulting model.Download PDF
We Wrote the Book on It!
In this groundbreaking treatise, M Squared Chairman and Co-Founder Marion McGovern shares how independent consultants, free agents, and interim managers are transforming the world of work. Learn more and order her book, “A New Brand of Expertise: How Independent Consultants, Free Agents, and Interim Managers are Transforming the World of Work” at www.amazon.com.