Are the loosely coupled networks the most reliable after all?

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LargeRecently one of my trusted colleagues through seven years had her last day at work in STAGIS. Her name is Camilla. She’s been doing a great job working with our financial matters together with myself and various team members. And for quite some time Camilla has been the person with the longest history as a member of STAGIS.

As a token of appreciation I wrote a letter to Camilla thanking her for her effort through all this time and as I wrote it I started thinking about the fact that Camilla never really got hired. She never made an agreement and didn’t get her contract. Because all this time she was hired by Deloitte who does our accounting and has been since we outsourced most of our economy and financial matters about seven years ago. And she’s not the only one. Several other members of the family are delivering important parts of knowhow to drive our business or our clients’ businesses without being in our office full time.

I used to have the notion that fulltime employees who are hired on a steady basis with a monthly salary, pension and a health-plan was somehow more accountable, carrying more knowledge and experience about a business and field of work. But it’s not necessarily so. Tine, Maria, Mikkel and Henning (just to mention a few) have all been connected to us for years and are actually just as knowing and just as loyal members of the team as the bunch of us who punch in and out every day. Thomas for instance has been working with us for 10 years now coding websites and blogs etc.

The point I’m trying to get to is that I’m really amazed how we’ve succeeded to solve lots of projects with team members that are connected as a loose network. About 60 percent of an average production (such as a design-project, an exhibition project, a film production, the making of a change-campaign etc.) is solved by this kind of team members. People who aren’t really part of the team in a conventional form but who are just as commited and loyal as any conventional colleague. The era of the free agents, the loosely coupled networks is here. And the great thing is that it’s not loose at all. Most of the people that we initially considered ”outsiders” are actually trusted family members who seem to stick around for a long period of time and develop our knowledge and knowhow. Even though they don’t have the formal contract.

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