Independent Work Predictions from MBO Partners

Just before Christmas, MBO Partners were everywhere (well, here and here and here anyway) with their 2012 Independent Work Predictions.

Drawing (as far as I can see) from their own MBO Partners Independent Workforce Index and from this Analyst Insight note from Aberdeen Group: Independent Contractor Engagement and Management, MBO make the following five predictions:

  • One is the new majority – “The new independents … behave more like a business than an employee. Expertise is their product and they are selling it to a target market that has no geographic boundaries.”
  • Expert, seasoned workers will be in demand – “Companies are able to speed go-to-market or growth strategies by tapping an independent expert with specific skills and expertise.”
  • New social communities and collaborative technologies fuel independence – “The growing adoption of collaborative cloud computing tools and social networks is driving a new kind of community-building in the workforce.”
  • The backlash: Increased regulation and tighter enforcement – “As more workers and companies embrace independent work, the government will seek more aggressive means to fund tax revenue.”
  • The need for a passport for independence – “a platform that enables independent workers to move from project to project and company to company with better, more robust systems, safety nets and the tools to support them as compliant, independent businesses”.

This is a great summary of the changes that are in train and the various articles are worth a read to understand a greater depth.  MBO and their predictions are US-based but the above is easily applicable to the UK and other markets. 

The passport point is interesting: one of the biggest decisions for an individual considering a solo career is foregoing the corporate comfort blanket of insurances and pension: all the infrastructure that you took for granted gets harder when you’re solo.   And one of the attractions of organisations like the IIM, is the range of discounts and services which they offer that enable an individual to quickly and cost-effectively take care of training, accounting, insurances and other infrastructure issues.


About Andrew Munro

An independent business consultant, interim manager and writer, Andrew operates through his company, Burning Pine Ltd (
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