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Getting Smart Podcast

Aug 19, 2020

Today we’re talking with John Winsor on the open talent economy.

John Winsor built a big publishing business around sports and fitness. He saw the business changing and started crowdsourcing articles from athletes. That got him interested in open talent otherwise known as ‘work outside of full-time employment,’ which includes the freelance and the gig economy. Three years ago, John joined the faculty at Harvard Business School as a visiting executive and founded Open Assembly, an organization that hosts conversations about the future of work.

In this conversation with Tom, John describes the shift to open talent. Corporations are interested in this shift because of the potential to get work done faster, better, and cheaper. Individuals like the flexibility and variety. Tom and John also talk about the new social contract that would be needed to support open talent markets.


Key Takeaways:

[:10] About today’s episode with John Winsor.

[1:05] Tom welcomes John to the podcast.

[1:11] John shares how and why he went to Colorado College.

[2:28] Is Colorado College still a ‘big block’ school? How did the way that the college was organized aid John in his learning?

[3:44] John reflects on receiving his MBA in Marketing at the University of Denver. Tom and John also discuss how both CC and UoD have evolved over time.

[7:07] How John got into the publishing business.

[9:48] About John’s interest in racing and cycling.

[12:33] How and where John became interested in the idea of open talent and the future of work.

[15:38] John defines what open talent is.

[16:52] Should everyone be in the ‘open talent’ space? Or is it something that complements full-time employment? What does John see, five to 10 years from now, for the open talent space?

[19:15] How it could be possible to create an open talent economy that is equitable for everyone.

[25:00] Ways to help the open talent economy scale in an equitable way.

[27:17] Advertising opportunities available through Getting Smart.

[27:47] Three years ago, John founded Open Assembly, an organization that produces content around open talent and more. John shares what they have accomplished so far with Open Assembly and what they’re trying to accomplish, going forward.

[31:12] What high school education for a market of open talent should look like.

[33:46] Does John agree with Ryan Craig’s advice around giving a “hard sprint to a good first job”?

[37:55] Will an open talent economy lead to the widening income and wealth gap?

[40:30] How we can all play a part in creating the foundation for an open talent economy.

[43:02] Tom thanks John for joining the podcast!


Mentioned in This Episode:

John Winsor

Harvard Business School

Open Assembly

Diffusion of Innovations, by Everett M. Rogers

Spark: Be More Innovative Through Co-Creation, by John Winsor

Flipped: How Bottom-Up Co-Creation is Replacing Top-Down Innovation, by John Winsor

Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business, by Jeff Howe — Email Jessica to learn more about sponsorships and advertising opportunities with Getting Smart!


Getting Smart Ep. 264: “Ryan Craig on Putting America Back to Work

1,000 True Fans,” by Kevin Kelly

One Thousand True Fans: All You Need to Know about Marketing in a Single Article,”
by Jeroen Riemens


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