Free Agent Nation

Tonight, I went and heard Dan Pink speak in Racine.

Dan Pink is best known for authoring a book called Free Agent Nation. You have probably heard of it. He spent a year interviewing independent workers. What he uncovered was a movement:

  • 32 million people fall into the category of free agent.
  • That is 1 in 4 people in the workplace. In California, the number is closer to 1 in 3.
  • What is changing are people’s values and attitudes towards work. What free agents want are freedom, accountability, and the feeling they have made a contribution.

We talked about the idea of loyalty. No one will deny the employer-employee contract has disappeared, but loyalty still exists. Dan calls it horizontal loyalty. Free agents have loyalties to the teams they work on, their families, their colleagues, and their ex-colleagues.

I’ll end with two great quotes from the session:

“Talented people need organizations less than organizations need talented people”

“They way to get better off is to be better.”