Check out our FREE Resources page – Download complimentary business frameworks, PowerPoint templates, whitepapers, and more.







Flevy Management Insights Q&A
How will the shift towards a gig economy affect the development and implementation of BDP?


This article provides a detailed response to: How will the shift towards a gig economy affect the development and implementation of BDP? For a comprehensive understanding of BDP, we also include relevant case studies for further reading and links to BDP best practice resources.

TLDR The shift towards a gig economy necessitates more agile Strategic Planning, redefined Operational Excellence, and innovative approaches in Business Development Plans to leverage a transient workforce effectively.

Reading time: 4 minutes


The shift towards a gig economy has profound implications for the development and implementation of Business Development Plans (BDP). As organizations increasingly rely on freelance and contract workers, the strategies for growth, market expansion, and innovation must adapt to leverage the benefits and mitigate the challenges of this evolving workforce landscape.

Strategic Planning in a Gig Economy

In the context of a gig economy, Strategic Planning must be more agile and flexible. The traditional workforce model, characterized by long-term employment and a stable team, is giving way to a more dynamic and fluid structure. This shift necessitates a reevaluation of how organizations approach talent management, resource allocation, and long-term planning. For instance, a report by McKinsey Global Institute highlights the growing trend of the gig economy, indicating that up to 30% of the working-age population in the United States and the European Union engages in some form of independent work. This statistic underscores the need for organizations to adapt their BDPs to accommodate and leverage this segment of the workforce effectively.

Organizations must now consider how to integrate gig workers into their Strategic Planning processes. This involves identifying which roles are best suited for gig workers, understanding the legal and operational implications of such a shift, and developing mechanisms for seamless integration and management of a more transient workforce. Additionally, organizations must refine their value proposition to attract high-quality gig workers, competing not just on financial compensation but also on project significance, flexibility, and professional development opportunities.

Moreover, the reliance on gig workers can lead to greater scalability and flexibility in operations, allowing organizations to more rapidly adjust to market changes and demand fluctuations. However, this also introduces challenges in maintaining organizational culture, knowledge continuity, and team cohesion. Strategic Planning must, therefore, include initiatives aimed at building an inclusive culture that values both permanent and gig workers, leveraging technology to facilitate communication and collaboration, and implementing knowledge management systems to capture and disseminate critical information across the organization.

Learn more about Strategic Planning Talent Management Value Proposition Agile Organizational Culture Knowledge Management

Are you familiar with Flevy? We are you shortcut to immediate value.
Flevy provides business best practices—the same as those produced by top-tier consulting firms and used by Fortune 100 companies. Our best practice business frameworks, financial models, and templates are of the same caliber as those produced by top-tier management consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture. Most were developed by seasoned executives and consultants with 20+ years of experience.

Trusted by over 10,000+ Client Organizations
Since 2012, we have provided best practices to over 10,000 businesses and organizations of all sizes, from startups and small businesses to the Fortune 100, in over 130 countries.
AT&T GE Cisco Intel IBM Coke Dell Toyota HP Nike Samsung Microsoft Astrazeneca JP Morgan KPMG Walgreens Walmart 3M Kaiser Oracle SAP Google E&Y Volvo Bosch Merck Fedex Shell Amgen Eli Lilly Roche AIG Abbott Amazon PwC T-Mobile Broadcom Bayer Pearson Titleist ConEd Pfizer NTT Data Schwab

Operational Excellence in a Gig Economy

Operational Excellence in the gig economy context requires a rethinking of processes and systems to accommodate a more fluid workforce. Traditional models of operation, designed for a stable and consistent team, may not be as effective when a significant portion of the workforce is made up of gig workers. This necessitates the development of new operational frameworks that are flexible yet robust, ensuring that the organization can maintain high levels of efficiency, quality, and customer service despite the transient nature of its workforce.

One key area of focus is the integration of technology to manage and support gig workers. Platforms that facilitate task assignment, communication, performance tracking, and payment can significantly enhance the efficiency of working with gig workers. For example, companies like Uber and Airbnb have built their entire operational model around technology platforms that efficiently manage a large, global network of independent contractors. Organizations in other sectors can learn from these examples, implementing technology solutions that enable them to effectively leverage gig workers for various functions, from project-based work to seasonal demand spikes.

Furthermore, achieving Operational Excellence with a gig workforce also involves developing robust onboarding and offboarding processes. These processes must be streamlined and scalable, ensuring that gig workers can quickly become productive and that their departure does not leave knowledge gaps or operational disruptions. This includes creating clear guidelines, training materials, and support systems that enable gig workers to effectively contribute to the organization's goals while ensuring that the organization retains critical knowledge and insights gained during their engagement.

Learn more about Customer Service Operational Excellence Disruption

Innovation and Competitive Advantage in a Gig Economy

The gig economy also presents unique opportunities for Innovation and building Competitive Advantage. By tapping into a global pool of talent, organizations can access diverse skills, perspectives, and expertise that may not be available in-house. This diversity can drive innovation, as different approaches and ideas combine to create new solutions and improvements. For example, Google has long embraced open innovation models, leveraging external contributors and freelancers to drive innovation in its products and services.

However, to effectively harness the potential of gig workers for innovation, organizations must develop strategies for engaging these workers in their innovation processes. This includes creating flexible project structures that allow for contribution from gig workers, establishing clear intellectual property guidelines, and fostering an inclusive culture that values and integrates the contributions of gig workers alongside those of permanent employees.

Additionally, leveraging gig workers can also help organizations to rapidly scale their operations to explore new markets or test new products without the significant overheads associated with permanent hires. This agility can be a critical competitive advantage, allowing organizations to move quickly and adapt to changes in the market or technology. However, success in this area requires careful planning and management to ensure that the quality and coherence of the brand and product offerings are maintained.

In conclusion, the shift towards a gig economy significantly impacts the development and implementation of BDPs. Organizations must adapt their Strategic Planning, Operational Excellence, and Innovation strategies to leverage the benefits of a gig workforce while addressing the associated challenges. By doing so, they can not only navigate the complexities of a gig economy but also harness its potential to drive growth, agility, and competitive advantage.

Learn more about Competitive Advantage Open Innovation

Best Practices in BDP

Here are best practices relevant to BDP from the Flevy Marketplace. View all our BDP materials here.

Did you know?
The average daily rate of a McKinsey consultant is $6,625 (not including expenses). The average price of a Flevy document is $65.

Explore all of our best practices in: BDP

BDP Case Studies

For a practical understanding of BDP, take a look at these case studies.

Revenue Management Initiative for Boutique Hotels in Competitive Urban Markets

Scenario: A boutique hotel chain is grappling with suboptimal occupancy rates and revenue per available room (RevPAR) in a highly competitive urban environment.

Read Full Case Study

Best Practice Enhancement in Chemicals Sector

Scenario: The organization is a mid-sized chemical producer specializing in polymers and faced with stagnating market share due to outdated operational practices.

Read Full Case Study

Consumer Packaged Goods Best Practices Advancement in Health-Conscious Market

Scenario: The organization is a mid-sized producer of health-focused consumer packaged goods in North America.

Read Full Case Study

Inventory Management Enhancement in Aerospace

Scenario: The organization is a mid-sized aerospace components supplier grappling with inventory inefficiencies that have led to increased carrying costs and missed delivery timelines.

Read Full Case Study

Growth Strategy Enhancement for Cosmetic Firm in Luxury Segment

Scenario: The organization in question operates within the luxury cosmetics industry and has been grappling with maintaining consistency and quality across its global brand portfolio.

Read Full Case Study

Content Strategy Enhancement for Ecommerce Platform

Scenario: The organization is a mid-sized ecommerce platform specializing in consumer electronics with a diverse supplier base and a global customer footprint.

Read Full Case Study

Explore all Flevy Management Case Studies

Related Questions

Here are our additional questions you may be interested in.

What strategies can leaders employ to ensure the alignment of individual performance goals with overarching business objectives?
Leaders can align individual performance with business objectives by establishing clear goals, fostering continuous feedback, linking performance to rewards, and investing in employee development, as demonstrated by companies like Google, Adobe, and Cisco. [Read full explanation]
What role does organizational culture play in the successful adoption and implementation of BDP?
Organizational culture is crucial for Big Data Projects success, emphasizing Data-Driven Decision-Making, Continuous Learning, and Adaptation, supported by Leadership and Organizational Support for innovation and competitive advantage. [Read full explanation]
How do Best Demonstrated Practices intersect with and support sustainability and corporate social responsibility initiatives?
Integrating Best Demonstrated Practices into Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives improves Operational Efficiency, reduces Environmental Impact, and strengthens Stakeholder Engagement, driving Innovation and aligning with global standards for long-term success. [Read full explanation]
What role will sustainability and environmental considerations play in shaping business strategies and operational practices moving forward?
Sustainability and environmental considerations are becoming central to Strategic Planning, Operational Excellence, and Innovation, driving growth, differentiation, and competitive advantage for businesses like Unilever, IKEA, and Tesla. [Read full explanation]
How can businesses balance the need for operational excellence with the imperative to remain agile and responsive to market changes?
Achieve balance between Operational Excellence and agility through Strategic Planning, leveraging Digital Transformation, and fostering a culture of Continuous Improvement and Innovation for market responsiveness. [Read full explanation]
How can companies ensure the continuous evolution of their BDP to adapt to rapid technological advancements?
To ensure the continuous evolution of their BDP in response to technological advancements, companies must integrate Strategic Planning, adopt Cutting-Edge Technologies, foster an Innovation-Driven Culture, and utilize Agile Methodologies, focusing on market analysis, risk assessment, technology investment, and workforce upskilling. [Read full explanation]

Source: Executive Q&A: BDP Questions, Flevy Management Insights, 2024


Flevy is the world's largest knowledge base of best practices.


Leverage the Experience of Experts.

Find documents of the same caliber as those used by top-tier consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, Accenture.

Download Immediately and Use.

Our PowerPoint presentations, Excel workbooks, and Word documents are completely customizable, including rebrandable.

Save Time, Effort, and Money.

Save yourself and your employees countless hours. Use that time to work on more value-added and fulfilling activities.




Read Customer Testimonials



Download our FREE Strategy & Transformation Framework Templates

Download our free compilation of 50+ Strategy & Transformation slides and templates. Frameworks include McKinsey 7-S Strategy Model, Balanced Scorecard, Disruptive Innovation, BCG Experience Curve, and many more.