This episode uncovers the transformative power of freelance management solutions (FMS) in navigating the rapidly changing terrain of modern employment. Buckle up as we embark on a journey to explore the evolving landscape of external workforces and the pivotal role Work Suite plays in shaping its future!

Dave Colford is the Chief Customer Officer at Worksuite. As a premier “software as a service” and professional services company, Worksuite is dedicated to empowering the global freelancer, contingent, and influencer workforce. With a background in enterprise-level digital transformations, management turnarounds, and ongoing value creation for companies of all sizes, Dave brings over 25 years of industry experience and a wealth of knowledge to today’s conversation.  

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  1. Why is there a growing global trend towards freelance or contingent work?
  2. What challenges do companies face regarding compliance when managing external workers?
  3. How does Work Suite integrate with other platforms within companies?
  4. What factors have contributed to younger generations’ preference for independent contract work?
  5. Why is leading with a drive for results significant as a leadership approach?

“[Worksuite] is bringing order to the [blended workforce] chaos.”

Dave Colford

Chief Customer Officer, Worksuite


[02:44] Balancing Family, Scouting, and Martial Arts: A Glimpse into Dave’s Life

04:15] From Mailroom to Media Mogul: Dave’s Journey Through Two Transformative Careers

[07:38] The Evolution of Freelance Management Solutions

[11:14] Ensuring Order, Compliance, and Access to Talent in an Evolving Workforce

[14:03] Scalable Workforce Solutions for Modern Business Growth

[16:19] Building Honest Worker-Employer Relationships in a Modern Freelance Economy

[17:48] Committing to Freelance Talent for Diversity and Innovation

[21:57] Signature Segment: Dave’s entry into the LATTOYG Playbook: Adapting to the Freelance Workforce

[25:39] Integrating Freelance Management: Seamless Solutions for a Connected Workforce

[26:53] Generational Impact on the Workplace

[29:13] The New Dynamics of Employee-Employer Relationships in a Gig Economy

[25:46] Signature Segment: Dave’s LATTOYG Tactics of Choice: A Drive For Results 


Dave Colford is the Chief Customer Officer of Worksuite, the premier SaaS and professional services company focused on the global freelancer, contingent, and influencer workforces. As an industry leader, Dave has been at the vanguard of enterprise-level digital transformations, management turnarounds, and ongoing value creation for over 25 years. In his private life, Colford is the proud father of five children and an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America and the Red Cross. He is also a mentor with the Capital Partners for Education.



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This podcast episode is sponsored by Shockingly Different Leadership (SDL), the leader in on-demand People, Talent Development & Organizational Effectiveness professional services that up-level leader capability and optimize workforces to do their best work.

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Episode 12 | How Worksuite Mitigates Risk for Blended Workforces with Dave Colford

Dave Colford  00:00

Globally, we’re staring down the barrel of 50% of the global workforce, being freelance or some type of contingent or extensive external worker by the end of this decade. It’s more than just a shift in how people want to work. It’s a C change in which the companies that hire them work with them.


Karan Rhodes  00:03

Blended workforces are one of the hottest talent strategies today, where employers are using a mix of traditional employees with external resources like independent contractors, coaches, consultants, vendors, and technology solutions, all in order to enhance competitiveness, ensure cost flexibility, and expedite business goals. But how are the successful companies infusing blended workforces into their business strategy? And what are the critical success factors and pitfalls to avoid during implementation? And on the flip side, what does it really take for suppliers to improve their chances of finding and landing contract opportunities? The devil is in the details, my friends! I’m your host, Karan Ferrell Rhodes, and it’s time to get smarter about Blended Workforces at Work! Hello, my dear superstars out there this is Karen and welcome to another episode of the blended workforces at work podcast. We are beyond thrilled to have on today’s show. Dave Colford and Dave is the Chief Customer Officer at Worksuite. Worksuite is a premier software as a service and professional services company that’s focused on the global freelancer contingent and influencer workforces. As you know, we talk a lot about external work source it workforces supporting companies and organizations and workforce Dave and his team are experts in this field. So I’m super excited. I’m having them him on the podcast. Now, Dave is an industry leader. He’s been in the industry for over 25 years, which is amazing, because I need his useful saram because he doesn’t look a day over 26, which is fantastic. But he’s really cut his teeth in the enterprise level digital transformations, management turnarounds, and create an ongoing value creation for companies of all sizes. So say welcome to the show are so happy to have you,


Dave Colford  02:09

Kara n,thank you so much for having me. It’s great to be here.


Karan Rhodes  02:11

Oh, wonderful. Well, there’s a ton I can’t wait to ask you about and learn more about but before we do that, we love to learn a little bit more about you personally. So just for as much as you feel comfortable. Will you give us a sneak peek into your life outside of work?


Dave Colford  02:27

Sure. Glen, thank you for asking. I’m very proud father of five. It’s a second marriage for my wife and I so we’re a blended family. I have three children in my first marriage, she has two from hers. So we are a brought to life actual Brady Bunch with children ranging ranging in ages from 13 up to 20. So from seventh grade to recent college graduates and everything in between very lucky that they’re all happy and healthy and good human beings. I’m a lifelong Boy Scout. I have been a registered member of what is still currently called the Boy Scouts of America, but is rebranding very publicly to Scouting America? I’m very excited about that. Since 1986, I’ve been I’ve been consistently registered. I’m currently a leader and a board member for my local scouting Council. And I’m a lifelong martial artist as well. And I’ve been I’ve been very blessed to lead a path that’s put me here in a conversation with you.


Karan Rhodes  03:21

Oh, well, we’re so blessed to have you here as a former Girl Scout and let’s admit for about 10 years and, ah, moved on in life of a totally love that you continue to support the scouting effort because it really does make a difference in our youth and older young adults across America. So thank you for doing that.


Dave Colford  03:44

It’s my pleasure.


Karan Rhodes  03:45

Well, let’s start off Dave, with you giving let’s just a little bit of overview about your early career, and then how you ended up now being Worksuite.


Dave Colford  03:58

Thank you. It’s, I’ve been very fortunate to lead extensively two very different careers kind of chapter one and chapter two. The first part of my career was in traditional media, so literally quite start. I started my career in the mailroom at a company called CMP publishing way back in the day on Long Island, founder led organization that ultimately grew to a a billion dollar exit over about 25 years. And I was fortunate to be in technology media at that time. It led to a career long pursuit of b2b channels, and starting out kind of in the mailroom, then moving into events and moving into print media magazines and at the time newspapers candidly really became the the the accidental executive, if you will, in a lot of ways. By virtue of being there at the forefront of ostensibly the collapse of traditional print media and leading into into the new digital Remo what was new at the time. It’s over time became You know, I was in sales positions at that point. And those of us that stuck it out and made it through to the other side, I’m started to be regarded and as digital transformation folks. And because we had lived through the war of watching a collapse of one level of media, and give way to another that had decidedly different financial metrics, different ways of measuring the performance of the different media, and certainly different client expectations. So I like to joke and it’s only partially in jest, that this is, in fact, what digital transformation actually looks like. Because I had a wonderful head of hair during the print days, and went through that that first stage transformation, a lot of it went away. There was many children of course, but it’s it’s so as a result of that the skills that I gleaned lead from that first digital transformation to what I call the second digital transformation of media, where it moved from banners and buttons to lead generation and data driven aspects and the the the investments and the the adherence to using technology to drive advertising on a go forward basis. That then decidedly led to the second part of my career, which was moving into traditional data businesses that were themselves going through a digital transformation. And instead of delivering data by books, and by physical media, actually starting to use a more traditional SAS model for delivery of the data metrics and ingesting them into your customers, CRM systems into their ERP systems. That was the beginning of my foray into traditional SAS. And over time, that led to ultimately through relationships with consultants and so on being introduced to one of the cofounders of this incredible company called Worksuite.


Karan Rhodes  06:40

Amazing. And in full transparency and listeners, I was the customer of Worksuite, they are absolutely fantastic. They’re doing huge things industry, and I’m still a huge fan. So if you’re, you know, in the market for you know, looking for the, I’d say a technology solution to help support some of those initiatives, definitely check out Worksuite and you do in their website is wonderful. And you can learn about all the things you can do with their platform. But they would do I’m not I’m not doing it justice. So would you mind sharing with the listeners exactly what work suite does and how you impact your customers?


Dave Colford  07:20

I’d be happy to and thank you so much for the endorsement, I actually didn’t know until a prep session that Karen had actually been a customer previously so it was a wonderful part of our discovery session with one another. We fall into this category called FMS, so freelance management solutions or freelance management services depending on who you’re talking to. And really at its core, what we do is we allow companies to onboard classify, manage and pay what we call the external workforce. So and that itself is, is probably the most horizontal name I can think of, because whether you’re talking about different companies, different regions, and different culturally, everyone has a different name, right. So influencers and freelancers and external workforce contingent workers, in the residential housing market, skilled laborers called craft labor, right. So it’s everybody has a different name for it. So I use external workforce, just to talk about all of the workers and the talented individuals that work with a company but maybe not as full time employees. That’s where we focus. We were founded by two individuals that came from the agency world that saw a need from a content from a creative perspective, to be able to harness the power of technology to manage this growing part of their workforce, which at the time was mostly through the lens, a, you know, I don’t have I’ve met very specific needs for projects I’m working on in my advertising agency, don’t necessarily need somebody full time. But I need that skill set, going out to the UI or UX person to develop or to to a freelance artists, photographer, videographer that gave way. In so many ways, founders are often classified as visionaries, but they are also to a degree fortune tellers. Because what our two co founders Joey and Martin did was they created a pathway to what is now the fastest growing part of the workforce globally. So there’s tons of research out there that talks about the fact that by the end of this the end of this decade, we’re only six years away from which is kind of mind numbing, by the way, I start to become more aware of my own mortality when I talk about numbers like that. But it’s when you think about the fact that globally, we’re staring down the barrel of 50% of the global workforce, being freelance or some type of contingent or extensive external worker by the end of this decade. It’s more than just a shift in how people want to work. It’s a sea change in which the companies that hire them work with them. And it is there has never been at least from a US Department of Labor Standard. There has never been a faster growing part of the workforce. Then if that ends up being true. So it’s an incredibly exciting time for the larger contingent workforce, a larger external workforce, but especially for companies like ours, because it’s quite literally the reason we exist is to serve that community.


Karan Rhodes  10:12

And you’re doing a fantastic job in doing that. And, you know, as our listeners know, with SDL, that’s why we use word sweep is because we have, you know, over 500 consultants and coaches and contractors that are placed on people initiatives, and managing that can be absolutely insane, especially when you’re dealing with tight timelines needed onboard people quickly, keeping track of what everyone is doing that all in one solution that can be customized based on your own company workflows is just absolutely tremendous. So I, for one, appreciate the work that workforce work sweet. This is where all of us out there.


Dave Colford  10:57

And, you know, in a lot of ways, the reason we exist is transforming on a daily and weekly basis. Right. So the original notion was to bring order to the chaos, right? So you’ve got freelancers, I would add an external workers, I always classify as walking around with a desktop level, right. So you’ve got different project managers, they have their own folks they like to work with, they’ve got their own rates that they like to pay, and so on. And it lives in spreadsheets, and on sticky notes and texts between individuals. Oh, yeah, bringing all that together in a platform, so it can all be consolidated. And everybody across an organization can see the wealth of resources who have from an external worker perspective, where the communications are taking place, and they’re housed in perpetuity, and be giving everybody access to the wide swath of talent that exists. That was the original premise. But in the last couple of years, during that onboarding phase, and with the different laws changing by country, by state in terms of worker classification, and what what helps you mitigate risk in terms of classifying someone as a contingent worker versus full time and so on, and every state has incredible nuances. A big part of why we exist, and why we continue to grow, is our ability to help companies maintain compliance, both with their local laws, but also with you know, some companies have slightly different exacting standards, right? I think about the influencer marketplace, a lot of the companies that we work with, from an influencer perspective, because they’re actually going to physical locations and doing things, those companies are now requiring influencers to actually carry their own insurance. So that’s a part of their onboarding where they have to buy in an x x, buy insurance before they can actually go and work on that project at a physical space, you know, celebrity going to a movie premiere, or what have you. There’s lots of different use cases for influencers. But that’s one example of even beyond local and regional and country compliance. Are some companies are actually putting in their own compliance regulations, and we help them adhere to those standards.


Karan Rhodes  12:54

Oh, absolutely. You know, I’m gonna bring this up one level, if I can, because you’ve kind of answered the question a little bit. But I’d love to kind of get your perspective and a whole, if you will, as a whole, I should say, if you will, because more and more companies are having to kind of rethink their workforce strategies and how to incorporate blended workforces. And you know, most companies until recently really didn’t have a strategy around it. I mean, it was a buzzword about 10 years ago, but kind of disappeared a bit. But from your perspective, what are what is the power of really an organization really considering implementing a blended Workforce Strategy? And on the flip side, what makes it a little bit hard to implement? I know, we talked about some of the laws and compliance but, you know, what’s the power of blended workforces? And then, you know, what challenges are there out there as well?


Dave Colford  13:46

For sure. I think the real power of it is the ability to harness subject matter expert expertise and talent in a way that you may not be able to do from a budgetary perspective, when you think about it only through the lens of full time employees, right? How many times have all of us in in hiring positions that you know, I’ve got this one Rockstar? And I wish I could hire that person. But they’re too expensive. I don’t have the budget right now, the timings wrong, whatever the case may be. But what if you had the opportunity to work with that individual a freelance basis on a fractional basis on projects where they were most going to have the highest level of impact? Now that’s just thinking about one person, right? Now imagine that at scale, right, are able to bring in the highest and best use talent in a scaled way to help really drive the growth of your business and serve your customers. And do it in a way that is based completely on project needs. So you can control expense a little bit better. You’re applying the best talent to the right resources and the right project at the right time. And you’re also in a position where you also have the opportunity over time. If someone is that rock star that you thought they were they’re actually turning out To be that, and it does turn out that you have the budget at some point, you would now have the opportunity to work with them seeing their subject matter expertise in their success, and potentially create a pathway to full time employment. But not every external worker wants that. Right? There’s a whole generational push for a higher level of acceptance of and desire to work in an external workforce environment. And there’s a million reasons for that. But the power simply put, is to be able to scale up and scale down your workforce, with the highest level subject matter expertise and the best talent available, without breaking the bank and having it be tied to very specific projects. And the growth goals that you set for your company, you no longer have to invest well ahead of your growth, you can invest along with your growth, that’s a unique and an somewhat unprecedented opportunity at scale. For us, David Bowers, employers on a go forward


Karan Rhodes  15:52

It opens up new opportunities when you have that, that those option and to co create what is perfect for you and your company and your team. Right.


Dave Colford  16:01

Well, and that’s the work. So you beat me to it. Co creation, right? You’re co creating the future, based on what I call a much, certainly newer, but I call the truly honest worker and employer relationship, right? Because in a lot of cases, folks want to work from where they want to work from, right. They want to work, the hours that they want to work, they want to work on projects on some level that are interesting to them. And they want to get paid for the thing that they want to get paid. Right? This is the first time where there’s actually some balance in that equation. And it’s not just the employer saying, Well, I’m going to pay you X to do this. Freelance workers today have absolutely and they’ve always had, but we’re talking about scale now, at scale, the opportunity to walk away and say, Well, if you’re not going to pay me that rate, that’s fine. Because I have five other companies that will carry again, not only is that does that make my heart sing from a from a human perspective. But it also creates a natural level of competition and increase in fair wage, right. fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, right? It’s right. So I’m old school, right? Like it’s, I’m a blue collar guy that has a white collar job. So I think about the world that way. And it’s nice to see the world starting to catch up


Karan Rhodes  17:10

I love that as well. I’m totally with you. And then what do you think are some of the obstacles or quicksand that people might end up? Or potholes they may end up stepping into if they don’t think about blended workforces really strategically, what are some, some things on the downside?


Dave Colford  17:30

I think the single biggest risk area for companies is to have step, right. Well, hey, yeah, we’re gonna go down this path, but we’re not going to totally commit to it. We’re not sure right? That ship has sailed. This is where the right? And there’s this thing called the dinosaurs, who lacks the ability to adapt, and they’re no longer around, right? So companies and I’m being I’m being a little bit provocative and intentionally, because these companies that don’t, that are ignoring all of the signals that are taking place, because this is bigger than a shift in a segment of the workforce, as is a generational shift and a sea change in the way that companies are going to work. So you have to fully commit now fully committing is not as big of a deal as it sounds like Right? All you’re committing to is that I’m going to do all of the things for my external workforce that I do for my full time employees, I’m going to communicate well with them, I’m going to set clear and transparent expectations. I’m going to take care of our freelance talent in all of the ways that I can, in spite of the fact that they maybe don’t work for us full time. And you know, I can’t give them benefits and all those other things. But what are some of the other things that we can do to craft an ongoing relationship that’s mutually beneficial, and also, more quickly than you can with your full time employment, you have the opportunity to really drive diversity and inclusivity, right? Because if you’re like, Hey, I’ve got 10 projects coming up over the next six months, right? It is much easier to drive recruitment and onboarding, diversity and inclusion of law. And by the way, inclusion, truly I use that term in a very different way. Right? I mean, everybody brought Yeah, in the way that the definition is actually written everybody, right? It is. Its gender, its skin color, its background, its physical ability, its professional background, it is diversity of all kinds. You can drive that much faster and in a much more inclusive way through the expansion of your freelance and your external workforce than you can with full time employees. Because full time employees, you kind of have what you have, and it’s going to take time and you’re adding new positions, you have some natural attrition you backfill. It is short of starting over. This is the way that you can bring real diversity to your organization. So but it takes commitment.


Karan Rhodes  19:53

It does take commitment, and on another scale to the potential I think is unlimited. This is Karan’s In a personal opinion, but where I see some organizations fall down is if they don’t factor it into their normal workforce planning strategy, because this is an important part of the workforce i was i fall i got on LinkedIn. And he says, you know, if you’re, you know, missing this, this whole blended workforce, he calls it gig economy, but the whole blended workforces initiative or industry strategy. It’s just like missing the mobile revolution, right, that occurred in 2010, which is true. And then I also feel that a lot of companies don’t equip their managers on exactly how to manage a true blended workforce, that that is rocket science. But you there are some challenges. When you have your traditional employees, you’re infusing your external talent, which you need to, you know, think through how to best infuse them in the team while also being compliant with the government or local laws you have. And then you have the whole and I include technology and the whole blended workforces definition, because it all connects together to get work done. And so I think there’s an area of opportunity for companies to upskill their managers on how to think through the multitude of talent that is at their hands and how to your point being very inclusive, in their work processes to to get things done efficiently. That is going to help the company’s bottom line. So I’m curious your thoughts about how we can empower managers to better manage blended workforces?


Dave Colford  21:39

It is. I think there’s three ways. The first is the upscaling that you’re talking about. We can’t just expect our current leadership, right at all levels on organization to just know how to manage a totally different part of the workforce. Right? Because easy when things are good. Right? It’s it’s when things are tough, right? So the thing that immediately, right, so the upscaling is one, the second one is the mutual relationship between the two that’s based on accountability, right? So much easier to hold a full time employee accountable in theory, right? Because there’s performance reviews, there’s, you know, their continued employment as depends on their performance, and so on and so forth. We’re all kind of comfortable operating in that kind of environment. But how do you hold an independent contractor, an external worker, as accountable as a full time employee, to your point, teaching folks how to have that conversation because on one hand, okay, if they don’t do the work, or it’s not satisfactory, you don’t pay them right? On an outcome anybody wants, right now, this has got to be clear roles, expectations, accountability, and so on. That is part of the contractual promise that exists between the employer and the external worker, right. And that is a rethink in terms of how we actually create contracts, write contracts, that nothing can be left to the spirit of the contract, if it’s not in the contract, it doesn’t exist doesn’t exist, right? deliverables, expectation of performance, all of those things need to go into them to protect both parties, by the way, to provide both the employer and the external worker, if we can nail that some companies are doing this exceedingly well, if we can nail that as a workforce, and it’s going to take time. But if we can nail that those two things combined, are going to create clarity and real open dialogue and communication. Because just because a contract is given to an external worker, they don’t have to sign it. They enjoy, negotiate back and forth and so on. And then the third thing that I think is an absolute necessity to make all of this work is and this is not a commercial for work suite. But it’s technology like ours, here because there has got to be a meaningful and a repeatable and scalable way of communicating with your external workforce. And it’s interesting, because if you think about the larger human capital management space, right, companies like Oracle, and workday come to mind because they have, for all intents and purposes, nailed and defined what human capital management is, right? So when you think about their platforms, and that it’s like, oh, okay, so I get what they do, right? Well, it sounds in a lot of cases, like work suite, and some of the other companies in our space are actually trying to define the market. We’re not, I submit that the market exists. It’s human capital management. It’s but that’s only one leg. The that’s how you manage your FTS, those systems were purpose built to manage how you onboard and deal with, you know, full time workers and so on and pay them through payroll, taxes and benefits and so on. Similarly, so, if you believe in that, and you know that the fastest part of growing of your work fast growing part of your workforce is external talent, you need a platform that is purpose built for them. Not just for the onboarding, not just for the compliance. But if you’re going to treat them equally than they need to receive the same types of communications, and that requires a technology platform


Karan Rhodes  24:59

Absolutely. Absolutely. And gosh, I have so many questions I would love to ask you. No, no, we’re running a little short of time. But your Worksuite the way you all have evolved? Does it talk to other platforms within other companies as well? Or do you keep it separate from, say the HRS systems?


Dave Colford  25:21

No, it actually does. So we have some native native integrations that we offer, we also have our own API that can basically universally can be plugged into almost any system that folks want. But we also have a relationship with a company called Zapier, that ties us into some at 5000 to other platforms and and technologies that are out there. And, and that’s a depending on the the wishes and the integration capabilities from our customers. It can be something that we have natively it can be something that we offer through our API, or it can be a low code, no code option, like Zapier,


Karan Rhodes  25:52

I’m a fan of Zapier. STL users that time our whole team does. I totally get that. But now, you know, I’m telling my age here, but I’m a genxer And I remember when I was in college, it was all about finding a traditional job that had security. But of course, things have evolved over time. I’ve always been comfortable in transitioning to the external work sources side of the house, although I’ve had over 20 years in corporate America, but I’m just curious for you, why do you think the younger generations fill the independent contract type of work is more secure than the traditional art? Because it seems like we totally flipped 180 degrees now.


Dave Colford  26:36

I agree. I agree. And I think we have I think about millennials and Generation X in such a meaningful way, those two generations for me, I’m enamored with, because millennials, and it’s funny, like everybody, I’ve friends will talk about millennials, like their kids, like the oldest Millennials are. Right? These are not children, they’re running. Right. And it’s your largest generation in the history of the world. And they have had more of a distinct impact on the workplace than any other generation for the last 50 years. Why is that? It’s because they demanded of all of us and generations before us that they be allowed to bring their total selves to work. And you need to serve the total self. Right? Yeah. So so they brought their feelings of work, they brought emotions to work, right, all of which is true. But what they did was they brought the totality of their human selves to work. And acknowledging that something I have going on outside the office may impact the work that I can do here today, how you make me feel here today may impact how I’m able to work tomorrow, right? We can debate that academically all we want, but that is what they’ve done. And they’ve forced us to think about things like mental health, they force us to think about things like employee wellness. Yeah, which benefits everybody, not just their generation, and their natural collaborators. Now you bring in Generation Z, Generation Z, by and large, the children of our generation, I’m a fellow without Gen X, right? I mean, I remember when we were called slackers, right? So we’ve all been there, right? So now you start to think about Generation Z that brings in all of the skills and the same way of thinking about the world that millennials did. But they’re now also asking for a level of work life integration, not even balance, work life integration. Yeah, I’ll work as many hours as I need to get that thing done. But I want to do it from where I want to do it from. If it’s not something that needs to get done between nine and five, Mr. Manager, why do you care? I’m gonna get it done by the deadlines.


Karan Rhodes  28:27

As long as I get it by the deadline date.


Dave Colford  28:28

And why do you care if I’m doing it from a campsite, or from Aruba or from my house in Reisterstown, Maryland, right? Why do you care? So that is challenging the way that we think about the world to write, then you layer in COVID. COVID was a game changer for their for the knowledge worker, because where you work from no longer mattered. And it was proven, right? So


Karan Rhodes  28:53

You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Once that was let go


Dave Colford  28:56

That’s Right! It’s so I think the confluence of all of these things has led to a place where there was just a much more open and honest dialogue about work area. But then I think we’ve got two generations that also acknowledge that the long term 20 to 25 year loyalty that companies have expected of workers, but didn’t repay with loyalty to the worker is gone. Yeah, right. You and I are old enough to remember if you had multiple stints on your resume one or two years, you worried about that? Right? Nobody cares today that’s normal like that. That is actually functionally and there is on some level respect paid to that because you’re gleaning new skills on a regular basis. They’ve introduced a thoroughly new, more honest, and I would argue, candidly, more balanced view of the relationship that any kind of work a full time employee or external worker has what their employers but what these generations have learned is that somebody will pay them for their skills. Right? And if you’re not willing to do that, there’s five other companies that will maybe They won’t hire me full time. But I can work for all five of those and make as much if not more, to deliver good work, glean new skills, but do it in a way that feels good to me. And I am not beholden to you as holding the keys to my financial kingdom, that is also a sea change. And it’s exciting to see,


Karan Rhodes  30:19

It is exciting to see Dave, it totally is. And I love the new opportunity that this, you know, blended workforce has really opened up for everyone, because you’re able to redefine what the world of work, the Win Win arrangement in the world of work means for you, as an individual. And no matter if we’re a traditional employee or part of the external workforce, you’re still able to be a strong leader, within yourself for what you bring to the table. And so one of our last questions we love to ask you, and I’m so sorry, that we’re gonna have to close soon. But as you know, our company did research on high performing leaders and what it took to differentiate them when they executed, you know, in their roles in the world of work. And out of that came seven what we call tactics, but they’re really approaches and ways that they think about carrying out leadership initiatives. And we love to ask our guests, which one of the top seven that we write about in our book called Lead at the top of your game really resonated with you and so you were so kind to share that leading with a drive for results really pop for you. And for my audience listeners on leading with a drive for results is all about being persistent and tenacious, to ensure that your end goals are achieved, even if you have to pivot or change along the way. The curious minds want to know they Why did leading with a drive for results really pop for you?


Dave Colford  31:45

Mostly because it resonates with the time and place in which I was developed early in my career coming up in technology media, and one of the most competitive workplaces that ever existed, there was the big three, there was CMP, there was Ziff Davis and there was IDG, which is now foundry. And it was about as aggressive and as cutthroat as you could possibly be. But the underlying elements to all of that was some of the best fundamental revenue and business training you can ever possibly ask for structured pitching, understanding why a p&l matters, understanding the profitability of your rate card, and so on. So you actually could discount in the field and not get 50, different levels of approvals, and so on. So I was raised that way. But what I’ve learned, it’s how you stick to that and how you adhere to that and drive performance over the last 25 years. And even very recently, I’ve learned that some of the tactics, and the language that I used to drive that kind of emotion in companies right, needs to change generations here at differently, right, they respond to terms like accountability, and they respond to performance driven environments in different ways than I did right. Now. I can sit there, and I can argue that all day long, it’s not their job, to change how they receive information, it’s my job to deliver it in a way that’s meaningful for them. Because we talk about culture, and we talk about performance at a very high level, right, but it plays out at the individual level. So it’s exciting for me to get that feedback, learn new skills, and still try and point the true north of companies in the place of, hey, when we win, we all win. And here’s what that means for us. It’s not just about performance for performance sake. It’s about what it means for us and the things that we can do as a company as a culture, whether that’s hiring more full time, folks providing more training, providing better benefits, right profit sharing stock options, whatever, right? It’s and also being able to double down and hire more folks in our external workforce. Because for us, it works. We the external workforce is not theoretical 50% of our company is outside of our full time employees. And that is very intentional. Because the way that we explain that to the world is we do what you do from a freelance perspective. So they by example, it’s part of our DNA. And we want to lead by example, but the excitement for me around continuing to be performance driven, we’ll always be there because nothing feels better professionally than when we all went together. And that can insulate a person or a group when they’re having a bad month, bad quarter other people are over performing, right? Everybody benefits when we think about the larger implications of our performance.


Karan Rhodes  34:32

We do. Wow. All right. Well, we’re gonna just drop the mic on that one. That was great perspective, Dave. That’s I’m sorry that that’s all the time we have for today. But I want to thank you so much for the gift of your time in joining us and sharing your perspective sharing some of the great things so work suite is doing but before I let you go, we’ll have all the information about human work suite in the show notes, but would you mind just given a voice to where people can find you at accompany Sure.


Dave Colford  35:01

I’m about as transparent as you can possibly be. You find me on LinkedIn. But you know what if you really want to get in touch with me, I’d love to talk to anybody and everybody as much as possible.


Karan Rhodes  35:13

Wonderful. Well, thanks again for your time today. We loved having you on the show.


Dave Colford  35:18

It was a real honor. Karan, thank you.


Karan Rhodes  35:19

Awesome. And thank you to listeners for joining another episode of the blended workforces at work podcast. We know that there are a million other podcasts that you could be listening to we thank you for your time. And please make sure that you like and subscribe to the podcast and share just with just one friend. Because by doing so we can all get smarter about blended workforces at work. Thank you so much and see you next week. Well, that’s our show for today. Thank you again for listening to the Blended Workforces at Work podcast. You can check out the show notes, additional episodes, bonus resources, and also submit guest recommendations on our website at You can also follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or YouTube by searching for the name Karan Rhodes with Karan being spelled K a r a n. And if you like the show, the greatest gift you can give would be to subscribe and leave a rating on your favorite podcast platform of choice. This podcast has been a production of Shockingly Different Leadership, a global consultancy which helps organizations execute their people, talent development, and organizational effectiveness initiatives on an on-demand, contract, fractional, or project basis. Huge thanks to the SDL production and editing team for a job well done. Bye for now.

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