Akhil Seth, UST Operations Analyst presents the company’s Open Talent strategy and execution
This week’s Center for the Transformation of Work community call welcomes Vinod Kartha, VP of Strategic Initiatives at UST and Akhil Seth, Operations Analyst at UST. Akhil works directly with Vinod and is managing the company’s Center of Excellence for Open Talent and Innovation. UST was a traditional outsourcing company and now with their ambitious, forward thinking approach they are pioneering the use of open talent for their clients as part of their overall delivery mix. This week we talk about UST’s strategic history, their current open talent initiative and their vision for the future.
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Chat room transcript:
00:16:16 Sheila Mahoney: 42
00:16:21 Carin-Isabel Knoop: haha
00:16:25 Carin-Isabel Knoop: we are the answer of course!
00:16:26 Carin-Isabel Knoop: OMG
00:16:27 Dyan: @Karina so great to see you!
00:16:32 ashleyryall: Yeah John share the love!
00:17:11 Steve Rader: @Dyan… I expect to see that as the first thing now on your LinkedIn profile: “special sauce”
00:17:32 Dyan: “Special Sauce Sherpa” 😉
00:17:42 Karina Rehavia: Hi @Dyan! Great to see you too!
00:18:34 Alan Korpady: I look forward to hearing about UST
00:19:30 CTW: Attendees new and old: Feel free drop your contact info in the chat!
00:19:44 Dyan: @Alan – UST is on such an amazon journey – we can’t wait to have Akhil share his vision and journey!
00:20:42 Carin-Isabel Knoop: @Ava Zhang — connect to me, i grew up in Africa and have lots of contacts there!
00:20:57 Carin-Isabel Knoop: Welcome David and everyone!
00:21:14 CTW: Ava, Do you know the Gebaya platform?
00:21:18 Carin-Isabel Knoop: yes please email us firstname.lastname@example.org
00:21:23 Dyan: So excited to welcome our new members here today!
00:21:23 Chuck Hamilton: Meet Chuck at linkedin.com/in/chuck-hamilton-951483
00:23:04 Dyan: @John Hurter so great to see you – thanks for joining us!
00:24:28 CTW: Christopher Stanton : https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/profile.aspx?facId=602452
00:26:21 John Healy: …or take a quick class – upskilling?
00:26:33 John Hurter: Hey thanks Dyan and you too! Love this group of people, platform, direction, and positive energy
00:27:29 Carin-Isabel Knoop: they are cheating on us!! 😉
00:27:40 Dyan: K everyone – we’ll have to haze the late arrivers as they dial in!!
00:27:40 Jim Dunn: James P. Dunn www.linkedin.com/in/jamespdunn/ www.dp-llc.com email@example.com C: 571.442.7586 firstname.lastname@example.org
00:27:45 Carrie: I “plugged” Ownership Works at a previous call. Watch this inspiring clip about how their work manifests for rank and file workers who don’t normally build equity in their employer company. https://www.cnbc.com/video/2022/05/17/chi-overhead-doors-employees-reap-cash-reward-following-nucor-deal.html
00:28:13 Chuck Hamilton: how long has John been without beard?
00:29:35 Dyan: @BALAJI
00:29:46 Steve Rader: For those that might be interested….Barrie Davies pointed Dyan and I at a super interesting Open Talent DAO at https://rLoop.org. Fascinated that they have been building over the last 5 years something that a lot of us have been talking about in the future. Might be interesting to get those folks on here some time to talk about what they’ve built.
00:30:10 Bondili, Balaji: DAO…
00:30:24 CTW / OA – Brandon Dwight: Dyan Finkhousen: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dyan-finkhousen/
00:30:31 CTW / OA – Brandon Dwight: Akhil Seth: https://www.linkedin.com/in/akhilvseth/
00:32:52 Shawn Fields – Field Nation: Shawn Fields: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shawnfields/
00:34:26 Ian O’Connor: Hi everyone! I have to hop to another meeting unfortunately but thank you for the opportunity to join. Shout-out to the great folks at UST & Open Assembly. Here is my LinkedIn for anyone interested in connecting: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ianoconnorupwork/
00:36:12 John Hurter: Thanks all – see you next time
00:39:28 Jeanene Kroetch: https://www.linkedin.com/company/weareoverflow https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeanenekroetch
00:39:32 Dyan: This is a very young IAN!
00:45:50 CTW / OA – Brandon Dwight: Vinod Kartha: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vinodkartha/
00:46:11 Bondili, Balaji: Is that Open Talent Platform here Upwork or a UST built platform?
00:47:04 Dyan: Hey @Balaji – the operating model is UST, VDI is UST, first marketplace platform out of the gates is Upwork
00:47:31 Dyan: We’re orchestrating talent access with multiple talent marketplaces to support UST and UST clients
00:47:47 CTW / OA – Brandon Dwight: Easy = Good
00:48:03 Dyan: +1 @CTW!!
00:48:24 Bondili, Balaji: @Dyan – Thank you. Makes sense. The orchestration is the biggest challenge. Awesome to see you are solving that.
00:49:16 Dyan: Thanks @Balaji and @Steve for sharing your best practices with this team for guidance as well… you’re an amazing inspiration for our journey
00:49:40 Carin-Isabel Knoop: on the topic of how using freelancers can help companies improve innovation and practices internally (https://carinisabelknoop.medium.com/think-hiring-freelancers-is-risky-so-is-the-alternative-9e408be165be?postPublishedType=repub)
00:49:49 CTW / OA – Brandon Dwight: David No / Turing: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-no-marketing-professional/
00:50:10 Dyan: Great point @David – I personally prefer the term ‘Expert’ 🙂
00:50:25 Chuck Hamilton: Fractional Top Talent?
00:50:41 John Healy: Also why we are using “Open Talent” as a way to address all of the different engagement models
00:51:08 Alan Korpady: I’d be interested to hear more about UST’s relations with “digital tech talent”
00:51:38 Bondili, Balaji: @John, fundamentally, I use non-FTE high skilled talent.
00:51:55 Bondili, Balaji: Descriptors are better than industry terms
00:52:20 John Healy: ….what ever the client wants to call it….
00:52:26 Mark Hannant: +1 Vinod. Use the language that the client uses!
00:52:26 Bondili, Balaji: Ditto.
00:52:50 Bondili, Balaji: you want to use gig workers, open talent, contingent, contractor, open talent, freelancer – Yes to all.
00:52:58 Dyan: Yep
00:53:09 Dyan: The folks that get important work done
00:53:21 Steve King: We’ve surveyed independent workers for years on what they prefer to be called. Creative/marketing people tend to like freelancer. High end consultants outside of tech don’t like it and tech folks are OK with it, but prefer to be called by their specific work area (architect, programmer). Everyone dislikes gig worker.
00:53:23 Chuck Hamilton: Not surprisingly, IBM used to call it Cloud Talent when I was there 🙂
00:53:39 Alan Korpady: Whatever rubric we use, my concern is that the space between “Freelancers” and “Open Talent Platform” is blank.
00:54:16 Carin-Isabel Knoop: question for group — are tech layoffs good or bad for tech open talent platforms? pros: companies might need more flex talent; more talent available; cons: budgets are tight, etc.
00:55:06 Dave Messinger: In the past @Carin-Isabel, it has been good for platforms from what I have seen
00:55:22 Mark Hannant: David – You can find the first stab at this in the Networked Organization Playbook – includes a lexicon
00:56:43 Catherine McGowin: For anyone new – Link to the playbook just referenced: https://open-assembly.com/reports/networked-organization
00:59:03 Alan Korpady: From an “Advocacy” perspective, I hope we take some time with the issues raised by Professor David Ellerman’s book Neo-Abolitionism: Abolishing Human Rentals in Favor of Workplace Democracy
01:00:15 Bondili, Balaji: Vinod – that’s an awesome story.
01:00:31 John Healy: +1
01:01:25 Alan Korpady: Thanks everyone. Great call.
01:02:13 Mark Hannant: This is the stuff that will attract others. We need to capture and tell the stories
01:02:36 Carin-Isabel Knoop: but also share stories of engagements that dont work well and why — the HBS case study method!
01:02:58 CTW / OA – Brandon Dwight: Balaji Bondilli: https://www.linkedin.com/in/balajibondili/
01:02:58 iceymole.isaacseth: Great story…thanks for sharing UST team.
01:03:10 Mark Hannant: +1 Carin-Isabel
01:03:49 Jim Dunn: Thank you everyone…
01:04:08 Mark Hannant: Great call. Thanks all
01:04:11 Colleen McDonald: Thanks all!
01:04:25 Catherine McGowin: Thank you, all!
01:04:32 Christina Li: Thanks everyone!
01:04:35 CTW / OA – Brandon Dwight: https://transformationofwork.org/membership
01:04:47 Dyan: Thanks Akhil and Vinod!!
01:04:51 Jeanene Kroetch: Thanks–looking forward to the directory.
01:05:15 Bondili, Balaji: Now, peeps are making $$$$ on open talent! YAY!