CIO Leadership

The One Trend Every CIO Needs To Get Ahead Of In OrderTo Do More With Less

Workforce issues continue to trouble IT progress. A new way of thinking about your team opens new horizons to how you work and who you work with.

Joe Woodruff


May 30, 2024

Photo credit:
Muhammad Fawdy

There are a number of trends we can afford to be behind on. There is one we cannot.

Trend is a nice word that is often cheapened and vilified by the word trendy.

The trend to which I am about to speak is not trendy. Life has changed and is changing for us. Work realities have changed and continue to do so. Essentially, when you are facing a fight you will not win nor can you wait out, you face a trend to maximize, not minimize.

This came to my attention very recently. I was reading an article in Harvard Business Review (May-June 2024) about changing workforce strategies. The very next day, I was on a coaching call where my client was in an ideal place to consider the approach I had just read about.

Our enthusiasm at the end of the call was palpable. 

So here you are: 

The Reality

  • In-house talent needed to accomplish the challenges and opportunities you have is getting harder to land.
  • Highly skilled professionals are choosing to become freelancers, currently about 38%. 
  • Nearly 50% of younger workers are choosing to be freelancers.
  • By 2025, Gartner predicts 35-40% of the global workforce will be independent workers.

The Trend

Workforces will be composed of In-house employees and a range of independent workers: highly skilled freelancers, temporary contract workers and outsourced contractors. 

Together, they are called the blended workforce.

  • In-house employees are valued for their commitment. They possess company-specific skills, work on responsibilities, shape culture and enjoy hybrid work models.
  • Freelancers are valued for their skills, work on deliverables, have concurrent clients and autonomy.
  • Temporary contract workers are prized for their efficiency, work temporarily and primarily on-site.
  • Outsourced workers are employed by a third-party, possess commodity skills and often work in global outposts.

I can confirm the trend in my own consulting experiences of late. More CIOs I speak with are transitioning into freelance work. I myself am working with a company as part of their blended workforce. 

The cost savings is immense.

The productivity is incredible - and so much faster.


What could it look like for you to think not in terms of an employee base to manage but a blended force to lead?

What if a dream team of rock-star non-employees and rock-solid employees were on your court?

What if, instead of employee teams and non-employee teams, you enjoyed blended teams that worked seamlessly together, in concert with your company’s vision and values, and had a shared deliverable they were all working towards?

Consider your present situation. In what area would freelancers or contract workers be of advantage, especially if the goal was not independent work apart from your team but within your team?

The answer is not always more employees. But, the answer of blending is also new enough, and not thought through enough, that you are going to need to be a leading voice.

What About…?

You are a critical thinker. I posed what ifs, and you are already thinking of what abouts.

I will address those next week. There are some challenges to overcome, and some essentials to include. I will also address how you lead the charge from employee based thinking to blended worker thinking.

Teams can be created differently, and they are still in every way a team.

Alignment Survey

Interested in what CIO Mastermind could do for you?

* Designed for all IT executives and CEOs, CFOs and Board Members

All Article categories

Access Our Library

Thank you!
Please confirm your subscription and add "" to your safe list :-)
Oops! Something went wrong. Please try again.