A Power Chat With Naomi Titleman Colla: An Executive From The Kahuso Community
"The great thing about joining the gig economy, aside from being your own boss and better controlling your own schedule, is the variety of work – I find it very exciting to be able to work with organizations of all shapes and sizes"
Naomi Titleman Colla, Founder of Collaborativity Leadership Advisory
Naomi, thank you so much for having a chat with us. To start, can you please describe your current career set up?
I spent the first 10 years of my career as a consultant with a large firm. When I had my first child, I decided to start a new chapter at American Express, as an HR Business Partner. After my second child, I took on the role of Head of HR for Amex Canada, which is the position I held until October 2016.
In October 2016, I decided to combine my prior two “career chapters” to pursue my dream of starting my own talent strategy consulting business. In this new capacity, I partner with organizations by implementing progressive people strategies to capitalize on their competitive edge and avoid stagnation in this new world of work. Areas of focus include Future of Work, Women in Leadership, Talent Strategy, Change Management and Employee Engagement. For example, I am currently partnering with a client on thought leadership and strategy work related to the human implications of automation. The world of work is fundamentally changing at an exponential rate and it is a fascinating time to be in the “people” business.
What does owning your own talent strategy consulting company actually look like? How do you advise clients on building or engaging contract or project based talent?
This new world of work, which has been made possible by the exponential acceleration of technology, has opened up countless ways to get work done. No longer are companies restricted to hiring full time or part time employees, supplemented by contractors… their options now also include freelancers, crowdsourcing, robots and other forms of automation. And again, because of technology, there are online marketplaces that make it easy to hire freelancers (known as the gig economy), Kahuso being a fantastic one, based right here in Toronto. There are other niche and broader platforms as well and a real marketplace is starting to form. Talent is opting to join the gig economy in droves (some predictions say 50% of workers will be freelancers by 2020!) – I think more and more organizations are beginning to “buy in” to the model, so I think we are close to a tipping point. My advice to organizations: before deciding to post a role and hire an FTE, like you always have, consider what work needs to get done and whether the work could be done better, faster, more efficiently, and /or more creatively by alternative workers like freelancers.
What advice would you give for people starting down the executive gig economy path?
Join Kahuso :) and nurture your network. Get out there and meet people – anyone could be client, partner, reference, collaborator…and enjoy the ride. The great thing about joining the gig economy, aside from being your own boss and better controlling your own schedule, is the variety of work – I find it very exciting to be able to work with organizations of all shapes and sizes.
Espresso, latte, filter....or how do you keep it all going?
Yoga! (and a skim vanilla latte after…) Life is busy as a DEWK (Dually Employed With Kids) family. But I’ve always been committed to health and wellness, and have recently discovered yoga as a way to stay in shape, focus, regroup, and stay grounded. I make time to practice at least 4 times a week. Namaste :)