Wayne Turmel over at the Cranky Middle Manager podcast (quite popular on iTunes and elsewhere). In this show, he interviews Mike Cook, author of Thrive: Standing on Your Own Two Feet in a Borderless World.

“4:35 Welcome Mike Cook. It’s time to reexamine our relationship to work. Becoming independent and understanding your personal value is critical to working relationships. In a century we’ve gone from mostly self-employed to employed and heading back to self-employment with an education system that teaches us to shut up and do as we’re told.

This podcast and the trend it highlights are of great interest to me, as well as to Shiftboard, because we’re in the business of helping busy scheduling managers figure out how to manage, how to lead, how to inspire their work teams by making picking up a shift an easy thing. In my mind, that is the crux of Mike Cook’s message — the workplace is changing rapidly and we have an outsourced economy.

I am not implying that all of outsourcing is overseas, far from it. Outsourcing is within our borders here in the US. The question is not about whether it will continue, but how will you manage, or more accurately, interact with this trend. You can’t really manage it in the traditional sense.  I’ll let you listen to the podcast with Wayne Turmel and Mike Cook and make your own decisions, but I will suggest you take a close look at Chapter 5: What’s Your Deal? which has a section called “Doing business as your own agent in the borderless world.” If you interact with remote workers and want to retain them, this book offers some good insights. You can find the book at Amazon and fine booksellers everywhere, of course.

Oh, and here’s the link to Wayne’s Cranky Middle Manager site (not the podcast).