SPOS #922 – John Winsor On Revolutionizing Work With Open Talent

Posted by

Welcome to episode #922 of Six Pixels of Separation – The ThinkersOne Podcast.

Here it is: Six Pixels of Separation – The ThinkersOne Podcast – Episode #922. When work changes, we look to people like John Winsor. John is a truly visionary leader and a driving force behind the open talent movement. As an entrepreneur, thought leader, and global authority on the future of work, open talent and remote work. John’s contributions have significantly shaped our understanding and approach to modern employment paradigms. John’s role as executive-in-residence at Harvard Business School‘s Laboratory for Innovation Science (LISH) underscores his commitment to exploring the cutting-edge intersections of AI, workforce transformation strategies, and the open talent ecosystem. Through his company, Open Assembly, John has cultivated a content-rich community and strategic advisory services that empower organizations, individuals, and platforms to co-create the future of work together. A pioneer in the open talent and innovation industry, John has spearheaded a global coalition to establish The Center for the Transformation of Work. This ambitious initiative aims to redefine work for a billion people by 2025, showcasing John’s dedication to creating more accessible and equitable work opportunities worldwide. John’s journey from founding the groundbreaking open advertising agency, Victors & Spoils, to his pivotal roles at Havas and Crispin, Porter + Bogusky (where we first met), illustrates a career marked by innovation and disruption. His expertise in co-creation and open strategy (like using user generated content and influencers long before everybody else) has not only transformed the advertising world, but also provided a blueprint for organizational success in the digital age. In his latest book, Open Talent – Leveraging the Global Workforce to Solve Your Biggest Challenges, John brings his decades of insights into the open talent model for all of us to discover. The book challenges traditional employment models and offers a radical roadmap for leveraging the global crowd. John is a prolific author, including books like Baked In, Flipped, Spark and Beyond The Brand. In this episode, John delves into the essence of open talent, examining its potential to reshape the way we think about work, the gig economy, and the critical role of culture and continuous learning within this new paradigm. He emphasizes the importance of an entrepreneurial mindset and the transformative power of networks in navigating the open talent landscape. From the impact of generative AI to addressing concerns about economic volatility, John’s insights provide a comprehensive overview of the challenges and opportunities inherent in the shift towards task-based work. He also highlights the significance of community and team-building in an open talent framework. John’s contributions to the discourse on the future of work offer an inspiring and pragmatic vision for embracing open talent. If you’re seeking to innovate, adapt, and thrive in business today, you’ve come to the right place. Enjoy the conversation…


  • The future of work is shifting towards an open talent model, where individuals have the freedom to work on specific tasks and projects rather than being tied to traditional roles.
  • Companies need to adapt to this new model by rethinking their organizational structures, embracing remote work, and creating platforms that connect talent with opportunities.
  • Continuous learning and upskilling are crucial in an open talent world, as individuals need to stay relevant and adaptable to changing demands.
  • Culture and branding remain important, but they should be focused on attracting and retaining talent based on the value and opportunities the organization provides. 
  • Platforms play a crucial role in connecting skilled individuals with opportunities in the open talent market.
  • Generative AI has the potential to significantly impact the open talent landscape, enabling faster and more efficient task completion.
  • Concerns about economic collapse and commoditization arise in the open talent market.
  • Team building and community remain important in an open talent framework, fostering collaboration and connection.
  • Work should be seen as an aspect of life, and individuals should derive their self-worth and identity from a broader range of experiences and relationships.


  • 00:00 – Introduction and Background
  • 01:20 – Controversial Perspective on Open Talent
  • 03:02 – The Changing Landscape of Work
  • 04:26 – The Challenges for Business Leaders
  • 10:26 – The Impact of the Gig Economy
  • 11:46 – The Debate on Employee Benefits
  • 13:08 – Task-Oriented Approach vs. Role-Focused Approach
  • 14:40 – The Importance of Continuous Learning
  • 17:21 – The Evolution of the Freelance Economy
  • 19:35 – The Need to Rethink Organizational Structures
  • 21:51 – The Role of Culture in an Open Talent World
  • 26:16 – Preparing Individuals for an Open Talent World
  • 30:08 – The Role of Branding and Culture
  • 36:03 – The Importance of an Entrepreneurial Mindset
  • 38:56 – The Power of Networks and Micro-Entrepreneurship
  • 42:27 – Transition to Open Talent
  • 43:14 – Impact of Generative AI
  • 44:19 – Open Talent as the Secret Sauce
  • 45:08 – Concerns about Economic Collapse
  • 46:16 – Global Market and Commoditization
  • 47:39 – Team Building in an Open Talent Framework
  • 51:18 – Work as an Aspect of Life
  • 56:10 – Personal Experiences that Shaped Perspective

Download the Podcast here: Six Pixels of Separation – The ThinkersOne Podcast – Episode #922.

Before you go… ThinkersOne  is a new way for organizations to buy bite-sized and personalized thought leadership video content (live and recorded) from the best Thinkers in the world. If you’re looking to add excitement  and big smarts to your meetings, corporate events, company off-sites, “lunch & learns” and beyond, check it out.