The Hollywood model: Leveraging the capabilities of freelance talent to advance innovation and reduce risk
In 2013, the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) commissioned the IRI2038 foresight project to research how developments in technology, business processes, regulation and other spheres will impact the art and science of research and technology management over the next 25 years. That study defined three scenarios likely to shape the innovation process in coming years. One of those scenarios was the Hollywood model, in which scientists, engineers, and innovators no longer work for a single firm but rather contract out their services to individual projects and then move on to other projects and companies. Over the course of six months, an IRI Research working group conducted four workshops with R&D leaders at IRI member companies to explore how talent management would be affected in this scenario. The workshops identified challenges and opportunities associated with the Hollywood model as a paradigm for industrial R&D, focused around eight critical aspects of current talent management practice. Although the Hollywood model faces significant infrastructure and legal impediments today, its employment of external R&D workers with diverse experiences and perspectives is likely to create a greater opportunity for significant innovation.