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Mixed results from the world’s first 'flash organisation'

Signal of change / Mixed results from the world’s first 'flash organisation'

By Anirudh Shah / 20 Nov 2017

Researchers from Stanford University created a ‘flash organisation’ to work alongside designer Daniel Steinbock to produce his new card game called True Story.

‘Flash organisations are a new crowdsourcing technique that enables anyone to assemble an entire organisation from a paid crowdsourcing marketplace and lead that organisation in pursuit of complex, open-ended goals.’

Steinbock had initially planned to hire freelance designers and writers to create his game but the researchers offered to build a flash organisation for him as a way of seeing if this method works.

The program worked by team leaders creating a blueprint organisation outlining the different roles and hierarchies within and then software automatically filled these positions with qualified workers from the platform Upwork. After the positions were filled the workers were onboarded and explained their roles by the software.

So what?

This was the first time a flash organisation has been built to complete a project like this. However, the results were mixed. While the overall aim of using crowdsourcing and freelancers was achieved, the quality of the work was inconsistent as there were no real quality checks in place before hiring the freelancers.

The system would most likely work better for projects where there is a need to keep costs down and project time short rather than one with a focus on quality. However this is an exciting development on workforce management and could become the go-to model for companies in the future.


What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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