A few weeks ago, I wrote about Reid Hoffman’s book Alliance and his innovative ideas on how to structure the employee company relationship. One issue that some people raised to me was it sounded great, but if your company does not believe in creating tours of duty, it was not very useful. I am not much for giving non-actionable advice (hence why I am not a consultant ☺), so I wanted to address the situation by discussing what you can do to leverage this powerful concept even if your company does not.
What is a tour of duty
I do not want to go into too much detail since you may have read my post in October, but to recap: A tour of duty occurs when the employer and employee mutually agree on a finite project, with goals for the employees contribution. It also includes how the tour of duty will benefit the employee. To create a fictitious example, say Uber wants to open the Las Vegas market to its service. When recruiting a VP, rather than pitching them on working for Uber for life, the hiring manager specifically lays out that the task will be a two-year project to penetrate Las Vegas. The employee will need to work with the legal team to counteract the local taxi companies and then recruit drivers. The candidate would learn how to lobby local governments and launch a location-based tech product. Both agree that at the end of the two-year tour of duty, there may be another tour of duty at Uber that is mutually beneficial or the employee might use the skills he learned to help another company. Continue reading “Define your own tour of duty”