Business transformation is such a valuable requirement for most progressive organizations, it’s almost heresy to consider outsourcing this work. Even if you are sourcing experts at the top of their game, handing over the “change reins” to outside contractors seems like an abdication. Or is it so reckless and crazy?
If you look at the success of companies and industry disruptors over the last decade, you will see the common bloodline of: on-demand resourcing, implementation speed, lean/design thinking and emerging technology adoption. Look in the mirror – in order to be good at other things, your company likely is not so good at all these skills. Bringing smart, well-balanced business transformationists from outside your current world to partner up and lead change efforts actually makes a lot of sense in the following eight scenarios:
#1 Your key executives and subject matter experts don’t have the time to dedicate themselves to the transformation effort.
That statement may seem like a cop out. Most leaders will nod their head and suggest innovation and future growth is too important to be too busy. The reality may be that the key people that might naturally lead your business transformation are just too damn busy. I don’t know many organizations where executives and senior staff aren’t close to burnout, focused on the crushing wave of day-to-day priorities. If we asked CEOs, could you easily carve out 30% of your senior people’s time to focus on transformation and futureproofing? Ugh. Is that a pained groan we’re hearing?
We hate the term “outsourcing” because that just means you will give the work to any faceless entity – sometimes located halfway around the world that you never meet.. Expert-sourcing is the term we’re using to indicate proxy executive talent designed specifically for your needs in partnership and collaboration. You’ll still need to manage these outside resources well but an “all hands-on-deck” business can really benefit from the added capacity and efficiency of smart, new transformation brains, arms and legs. As IBM indicates below, it’s an appetite least undertaken by CEOs.
2. You need a neutral Switzerland.
As CEO, you don’t want to play favourites. Your C-suite has all dug in their feet into their own functional mantras and biased positions, Bringing in a well-balanced and experienced viewpoint may be the panacea and safe zone to avoiding corporate cilvil war. We’ll admit, sometime as a third party, recommendations are acceptable, not based on their merit, but who is proposing them. A leading external resource may be seen and perceived as a fair objective, source of truth.
3. You need an injection of pace, external knowledge and background.
If you are requiring transformation acceleration, it’s likely because your executive team has taken their eye off the need for change for a while. Complacency is the enemy of change. Perhaps you’re in an industry now facing disruption, pivoting from an outdated business model or needing to make a profound impact on culture. Inviting people from the outside who can bring a different way of doing business, a different urgency, a different set of experiences and specialized knowledge to the table can provide the required creative self-disruption.
4. You have optimization or pain-point business processes better handled by strategic partners.
External partners can bring hands-on specialized expertise and knowledge of how the best global benchmarks run their business. The partner can systematically transform your business, delivering quick benefits and reducing time-to-market. The expert-sourced partner not only improves or manages the business process, but based on knowledge base, can help improve and potentially re-design it if necessary.
5. You are a small-to-medium-sized organization.
There are only 168 hours out of every week. Capacity to do great work all by your small team may be limited. Investing non-permanent head count to tackle your most pressing issues may make sense particularly when transformation programs require multiple skills and knowledge to be brought together. Expert-sourced transformation partners may bring a network and deep skills in gap areas and provide a comprehensive framework to problem solving and solution generation.
6. You are starting out and on the low end of the business transformation maturity scale.
How are you supposed to provide solutions, when you might not even know the questions yet? Like any new initiative or skill set, recruiting people who have seen it and done it before carries a very large value premium at the start of a project. Avoid missteps by benefitting from external partners’ veteran experience and calm, placcid demeanour in the face of your particular challenges. Note: with Wikibrands, we can actually index you where you might be on the transformation maturity scale before we start doing any work.
7. In terms of total cost, time and continuity, it may be cheaper, faster and less chaotic.
Hiring permanent roles for transformation can be exhaustive and expensive. Even if you hire quick, cheap and right, what happens to these resources after the specific transformation work is done? Permanent, senior head counts are tough to redeploy or reduce. Flexible delivery models through on-demand providers enable you to fill in your talent gaps when you need them and for however long you need them to generate lower costs, faster time to market and easier maintenance.
8. They simply see the future better.
Even the most forward-thinking management team may be blindsided by assumptions about the industry they are in, the audience they’re servicing, the staff they’re leading or the products & services they should be innovating. Technology is an even bigger blindspot, as a report from SAP indicated that only 17% of companies hire staff with the right digital transformation skills. By definition, transformationists are always looking beyond the horizon in their work with other clients and can provide the respectful challenge your business needs over supposed tried and truisms. Think Moneyball meeting business.
Wikibrands is a disciplined, independent business transformation partner and futureproofing hub that brings its on-demand skills to organizations that need them. We are used to the metaphorical “call to the bullpen” to inject energy, experience, even handedness and extrasensory perception to clients. We help companies blaze new trails for a connected, accelerated marketplace. Connect with us here.