Monthly Archives: August 2010

Outsourcing Means Big Changes for People Within an Organization

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Sure, go ahead and outsource. It makes good business sense sometimes to focus on your core competency and let someone else handle some of the necessary business functions (HR, IT, data management, etc…) that just have to get done.

If you do outsource, however, don’t underestimate what it will take from the people within your organization.

We have a client who has been trying to work with an outsourced HR service provider for over a year. So far, the move has been a gigantic failure because the client completely underestimated the changes in mindset, attitude and behavior that would be necessary to make it work.

We also have a client who outsourced most of thier information technology work to an offshore provider. They knew they would have to lay people off, but they didn’t realize how much work would be involved with shifting the way they worked to match new processes and changing roles and structure to work in the new way.

If you decide to outsource work, go in with your eyes wide open. Don’t forget about the people. Proactively manage the change to help people become ready, willing, and able to succeed in the new way of working.

Plan, Do, Sustain

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So how do you actually manage change? We see so many clients who talk about the difficulties of change and recognize that they have issues with awareness, adoption, or internalization of new work behaviors. But lots get stumped when it comes to actually doing anything about it. “It is the soft and fuzzy stuff”, “you can’t really change behavior”, “the people stuff will just work itself out”, or “a good leader is what we need to fix it all.”

But there is actually work that can be done to make the behavior changes happen. A simple model can take you step by step through the activities to manage business change: “Plan, Do, Sustain.” Each phase includes two specific stages necessary to the change process. As you move from one stage to the next, just take it step by step – gather information, establish milestones, measure progress.

Try it… you’ll like it. It doesn’t have to be rocket science to work.