Written by Laura Stone
It’s time to re-conceive and rename the change management industry, to bring it to a higher level of maturity that will help make large, complex deals work better. The term “change management” misses an integral and much-needed strategic component: who keeps score on the satellite level so that all stakeholders understand their place in the bigger picture.
This big-picture understanding often gets lost quickly, especially as you go down in the organization, causing pain and misspent time. The outsourcing industry desperately needs mavericks to pave the way for moving from a transaction-based process to one that is more integrated, holistically and strategically focused on linking tasks to the larger corporate strategy.
These mavericks must start with a new way of contracting an engagement, emphasizing three key aspects.
1) Place the outcome of the work itself in a strategic context. What is the bigger picture’s impact on others? Because outsourcing is no longer about technology, but about relationships, the mavericks must engage in the relationships in a new way.
2) Understand how all the people involved experience the changes at issue. Mavericks must integrate the role of “stakeholder needs-keeper.” Every key player is concerned about a different issue or need, so the mavericks must squarely address who manages all these relationships and needs.
3) Address service level agreements (SLAs), during the contracting phase and after, to incentivize optimal behavior. Even when SLAs are “green” (meeting goals), people feel “red” (performance objectives and expectation not being met). Mavericks must make sure someone is responsible for quantifying the missing “red” factor so everyone understands.
These three aspects add up to a role that resembles a client account executive and a project management office, but neither term covers all the complexities. There is no name yet for these key relationship and engagement streams of work, but let’s sum up the new role for outsourcing mavericks this way: “always-keeping sight of the bigger picture’s impact on others, stakeholder-needs-keeper, identify-the-missing-SLA-so everyone-is-happy.” What’s your idea for a catchy new name for a role so central to the success of outsourcing projects?
Laura Stone is CEO of Stone + Company which helps leaders and their teams problem-solve the most socially complex issues and opportunities to deliver results they can be proud of. Her firm achieves this by transforming fragmented groups and/or strategies into a cohesive system with a crisp, focused plan for achieving superior performance and true team alignment FAST. To learn more, please visit: www.stoneandcompany.com or call 781.383.8383.