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Outsource magazine: thought-leadership and outsourcing strategy | August 20, 2017

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Here and elsewhere…

Here and elsewhere…
Jamie Liddell

As well as having this column here, for the last couple of months I have also been writing a blog on the Sourcing Industry Group (SIG) website (www.sig.org) and I thought it was about time I introduced Outsource readers to that blog – which you can read via this page.

Of course (as even any of you still somehow unfamiliar with SIG would be able to deduce from the name of the organisation) its remit is somewhat greater in scope than that of this site, covering as it does the wider sourcing function and related activities of which outsourcing is a very significant subset. However, as long-time readers will be aware, the growth and maturation of outsourcing has been mirrored by a consequent expansion of Outsource’s scope far beyond its original parameters, and the topics I’ve addressed thus far in my SIG blog are – I hope! – of relevance to a broad constituency.

For example, a blog published at the start of February entitled ‘The Global Impact of Watershed Moments‘ looks at the ability (or, as I suggest, lack thereof) of our elected leaders to control our destinies in the face of a quite staggering pace of technological advancement: a topic (again, hopefully!) whose relevance is not confined merely to the outsourcing community – though of course I’m not losing sight of the nature of my audience: “Look at the sourcing and outsourcing space specifically. In a number of particular areas President Trump could well have a huge impact: a crackdown on immigration and the offshoring of work, changes to NAFTA, the reversal of the ACA and other policies would affect very substantially certain tranches of the space and those working within them. Likewise, in the UK the way Theresa May is approaching the exit from the EU and the Single Market has deep significance for businesses working in and with the United Kingdom for data protection, for accounting and a host of other areas.”

Similarly, in ‘Automation & the Human Touch‘ I’ve shared some musings on the ramifications for work and workers of the ongoing automation revolution – amongst other things, specifically how “human” or “soft skills” will become ever more important, and the implications for training and development: “Empathy, compassion and the like tend to be formed very early in life, and to quote one of my fellow dinner guests, ‘It’s much easier to teach an arsehole accountancy than it is to teach him not to be an arsehole.’ For many years our education systems have been designed to produce workers, people with skills that meet the requirements of industry and commerce… However, we may be moving towards a paradigm in which emotional intelligence is as important, if not more so, than the more traditional type – after all, we cannot hope to be smarter than the smartest. AI, the futurists tell us, is only round the corner but we’re pretty confident we’ll always have the advantage emotionally…”

I’m not here going to go through each of the blog posts currently available as that would make for a rather pointless column, but I do want to take this opportunity, as I said, to inform you about the blog and (once again, hopefully) via the couple of extracts above to give you a taste of the kind of thing I’ve been writing about – which may pique your interest sufficiently to make the SIG blog another regular stop on your journey of sourcing and outsourcing enlightenment…

Moreover – and more importantly – I am of course not the only writer contributing to the SIG blog section http://sig.org/blog and another of my intentions for this column is to highlight the fact that there are a host of excellent bloggers now being featured on that site and bringing a great deal of value, some of whom (such as my colleague Mark Pollack, whose latest post ‘Education is Good‘ emphasises why the sourcing space places upon its inhabitants an especially acute responsibility constantly to acquire new knowledge) you might already know from these pages, but with others you may currently be unfamiliar: SIG’s CMO Sarah Holliman, for instance, has been posting very regularly on a wide range of subjects.

It would clearly be bizarre for the editor of Outsource to suggest that you flee these esteemed pages for the thrill of the new in the form of the SIG blog – but of course it’s not a zero-sum game in that you can enjoy the benefits of both. As more and more writers from within the SIG community grace that blog section it will become increasingly valuable as a resource and incorporating it into your reading schedule can only be a good thing… If you’d like to find out more about the blogs or anything featured therein, feel free to contact Sarah Holliman at sholliman@sig.org or myself at jliddell@sig.org: I’d love to hear any feedback you may have on the blogs I have written thus far, and any ideas for future content – and, of course, that also goes for Outsource content too: we never forget our first true loves, after all…

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