Last October I attended the Sourcing Industry Group (SIG) Global Summit in Carlsbad, California - an event I have attended more than 40 times over the last 25 years. Why? Because professionally, it is truly worth the time and treasure required. Because of its strict “no selling” and supplier code of conduct agreement, attendees can freely collaborate and discuss topics without waiting for a vendor to start their sales pitch. Unlike traditional trade show vendor-fests, SIG attendees are typically about 75% buyer, 20% supplier and 5% advisor.
Most businesses like to blame failed or protracted negotiations on an inability to reach agreement on the financials, contract terms, legal issues or some other business measure - but after 30 + years of contract negotiations experience, I’ve rarely seen a deal lost on these items. Negotiations are far more likely to falter due to lack of trust, or due to a weak relationship amongst the parties.
Kit Cox is the founder and CEO of UK-based BPO software company Enate, and a long-time observer of and commentator upon the international outsourcing space. He's also, now, the latest professional to come under the microscope of our Life Lessons series: we're in your hands, Kit...
What has been the single most significant development to impact your profession or area of business during your career, and why?
Jack Welch once said, “Change before you have to.” In today’s rapidly innovating business world, change is, frankly, inevitable. Business needs change and skill sets have to keep up. But how do you know if you are making the right changes and developing the correct skills as roles and responsibilities evolve? And how do organisations transition from job-centred to people-centred as routine tasks shift to knowledge-based work?
Every pilot/flight trainee knows the importance of trusting what the plane’s cockpit instruments are telling them. With very rare exception, the cockpit’s instruments don’t lie. What’s happening to the plane can be counter-intuitive to what your human senses are telling you. I can recall several instances in my flight training when I had to fight my senses (and fear) and rely on the data in the cockpit as my only gauge of what was actually happening and what I needed to do to get the plane to back to straight and level flight.
Several times throughout my career, people have queried of me, “How do you manage to get so much done?” I think there are a few factors, working in concert, that have enabled me to get more done, often with less, and for less. Much of what I have done and done well, I give credit to my mentors throughout my life. Many of them did not know the high regard in which they were held by me, and others. True leaders do not do it for the praise, they do it because it is inherent to their character.
Crisis is now an everyday occurrence, and is a risk that can be mitigated but never truly eliminated. In a world that seems to be increasingly prone to crises of every conceivable type, a recent survey from Deloitte – A Crisis of Confidence – finds a broad “vulnerability gap” between the awareness of threats and the preparations to actually handle them.
Those of you who were unable to attend yesterday’s Outsource Talks webinar – and, sadly, there are well over 7 billion of ye poor unfortunates – missed possibly the best installment yet, with four of outsourcing’s finest coming together to discuss our writing competition, GBS, the value of education and networking, analytics – and, mostly, RPA and its transformative impact upon the global outsourcing space.
The third Wednesday of every month – specifically, at 3pm UK time – is rapidly becoming a regular high point on my personal schedule – “Why?”, I hear you ask (the NSA have lent me some really cool eavesdropping kit…).
“Eat or be eaten” – for centuries, this “law of the jungle” was the law of the business world, too. Beating the competition delivered power, money and influence. From the Square Mile to Wall Street, survival of the fittest meant there was only room for one victor at the top. The digital revolution changed this. Measuring success in today’s business world is no longer by the job or task performed for money. We value successful leaders for their contributions to the world as a whole and the manner of its making. What we do and how we do it matters.