While the concept of “Outsourcing” for things such as payroll, benefits, and telemarketing has been around for decades, only recently has it become mainstream for companies like Apple to outsource their entire manufacturing process so they are able to focus on their core capabilities, rather than more difficult and resource draining things they can leverage to other organizations that can simply do it better and cheaper. Great companies like ADP have unlocked the holy grail of business process outsourcing by being able to deliver products and services that are both better and less expensive than can be done by their clients using their own inadequate resources. ADP has created a great culture through strong leadership and has done it with a laser focus and a strong expertise of all things Human Capital Management related that adds tremendous value to their clients.
In the Digital Age where the continued investment of major capital has been focused on scalability, volume, and growth, the concept of customer service has become a second-tier element of delivering the value proposition to customers.
During the past year, our team of Business Acumen learning facilitators who have been delivering award-winning business acumen learning solutions to our large global clients have also taken notice of how perplexed participants have been when thinking and applying concepts of customer service when executing decisions in our business simulation workshops. As recently as last week, I had a conversation with a team of mid-level leaders about their questions on customer service and one of them half-kiddingly asked me if customer service actually still impacted the simulation as a demand driver and if they should even bother investing any money into it.
Over the past month, I’ve conducted five multi-day Leadership Development programs with senior-level leaders coming from a wide variety of organizations including Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals, Mining, and High Tech. During this time, I’ve noticed that a significant number of leaders are feeling more emotional and more frustrated than I can recall in the 25 plus years I’ve been providing business simulation-centric learning engagements. An example of this type of emotional frustration is demonstrated by the following quote from an experienced leader working in a very tough business environment that has been created by increased price pressures, commoditization, and an internal hiring freeze at his company:
“Larry” was sitting there for at least 10 minutes staring at the computer screen trying to absorb the feedback and lessons from the Fundamental of Leadership business simulation experience. The best way for me to describe “Larry” is “Old School.” I loved having him in our program and at this moment I couldn’t help but feel his struggle and dare I say it, his “pain” of being a leader in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous business world. But there he was just looking at the screen re-reading the feedback from the best practices leadership business simulation pursing his lips and shaking his head silently up and down in tacit agreement. Finally, after a few awkward moments, Larry spoke up and said, “Yup, I get it. This is great feedback. I’ve been thinking about leadership in a way that doesn’t exist anymore and this feedback helps explain why I’ve been getting the results from my team that I’ve been getting.” When I asked Larry to explain further he shared the following:Read More >
As part of the design and development process to build new Business Leadership simulations, Advantexe conducts in-depth interviews with top global leaders about their challenges and opportunities for success. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been very surprised by one consistent theme coming from research; a significant number of leaders are extremely “frustrated” that their direct reports and their direct reports’ direct reports don’t “get the strategy” and aren’t “aligned around the priorities.”
“I truly don’t get it. We are so clear about our goals and what our strategy is, but it feels that many of our leaders develop acute amnesia about it and instead of leading and prioritizing, they are complaining that they don’t get enough direction. I for one have had enough of that…”