I got hold of Jack Welch's book "Straight from the Gut" at an unusual place. From a charity fundraiser shelf at the local Stop n' Shop. "One more book !" my wife objected so I moved some others to the basement and promptly congratulated myself displaying 2 of the 4 E's (Edge and Execution)!
Interacting with numerous executives,students and alumni of GE , its customers and suppliers makes Jack Welch's stuff resonate with me. How can you possibly make an elephant like GE dance ? Well apparently you can and Jack did and I believe Jeff Immelt continues to do. For leadership and "high pot" ( read high potential) GE started with evaluating managers for high personal Energy (E1); Ability to Energize others (E2) ; Having Edge or ability to decide quickly (E3). Yet despite high scores on all three E's , some managers still did not get results and the numbers they were supposed to achieve. So Jack Welch figured that there was a 4th E ie Execution that was vital. You needed to deliver the first three E's or it really did'nt matter! Threading all of this is Passion – (the P) to get things done. Graph and more on 4E's and one P in a recent post.
We were talking about supply chains in class yesterday and the fact that what has changed in the last five years is the ability of the of the supply chain members to share information via the Internet instantaneously. The topic of Skype, the free telephone service, came up as a transformational force in telecom and the class was abuzz! Then a student commented that the instant messenger systems also allow talking. As the Internet and cable Internet penetrates this is really going to transform the telecom industry.
I really look forward to meeting my students in the two classes I teach, one on New Product Development on Mondays and the other on Global Outsourcing tonight i.e. Thursdays. Most students work in the area and are really in this to upgrade their careers. They hold responsible positions and are willing to work hard and remind me of the Apprentice candidates on NBC.My New Product Development class is working on products/services for the "Echo Boomers" so I asked them to see the first episode of Martha Stewart’s Apprentice. I recorded it and hope to have enjoyable discussions next Monday. "Connecting with customers" was Martha’s message… simple from a Marketing viewpoint but so very difficult to "get it" as no doubt Donald Trump will let us know tonight.
Finally my much awaited MBA class (listed as an elective in Marketing and International Business) started yesterday in room H 203 at UNH. It’s a smart classroom with great technology. But what made the class greater were the students who signed up for it. Enthusiastic learners, the entire class have great job experience and most have day jobs and attend school in the evenings. Their commitment to thrive in a global world is inspiring.
Knowing that that the number of articles on outsourcing in the scholarly and popular press has grown from only 116 articles before 1990 to over 36,800 articles in 2005, including more than 2100 scholarly peer-reviewed articles (PROQUEST SEARCH, July 2005) made deciding a book really difficult.
So I settled for an overview reading of "The Flat World" by Thomas Friedman. It really sets the context for my MBA course and I included a critique as part of the course assignments.
I was looking at the Apple Computer packaging boxes and noticed that they state prominently "Designed in California, Made in China." Therein lies the question of re-skilling the American workforce. We need to move into more creative, more interdisciplinary, more human-technology kind of interdisciplinary areas. My MBA students are required to do a personal plan in the fall term and will find this article by Steve Lohr of NY Times interesting.
AJ Jacobs, Editor at Large of Esquire Magazine undertook a one month exercise of outsourcing his personal and professional tasks to two firms in Bangalore. These tasks included buying movie tickets and fighting with his wife via outsourced email.
Times of India reports that Jay Roach of "Meet the Fockers" fame will be directing a movie for Universal based on Jacobs’ experiences. Hilarious!
Just returned from a wonderful trip to the South West including a great presentation at the Summer American Marketing Association at San Francisco. My presentation on ‘Managing Intellectual Property in Global Outsourcing of Services’ was well received. Several senior scholars felt that the topic was really exciting. Encouraging!
Drove through scenic 101 through Silicon Valley, Santa Barbara, LA, north San Diego,Flagstaff -Grand Canyon and Socorro, New Mexico – an exilhilarating 1700 miles partly through historic Route 66. At Albuquerque (ABQ) airport returned the car and noticed that different rental company customers are aggregated and take the same bus to the terminal. Neat- reduces congestion, improves frequency, improves vehicle seat utilization. Do the companies collaborate better in New Mexico?
The announcement for for the New MBA Elective on "Global outsourcing of knowledge based services, " is now out. A personal career action plan is something I had been thinking about adding to the course work and have now done so.
The last week also had me busy preparing the presentation at the American Marketing Association Conference at San Francisco. The topic is "Managing Intellectual Property in Global Outsourcing of Knowledge based services"(with K. Sivakumar of Lehigh University). This is an exciting topic given that companies are just starting to think about IP in outsourcer-provider relationships.
A recent EquaTerra survey suggests that certain areas within HR are growing rapidly in the outsourcing domain. Apparently, tasks like payroll processing;benefits administration and HR-IT are the areas organizations find most useful to outsource.Blackenterprise.com reports a Hewitt Associates study that 94% of organizations outsource at least one HR function.
The Business Wire EquaTerra report also suggests that outsourcers prefer providers who can help transform their organizations. This left me wondering about Jack Welch’s incredulous comment in his recent Fairfield University interview. Mr. Welch was wondering why most CEO’s are always huddled with the CFO rather than the CHRO. The HR chief is the one who can help transform organizations particularly with a HR department freed up from mundane tasks and now able to facilitate better employee performance.
After the Y2K rush on code writing it appears that Sarbanes Oxley Compliance is the next big effort. Both articles and my industry friends tell me that this is an area where everyone is rushing in to make sure that they are compliant. The Worldcom CEO Ebbers photo does send a cautionary message.
In the SOX context outsourcing seems to straddle the academic fields of corporate ethics, legal compliance apart from the domain skills of auditing and outsourced IT.
Seems like a good topic to discuss…