A time to reflect – a time to act

July 15, 2009

It is my estimation that, unless one’s involvement is peripheral, nobody survives a war; the people who come out the other side are not those who went in. Oh, I know, we all change, every day, and each morning emerge from our cocoon of sleep a different person, to confront an unutterably alien face, and any illness, and all shocks, age and change us by their given degrees… yet when an illness is past or the shock faded, we rejoin, more or less, the same society that we left, and recalibrate our selves by it. Such triangulating solace is denied us when that community itself has changed as much as or more than we have ourselves, and we must remake our own beings as well as the fabric of that shared world.

This quote comes from Iain Banks’ A Song of Stone. It is applicable to friends and relations who are currently in Iraq and Afghanistan, but is also applicable to the outsourcing and BPO industries in a time of recession.

With the systemic changes in the makets driven by the current economic climate, clients are facing a changed community of advisors and service providers. Not all will survive; not all should, but the recalibrating community of people and companies that address the real and growing needs of clients do create the fabric of our shared world.

Now is the time, I believe, to build stronger and longer-lasting relationships in this world. Innovation in the constructing and transacting of outsourcing deals has been driven out of late. Comparing “apples with apples” is a sure-fire way of rapidly reaching the lowest common denominator; there is no room for innovation, for imagination, for passion. The process becomes the outcome and we – the consultants, advisors, service providers and clients – are all the worse for it.

So let us change in this current “war”; this current recession, to build wiser, more informal and ultimately more imaginative relationships that extend and expand the horizons that our shared world of outsourcing can embrace.


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