Outsourcing For Expertise Is The Way To Go

Increasingly, both large and small companies are engaging with specialized service providers as partners to their business goals. As we see in the visual below, the Philippines is still amidst a boom in this phenomena.

The continued rise in outsourcing is due to a companies’ decisions to focus more on their core strengths. In general, service providers concentrate on one or more specialized activities that the sponsor company doesn’t wish to do or doesn’t have as broad in-house capabilities to perform. We see a lot of this with our current client line-up here in DMAI.

However, in additional to taking on tasks that the sponsor companies view duties for specialty providers, it is also now becoming more of the overall business strategy to integrate both businesses rather than you the service provider as a patch.

It’s actually a long-term business model to truly partner on delivery solutions, and as a result, sponsor companies have built strong relationships with providers upon whom they can rely to contribute to their business goals in a manner that complies with both their quality and vision—yet without the need for redundant supervision.Again, this is a model DMAI has been successful at implementing with U.S. based clients.

Providers like DMAI, must be able to engage in a hunt for  talent in order to guarantee expertise and quality. They need to be able to locate the very best talent in a given region and business function in order to provide their sponsor-clients with the best-in-class service those sponsors are paying for.

This line of thinking, outsourcing for expertise is the way to go for medium sized businesses in the U.S. looking for an outsourcing solution with smaller BPOs in the Philippines.

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Big corporations can outsource entire business lines to big BPOs. Small businesses can outsource specific functions to virtual assistants. But for medium sized companies, looking to find like minded partners, they need to be paired up with service providers who are able to both integrate into the business and find the talent to grow the business.

Analytics Outsourcing – DMAIPH has successful set up Filipino analytics teams for over a dozen U.S. based businesses. Offering both virtual and office based teams that specialize in problem solving using data, new technology and analytics techniques is our strength. Finding and empowering analytics talent is increasingly challenging, but we have it down to a science. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to learn more about how to set up an analytics-centric team in the Philippines.

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Building An Employee Engagement Road Map

My good friend and BPO colleague, Martin Conboy’s most recent blog is pretty awesome and well timed for my leadership meeting on Monday.

http://theoutsourcing-guide.com/strong-employee-engagement-exceptional-customer-experience/

Here are a few of his key points:

“Employee engagement is a workplace methodology designed to ensure that employees are committed to their organization’s goals and values, inspired to contribute to organizational success, and are able at the same time to enhance their own sense of well being.”

When I think about all the places I have worked over the years from scooping ice cream, filing library books, teaching, customer service, business analytics to setting up call centers, I often reflect on the cultural lessons I gained from those experiences.

As Martin says, engagement is a direct result of the methods  used to drive a business… its how people are bossed, managed and/or lead. That impacts how people feel about and treat each other. Most people generally look at their job as just a job, but they look at their co workers as friends or even family.

When companies are able to get people to think of their job with the same level of interest they think of their co-workers, then you have an indicator of engaged employees, That is far from the only one, but its an easy to see indicator.  They go to lunch together, but do they work together to solve problems for the customer?

“Creating exceptional customer experiences and engagement requires understanding and mapping the customer’s journey. Likewise employee engagement is dependent on creating exceptional experiences based on understanding and mapping the employee’s journey.”

Mapping the journey… from pre-hire, to job offer, to onboardinng, to training, to production, to coaching, to mentoring, to career development. Is it all mapped out? If not its hard to have good employee engagement. Are there leaders within the organization that help others read the map? If not then most employees are going to get lost. The journey will not likely be a success without the map and people who know how to both read the map and teach others how to read it.

Thanks Martin for the inspiration.

HR & Recruitment Analytics – The recruitment and retention of top talent is the biggest challenge facing just about every organization. DMAIPH is a leading expert in empowering HR & Recruitment teams with analytics techniques to optimize their talent acquisition and management processes. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to learn how to get more analytics in your HR & Recruitment process so you can rise to the top in the ever quickening demand for top talent.

A Few More Thoughts On Leadership

Most of my blog posts the past few weeks have been focused on leadership.

As my company grew from 6 to almost 100 in just 18 months we were forced to make a lot of quick decisions that have not always turned out to be the best long term solutions. So now I reflect on those lessons. How to move away from making snap judgments based and move more into data-driven decision making. That’s always been the goal.

Here are so of my favorite quotes on leadership and how I plan to wrap them into my leadership meeting next week.

Jack Welch said that, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” I firmly believe this and have tried hard to instill this sense of purpose in my leaders. However, we have a lot more work to do before we have an organization full of people looking out for the success of others before looking out for their own success first.

A big part of this is to constantly be pushing the organization to evolve and to never rest. Peter Drucker said that “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” That’s my point exactly. We look at the data, analyze our performance and determine what to improve next.

From our recent survey, we know our team members crave feeling valued and being appreciated more than they depend on being paid well. We need to focus on this and build a recognition program that show value and share appreciation. Sam Walton once said, “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” For us to reach the next level of success as a company this sense of empowerment needs to permeate through the ranks.

I hate when I have to manage people because things aren’t being done they way I expect them to get done. Part of that comes from my own failures in instilling this lesson in others. “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”  from General Dwight Eisenhower. We do too much bossing and not enough uplifting others to dream the same dream we do.

And finally, from John Quincy Adams, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” To me that is the most important measurement for us to look at. Everything else comes next.

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Analytics Leadership – DMAIPH specializes in arming the Data-Driven Leader with the tools and techniques they need to build and empower an analytics centric organization. Analytics leadership requires a mastery of not just analytics skill, but also of nurturing an analytics culture. We have guided thousands of Filipino professionals to become better analytics leaders. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to discuss a uniquely tailored strategy to ensure you are the top of your game when it comes to Analytics Leadership.

Excellent Leaders Are Constantly Pursuing Excellence

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/nature-authentic-leadership-ben-stewart

Here is an excellent conclusion to a blog post about the nature of authentic leadership…

‘Effective leadership can be an elusive goal with no clear path to direct success.  There are, however, many techniques and practices that are consistently utilized to reach this goal.  It begins with personal responsibility and leadership of oneself.  Before anyone has a chance at leading others,  he or she must take ownership of their thoughts, actions, and beliefs.

Possessing a keen insight into human behavior and thought is also critical.  This includes motivating, retaining, and resolving conflicts among the team.  It is unfortunate today that so many leaders become consumed with the ends that they forget the means.  While the bottom line is most often analyzed and how a leader is judged by superiors, it is the responsibility of the leader to ensure that the team respects its members and is passionate for pursuing excellence.  Neglecting this will bring discouragement and cause a serious threat to whatever goal is being pursued.

Leaders must always incorporate the human aspect into their decisions.  In its essence, leadership is about influence.  For a leader to maximize and improve whatever situation they encounter, requires going beyond spreadsheets and routines.  Taking a genuine interest for the team will include a common respect and appreciation for every individual.  Although this is a cumbersome and lengthy process, leadership will prove abundantly more effective.”

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The need for personal responsibility is most important when times are tough. If you are under pressure, its hard to lead others if your are not comfortable leading yourself.

Knowing how people think, and why they do what they do is a key point of success. Leaders who often try to spend time in their subordinates shoes are much more successful.

Pursing excellence needs to be a top motivator for any leader in DMAIPH. To be effective when it comes to working with me you need to understand the power of your influence and comprehend how it is perceived… so that you can get everyone else to follow along on that pursuit to excellence.

Analytics Leadership – DMAIPH specializes in arming the Data-Driven Leader with the tools and techniques they need to build and empower an analytics centric organization. Analytics leadership requires a mastery of not just analytics skill, but also of nurturing an analytics culture. We have guided thousands of Filipino professionals to become better analytics leaders.

Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to discuss a uniquely tailored strategy to ensure you are the top of your game when it comes to Analytics Leadership.

Leading vs. Managing vs. Bossing

The definition of Leading is exercising leadership by providing direction or guidance.

The definition of Managing is to direct or supervise employees or other staff by exerting control.

The definition of Bossing is to give orders to, especially in an arrogant or domineering manner.

Leaders generally try and empower, educate and uplift people working under them in an organization. At times they many need to manage employees who have gone off track, but generally only use this to optimize short term results. Although sometimes managing and bossing can feel the same to the employee, good leaders never have to result to bossing.

Managers generally try to motivate employees to meet business needs. At times the pressure for results will force managers to exert control over their employees to get results. This can generally fee like bossing. Employees that feel like they are constant being directed to do things that are unclear to them how and/or why they are doing it never feel like they are being lead.

People who are in positions of authority who are always bossing are not well liked by their employees. Employees do not feel valued or appreciated when they are constantly being bossed. Bosses use fear and intimidation to drive results, which generally fall short of business goals.

The ironic thing about these definitions is Bosses don’t generally realize they are Bosses. They think they are good managers and even good leaders. Managers generally know they are not Bosses, which is good, but they generally are not in a situation where they can be good leaders.

On the other hand, Good Leaders are always cautious of trying not to fall into the traps of managing people or being the boss.  They constantly appreciate feedback to help themselves improve and see their own style of running a business as always evolving.

For a business to be successful you need leaders who can occasionally manage and once in a while be a boss, but most of their time is spent trying take the business to a higher level. That’s my dream for DMAIPH.

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Analytics Leadership – DMAIPH is a founding member of the Analytics Council of the Philippines and specializes in arming the Data-Driven Leader with the tools and techniques they need to build and empower an analytics centric organization.

Analytics leadership requires a mastery of not just analytics skill, but also of nurturing an analytics culture. We have guided thousands of Filipino professionals to become better analytics leaders. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to discuss a uniquely tailored strategy to ensure you are the top of your game when it comes to Analytics Leadership.

To Strive For Operational Excellence

Analytics is key for any organization to be able to strive for operational excellence and succeed.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/operational-excellence-manifesto-joseph-paris

Came across this blog post on LinkedIn talking about operational excellence. The author provided 5 pieces in the flow of a continual cycle of operational excellence:

  1. Strategic Clarity – Clarify the business model and sources of competitive advantage for each business line
  2. Culture of Excellence – Instill a philosophy of relentless passion for operational improvement
  3. Advantaged Architecture & Process – Design operational architecture, processes and production system to create competitive advantage
  4. Well-Orchestrated Journey – Disaggregate journey into a sequence of digestible pieces driven by real change leaders
  5. Superior Alignment & Execution – Align organization with objectives and reinforce with superior execution

Looking at how we put these ideas into action, here is what I hope the DMAI team can do.

We can continue to look at each business line to make sure its running optimally. Often we focus our energy just on what’s broken, and rarely focus on what’s working. We lost track of the fact that just because its working, doesn’t mean it’s optimal.

We can demand more from people. Allowing mediocrity to become the norm is a sure sign we have lost our passion to improve ourselves and our business.

We can document more. We can share the documentation more. We can use the documentation as a living, evolving part of the business that will keep things innovative and forward looking.

We can set tactical goals. We can reward ourselves to celebrate these successes. And we can use these successes to springboard us to the next tactical goal as we string together success after success towards out ultimate strategic goal. Be the name brand in analytics here in the Philippines.

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We can constantly promote, motivate and empower each other to strive towards operational excellence and never accept operational mediocrity.

We can all get behind the core values of the company, behind our strategic vision and more in unison in our never ending pursuit of operational excellence.

Analytics is the application of using data and analysis to discover patterns in data. DMAIPH specializes in empowering and enabling leaders, managers, professionals and students with a mastery of analytics fundamentals. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to find out what we can do to help you acquire the analytics mastery you and your organization need to be successful in today’s data-driven global marketplace.

Upping Our Game When It Comes To Retention!

I have been putting a lot of thought into DMAI’s team member retention efforts lately. I came across a few articles on one of the HR blogs I follow, http://www.hrinasia.com

“Talent retention is part of the bigger ecosystem of talent management. To solve the challenge of talent management, it takes more than a one-sided solution, but a holistic approach. Hopefully, employers are enlightened to see the bigger picture, and realize the first step to solving talent management challenges begins with themselves.”

Here are some of the high points:

  1. You get three lifelines. Employee engagement, culture, and leadership are lifeline issues. The separation between healthy and successful companies and unhealthy and failing companies always come down to these lifeline issues.
  2. It’s A New World for HR. Human Resources as a function is at a crossroads and must reinvent itself. Technology has forever changed the way we recruit, hire, train, retain and reward our people.
  3. Data Doesn’t Lie. Data is now integral to all decisions HR must make. I can talk all day about the value of analytics in an organization.
  4. Brand Matters. Employees showing the strong link between good company image and talent retention – the better the company image and reputation, the more likely talent is retained.
  5. Remote workers are often happier and more productive. The benefits of having a remote team to the business healthy growth of a company cannot be underestimated. In fact, in majority of cases the advantages outweigh the disadvantages especially when it comes to engagement.

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With this in mind, we conducted a recent survey and found the feeling Valued and Appreciated were more important to more DMAI team members then being Paid Well.

This is not news to me, but it does validate what I thought to be true. We have a lot of work to do to up our game when it comes to retaining our people.

Leadership Lessons from Game of Thrones

5 Leadership Lessons You Can Learn From <i>Game of Thrones</i>

1. “The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.” — Eddard Stark.

Don’t shy away from making tough calls. And just as importantly, do the unpleasant work to follow through. As Ned reminds us, “He who hides behind executioners soon forgets what death is.” Leaders who spend time in the trenches, doing the tough work, will take making tough decisions more seriously. Asking someone to show you what they do, so you can understand it and see their job through their eyes are some examples of this. 

2. “A Lannister always pays his debts.” — Tyrion Lannister

In the workplace, the quickest way to lose respect, and power, is to promise things you can’t deliver. The surest way to get people to do things for you is for them to trust that you will do what you say you will in the future. Leaders follow through on their word. When they say they are going to do something, they do it. This is a big one for me, you have to be consistent in how you lay down the law or you will lose the ability to do so. 

3. “Any man who must say, I am the king, is no true king.” — Tywin Lannister

True power comes from where people believe it comes from. Not from where you say it comes from. The best leaders are followed based on the collective will, not because they say, “I am the boss.” Power and influence, often come from unexpected places. I rarely make a point of whose the boss unless I’m dealing with people who have developed a misguided sense of self worth and importance. 

4. “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder.” — Littlefinger

Chaotic times reveal a leader’s strength. When times are good, it’s easy to be the leader. Only when chaos reigns, do many leaders rise. Effective leaders aren’t thwarted by challenges. They use challenges to foist them higher. As Littefinger, highlights: “Many who try to climb fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them.” Leaders are not broken. They continue to climb. I just wish more people would see the same way up, instead of worrying so much about falling down. 

5. “Winter is coming.” House Stark

Leaders remain vigilant. The world is uncertain. The best leaders always innovate, stay strong, and plan for the future. Being prepared for the unexpected is essential. Embrace winter, especially when everyone else is distracted and basking in the sun. I prepare for war everyday, so when there is no battles to fight I can enjoy the peace. 

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The Challenge Ahead

How do we get better? That’s what is on my mind every day. Most people get up every day and go to work. They have family obligations to meet so they take a job that helps them meet these obligations. However, most people don’t find job that add much more value to their lives then a pay check.

Sometimes we get lucky and find a good place to work. Where we are valued as not just a worker, but a person. Where we are allowed to have more work/life balance then we might have in other places of employment. This is a special place to be. Its not what 90% of the global workforce face every day.

  • So what happens when we find that awesome company to be a part of? In some cases we are empowered to be innovative and to help be part of the success of the company as keep it moving forward. For people who feel this sense of positive energy, work is actually pretty fun most days.
  • However, in some cases we find that even though the company is good to us and we like working there, we find things start to feel routine. We have challenges every day that are either not fun to fix or when we fix it, no one seems to notice. This eats away at our positive feelings about our company.
  • And then we have a third group of people who for whatever reason are in the wrong place at the wrong time. They have challenges in their lives that prevent them from being at work every day. And often when they are at work they don’t feel very engaged. They have a low sense of satisfaction that makes each day on the job more work than its seems worth.

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So as DMAIPH grows from a company of a half dozen to one of several dozen, how do we keep people trained? How do we make sure we keep as many team members as possible in the first category of engaged and empowered workers?

These is no simple answer. For some more money, for others more responsibility and for others more job variety.  There is no magic solution. It takes a lot of effort from not just the leaders but also from the employees who want to keep enjoying their work and like to work every day for the same company.

The answer of course is analytics. We need to know exactly what they need to stay engaged and to stay with us.

That is what I think about every day. That is THE big challenge ahead. And so should you.

Join us on Feb 21, 2017 in Ortigas to find out what metrics you need to interpret and access the data you have in your business that will tell you exactly what to do to keep attrition low and satisfaction high.

Analytics Leadership – DMAIPH specializes in arming the Data-Driven Leader with the tools and techniques they need to build and empower an analytics centric organization. Analytics leadership requires a mastery of not just analytics skill, but also of nurturing an analytics culture. We have guided thousands of Filipino professionals to become better analytics leaders. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to discuss a uniquely tailored strategy to ensure you are the top of your game when it comes to Analytics Leadership.

Under Promise And Over Deliver And You Will Build Trust

The business principle “under promise and over deliver” is one that I learned to use to great advantage over the years. I really liked the concept from the first time I heard it.  It made total sense to me:  follow through on your commitments and exceed what you said you’d do.

For example, your boss asks when you can get a project finished by, you give a date and manage to turn it in 2 days early, perhaps with enough time for some feedback and to create another version.

This extra time you create can be very valuable as you can tweak things based on that feedback. It will give your boss the feeling that two helped shape the final outcome and increases their satisfaction with you and your work.

When I reflect back to what made me such a successful analyst at Wells Fargo, this is the thing that comes to mind first and foremost. My boss would often comment on how I had a knack for estimating how much time it would take to deliver something and would almost always meet or even exceed that deadline.

Some advice I got from a mentor early on in my career was to never make a promise unless it came of out of a genuine desire to follow through, not because of an obligation to do so. I came across this blog recently that outlines some tips on how to Under Promise and Over Deliver:

  • Consider what you are trying to achieve by making a promise and whether or not it can be obtained by making a smaller, more manageable promise.
  • Instead of promising to complete the entire project in an unreasonable amount of time, break the project up into sections.
  • Promise to have portions of the project completed by a certain date. This allows you to manage expectations and keep up with the workload.
  • Estimate how long you think it will take you to fulfill the promise and then double or triple that time.
  • If you are not able to answer how long it will take you to complete a task, don’t give an answer. Tell the other person or group that you will get back to them.
  • Sometimes we can’t help but break a promise. Be up-front and immediately offer an apology. It makes a difference and will go a long way towards repairing your relationship.

10406025_10152524531307425_1404103117_nThe lesson of under promising does more than just surprising people and making them happy. It gives you the space to do your absolute best and that will make you feel good too. Each time you make good on a promise you will feel that much more confident in your abilities.

Every promise fulfilled will help you to associate your name with positivity and trust. This is very, very valuable to your career. Making promises you can keep is instrumental to helping you build and maintain any relationship in life, but especially with your boss and people with influence over your career.

Source: http://blog.pickcrew.com/why-you-should-always-under-promise-and-over-deliver/