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What’s your GBS?

Get a life, folks. The preoccupation with defining global business services doesn’t further the cause of world peace. Who cares, beyond those of us who a), want to create sufficient angst amongst CXOs to sell profitable consulting contracts; b), shared services leaders who want to rebrand; or c), self-appointed pundits (like me) who want something […]

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Is GBS Good for Sourcing Leaders?

  There seems to be a sea change in the market for senior global services talent as a category. Just a year or so ago, talent deeply competent in sourcing—design, selection, transition and governance—was very  hard to find, and pricey to boot. But today the sourcing folk looking for the next big gig are now on […]

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Will shared services leaders take the GBS helm?

  The current common wisdom assumes that GBS leadership will be the pinnacle of career progression for shared services leaders. After all, who’s the logical inheritor of the mega-services platform mantle but the guys and gals who slogged it out early on, establishing the first consolidated, standardized service delivery models.  But should the top enterprise […]

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Do retained teams screw up outsourcing?

  Heaps of blame is placed on the outsourcing provider when a relationship goes south. You’ve heard the complaints.”Their salesmen oversell.” “The staff has no contextual knowledge.” “No one’s taking responsibility for following up.” “There’s none of that innovation they promised.” And while some of these complaints are valid, in many cases the client is […]

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Global Business Services at the Top Table? Servants don’t dine with their employers!

Over the past few weeks, it seems as if everyone is talking GBS, GBS, GBS.  Shared services organizations encompassing one function in a few countries with a center or two purport to be running global business services. Companies with transactional accounting processes operating around the world declare that they are GBS leaders. Sourcing leaders managing […]

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What a surprise to outsourcing providers…people actually matter to the CEO

The prevailing belief in the sourcing world is that cost is king and people are fungible. Yet a study by The Conference Board, The Conference Board CEO Challenge 2013 (, flies in the face of this, and other commonly held tenets, about the way the C-suite regard sourcing initiatives. Today’s study, based upon a survey […]

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Barista or Bangalorean? Time to source shared services (and outsourcing) talent at Starbucks?

Barista or Bangalorean?  Time to source shared services (and outsourcing) talent at Starbucks? Recently I had the privilege of chairing The Conference Board’s vaunted annual Shared Services Conference. Since I’ve always had trouble sitting still, and chairing a conference means listening intently in every session, I was blown away when Paul Nicolaisen, VP Shared Services […]

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Behave and Believe—The Ultimate Goal of Shared Services and Outsourcing Change Management

  Last week I was wading through a pile of change management methodologies—you know, the standard ones that are actually quite good—the Kotter and the PROSCI frameworks and strategies, tools and techniques.  It struck me that the change management challenge for outsourcing and shared services is not the dearth of methodologies—there are plenty of templates […]

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To brand or not to brand (shared services and outsourcing). That is the question…

  Now, I fundamentally believe that branding any corporate business model change that happens through shared services and outsourcing is a good thing. After all, people buy brand. Brand is shorthand for what we get, and what we expect to feel like after we buy a product or a service. It’s a promise.  And when […]

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Outsourcing and Shared Services Change Lessons from the U.S. Presidential Election? Are you kidding?

Before you think I am off my rocker, take a look at my newest post for SSON on Despite the overuse of the word change as a rallying cry on the part of both sides, there really are some lessons in the conduct of the campaigns for shared services and outsourcing leaders.

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