Outsource Magazine Issue 28 - (Page 52)

AdApt or die! Tim Cummins is the renowned President and founder of the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management (IACCM). We caught up with Tim at the 9th Annual IACCM EMEA Forum in April to get his thoughts on shifting organisational models, the importance of accountability, and the need now more than ever to look beyond traditional structures and definitions… outsource: Tim, you’ve been a keen observer of the commercial and organisational landscapes for many years now. What do you see as being the key trends right now in terms of the development and evolution of business organisations – especially with an eye towards the outsourcing space? Tim Cummins: I think businesses are actually becoming more adaptive or at least are intending to become more adaptive. The keynote speakers here today have been talking about how the CEO community is awakening to the fact that traditional relationships – particularly within their own industries – don’t address the emerging needs and expectations of today’s society. This drives a need to deliver projects in very new and different ways, through strategic relationships that span industries. Shell, for example, sees a need for strategic partnering with IBM and Unilever – not the sort of companies that historically would have been top of the list for executive focus. And I think this cross-sector partnering lies at the heart of the outsourcing debate as well. To me, sustainable, long-term relationships are critical to businesses that are seeking more flexibility and the ability to respond faster and more appropriately to market conditions. In some ways outsourcing has been a proving ground for strategic partnering. But as we both know, it has had as many failures as it has successes. As The Economist observed a couple of years ago, when it comes to outsourcing, most companies are not very good at contracting. So one thing we can say with relative certainty is that organisations remain limited in their capability when it comes to building good trading relationships. o: Do you feel those attitudes are has been a provIng ground for strategIc partnerIng. but as we both know, It has had as many faIlures as It has successes ❛In some ways outsourcIng ❜ o: “Partnership” gets used frequently within outsourcing but there is a debate about how much genuine partnership there actually is… TC: The word is used frequently but the behaviour is not there to match. If your view of having a partner is regularly beating them into submission. then some companies are pretty good at that, but of course in those cases the level of commitment and fidelity between partners is tested: there is not an underlying sense of fairness and trust. maturing – have you become more optimistic about the level of trust in commercial partnerships as time has gone by? TC: I never stop being optimistic! I guess if I were not optimistic I might as well give up... So my belief is that we will get there. But I think part of the problem is that many organisations are confused about their goals and objectives; I think the measurement of management systems is too primitive to deal today with this new environment. They drive the wrong partner selection, inappropriate incentives and the wrong internal behaviours. Ironically, our response to complexity involves the creation of more and more specialist groups, which themselves become a source of complexity in decision-making, communications and enabling both internal and external relationships. Part of our work at the IACCM is looking at the barriers to collaboration, and one of the key things I heard recently was from one of our board members who said “When it comes to negotiation, I’ve realised we spend more time fighting for functional interest than we do fighting for business goals.” Many organisations find it extremely difficult to build internal collaboration – so no wonder they struggle when it comes to external partners. CEOs are very aware of the changes that “I shall fulfill my contract, no more nor less.” – Lillie Langtry 52 www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk ●● ● http://www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outsource Magazine Issue 28

Deep Thought
John Seddon
At Your Service?
Plenty To Chew On
The Power of Two
Big Data
Invested Outsourcing
Tim Cummins
NOA Round-Up
Managing Knowledge in a Partnership
A Long Way Still To Go
Recruitment Process Technology
Let’s Talk About Our Relationships
Great Expectations
Transformative Technology
The Future of Rightshoring
Top Ten
The Legal View
HfS Round-Up
Online Round-Up
Inside Source
The Last Word

Outsource Magazine Issue 28