No business, large or small, successful or struggling, can expect to see organisational change on a large scale without creating – and embedding – a culture. Without a set of core values instilled into the workforce, the company is fractured and its employees are at odds. It’s up to HR to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Human Resources ( HR)
A 2012 report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that nearly 21 million people worldwide are victims of forced labour, with the highest concentrations found in countries in central and southeastern Europe and in Africa. With complex global supply chains the main vehicle of global trade and commerce, regulators face a stiff challenge policing against workplace abuse, especially given the pattern of outsourcing production to jurisdictions where labour standards and their enforcement are weaker than at home.
Leading companies are working to extend management of the corporate risk profile to road safety. This is achieved by acknowledging key challenges, understanding the big picture and launching well-targeted strategic programs that consider local challenges and solutions. Such programs include driver management (driver selection, development and monitoring), vehicle management (including best use of new technologies) and assessing and managing route risks.
In 2015, the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress reported that the fashion industry globally is valued at $1.2 trillion. (Ref. 1) Of that $1.2 trillion, more than $250 billion is spent annually in the United States alone and this number continues to grow. Current reports show that the retail value of the apparel and shoe industry in the USA was valued at almost $360 billion (and counting) in 2015. (Ref. 2)
A couple of months back, we published our Top Ten Outsourcing Acronyms – a piece that had been a long time brewing, after we’d initially put out a call for entries the previous year. Well, as seems frequently to be the case with this series, that publication prompted a flood of new submissions, and we’re delighted to be able now to unveil a hilarious – if somewhat potty-mouthed – sequel.
When the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee released its 'Robots and Artificial Intelligence' report last month, it was a much-needed shot of adrenaline, encouraging the government to take seriously the impact of robotics and artificial intelligence on the future UK workforce. However, what was not clear was the focus companies should take in order to be on the upside of the jobs outlook in an increasingly automated world.
To summarise the report:
Nearshoring as a way to outsource critical business processes and product development is nothing new to key markets such as software engineering, yet emerging technology, market trends and government mandates are sparking a renewed interest in it as a means to cut costs, enable greater collaboration and provide a competitive edge.
Outsource was lucky enough to catch up with John at the SIG Summit in Carlsbad, California, and to get treated to some remarkable insight from one of the sharpest minds in business…
Outsource: John, thank you so much for joining us today. It’s genuinely an honour. We have polled a few people for the opening question to this interview and the most popular query is this: what’s the one thing in your career that you’re most proud of?
Experts agree it’s too soon to say what the mid-term effects of Brexit are going to be on the UK and European economy. Despite early signs of business and consumer confidence shrugging off doubts, we can surely all agree that we’re about to go into a period of major, structural change for the UK and the rest of Europe - which suggests the best response strategy business leaders can have is maximum flexibility.
I recently posted on LinkedIn an article relating to the outsourcing of innovation, how large corporates were joining up with entrepreneurs and startups in the fashion, cosmetics and lifestyle sectors to form a 'supply chain of innovation'; and what opportunities and threats this type of relationship pose to an entrepreneur and SME from an agility and independence perspective.
Several times throughout my career, people have queried of me, “How do you manage to get so much done?” I think there are a few factors, working in concert, that have enabled me to get more done, often with less, and for less. Much of what I have done and done well, I give credit to my mentors throughout my life. Many of them did not know the high regard in which they were held by me, and others. True leaders do not do it for the praise, they do it because it is inherent to their character.
It has already happened. Digital technology has taken over. When it comes to global sourcing, job opportunities, branding, company cultures, it is all transparent. Job-seekers can see straight through you and your company before they walk through the door and shake your hand.
The term ‘world class’ has become so commonly used that it has lost some of its impact and Holy Grail magic. In our highly connected workplaces and social lives, we can access knowledge, expertise and insight from people we will never meet, and choose our heroes and role models from a global panoply.
‘World class’ is no longer about having global experience, or confidently operating in an international context, because on some level, most people are doing that on a daily basis, even if it’s only through following celebrities on Twitter.
As many of you know, in 2014 Outsource entered into a partnership with KPMG to produce the GBS Roadmap series of conferences focused on Global Business Services (GBS); these events (the first two of which took place last year in Stockholm and Amsterdam respectively) cater both to delegates looking to develop and implement a GBS strategy and to those already operating GBS who are now seeking ways to mature these established environments.