Philippine outsourcing outfits are slow to realize change because they live in an echo chamber of diplomacy, mass-pleasing, undifferentiated positioning, and plain politics.

So while everyone is still talking hackneyed "next-wave cities," middle-management talent gap, Six Sigma, LEAN, and PMP, no one could recognize remote on-demand working at scale, mid-management-free Intelligent OneOffice, design thinking, instinctive analytics, and storytelling until it left-hooks them on the chin from a blindsided angle.

For the little amount of money left in my bank account, the rarely-appreciated skills that could save your BPO career tomorrow (next year, five years from now, next decade, who the hell knows?) involve you doing--not having, because skills are all about creating--the following:

Produce craft

Not some slick, mass-produced plastic output. But a one-off, bespoke piece of art you'd be proud of.

Tell (true) stories

Ones you were there to witness. Don't just mouth off a pre-approved bulleted list.

Think outcomes

Everyone's after an end-state, a desired final experience, a scene they can picture in their minds that they'd like to be in. No one cares about a singular, numeric target. But everyone wants to know how their lives will change for the better.

Care enough without obsessing

Give a shit, dude. But limit your giving to that.

Stop being busy, start staring into space, and think

That's what you should have been hired to do.

Be unafraid of your boss or your targets

What good will it do to be otherwise?

Code a little

You won't build chops--realize that. But you'd get creds for empathy.

Prioritize honesty over diplomacy/politics

Because though fakers adapt well, would you really want to be one?

I'll be poking your open wounds about these skills in a number of future blog posts.

Instinctive analytics

Just five minutes ago you saw another report that had an alphabetical sorting, bar charts with randomly listed categories, a pie chart, no units, "Sales" as the lone title, and this new thing in chart colors called 3D and gradients. This was churned out by an eager but lackey-treated neophyte, hired because they attended some halfday Microsoft Excel training and knew how to enter a VLOOKUP formula. And you use this report in deciding which salesperson's neck to breathe on this week.

Craft, storytelling, and design thinking

Not only in your top-of-funnel, Awareness-level content, but most especially in your midfunnel to bottom-of-funnel sales enablement materials. You have those, don't you?

Where you have a mere spreadsheet (alphabetical) listing of Level 1 tech support tickets and resolution dates and times, make instead a managed-service IT operations Case Study for your target industry, highlighting your unique success formula.

Where your salespeople send a hideous, generic, uncustomized, gradient-shaded PowerPoint or Word document titled "OurCompany Capabilities" starting with your company history and mission/vision, why not produce a punchy mid-funnel, Consideration-stage ebook, solution deck, infographic, or how-to guide that hits at the heart of relevance to your prospect?

Where you simply comply with a large European investment bank's RFP questionnaire, write an eyebrow-raising slant for your proposal, pricing model, transition methodology, and change management framework that cuts a samurai-sharp path through the three other same-faced vendors flocking inside the bank's densely populated attention.

At a loss what deck to present or what proposal to submit to seal the deal? Lost? Good. Embrace that fear and produce craft.

(To be continued. I hope.)