Gotta retool my BPO and IT offshoring keywords.
In HfS Research's 12-step lifejacket for BPO against the tides of irrelevance, branding was No. 11.
Well, I'm oversimplifying it.
But one of the minor points was 'outsourcing' and 'shared services' should be rebranded as 'sourcing' and 'global business services,' respectively, in order to avoid negative connotations.
Can you imagine the renaming that the entire outsourcing and offshoring industry would be subject to, if we followed this advice? What would happen to Outsource Magazine? Then BPO would become BPwhat?
Problematic Alternatives To BPO
To be fair, India's NASSCOM had already started saying BPS (business process services) a long time ago. Meanwhile, the Philippines’ always-ambitious (but not always on-point) iBPAP recently started using BPM (business process management) after its laughable attempt at O&O (outsourcing and offshoring).
(As of this writing, they're still doggedly pushing GIC [global inhouse centers] as an alternative to Shared Services. Bless their linguistically-challenged Filipino hearts.)
The problem, of course, with BPM is the M. Managing is not doing. In fact, managing is the opposite of doing. You know: those who can't, train; those who can't train, manage. Management is at least...two degrees detached from delivery.
And how can we be an industry of managers/management instead of doers?
(Oh yeah, right. Status quo. Ambition.)
Exploring viable BPO alternatives
So if Outsourcing is out, then what intelligent, viable alternatives do we have? Let's play.
If BPM is precocious, then what about BPE—business process execution? Because sometimes we're really not contracted to or capable of managing the process—we can just do/perform it.
But then it sounds kinda like we're killing (execute?) the business process, Kim Jong Un-style.
I know, I know, sometimes we really are, and the term would be accurate. But we probably should look for something else that would also be appropriate when we're doing a good job.
Business process delivery.
Not bad. Nothing really wrong about it.
But it's not a Picasso or anything. And we can even simplify it to Business Process Doing.
Okay, let's put this down on the viables list.
For convenience, maybe we shouldn't even reinvent the initialism anymore and just change what it stands for.
Like business process orchestrating. Kinda like managing, but having the pretension that you're making music and coordinating an art form. Not good.
Or business process obligating. Because we're all obligated to comply with the contract? Nah. Next.
Business process coordination. Removing the pretensions of managing or orchestrating, but still implying the ambition to manage the process end-to-end someday and maintaining its closeness to the actual doers.
Could work. We got another one here, Charlie!
You know, sometimes, you gotta think outta the box.
Anything can be called a process. And we obviously know this thing is for business. (What else would it be for, religion?)
So when you come right down to it, you'd find we don't even need to call it business process anything.
So let's distill it to what it really is: getting things done. GTD.
Which is already a trademarked productivity technique. How convenient.
And if you're really passionate about the industry, how about a little profanity in the form of GSD? Getting shit done.
Let's continue that distillation of outsourcing down to its essence. I mean, we could be doing anything, getting all kinds of shit done.
What Outsourcing really is, is just working. Plain working. And working our asses off: WOAO. Pronounced "wow."
There you go: excellence and customer delight built-in. Wow.
Does it matter what we call outsourcing?
Ultimately, I think if we spent less time superficially rebranding via name changes and instead exerted more effort truly, profoundly rebranding by delivering a better customer experience, we might actually not have to retool our nomenclature after all.
Because if you're really delivering value, who the hell cares what you're called?
Hey, in my career, I've been called Asshole just as much as I've been called The JayMan. Yet the value I delivered when clients called me either name was the same. In fact, sometimes I may have even delivered greater value as an Asshole than as The JayMan.
So. Rebrand that, motherfuckers.