In Fast Company


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Part 1 of Living Among Wolves, a white paper series exploring the four forces driving the uptake of HR outsourcing.

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In Fast Company

  2. 2. 2 | LIVING AMONG WOLVES: IN FAST COMPANYIF WE TAKE A LOOK AROUND, IT’S NOT JUST FINANCIALMARKETS THAT ARE IN TURMOIL. Social and political environments acrossthe globe are also in flux. Entrenched governments are falling, new networks and communitiesfor social change are forming. We’ve entered a time of heightened volatility, increasedinstability and significant change—change that is accelerating with each passing day.As individuals, and as organizations, we are • It took Apple’s iTunes store nearly three • Half of what a university student learnscommunicating and collaborating about this years to sell its first billion songs (2003- in their first year of education is obsoletechange at an astonishing rate: 2006). Just two years later (June 2008) it by the time they graduate had sold 5 billion. And less than two years• 3000 books are published every day on later again (February 2010) it had doubled • Ten thousand baby boomers exit the the earth to 10 billion workforce every day around the world• There are over 1 billion Google searches The labor market, as a consequence, is also in • When children born this week enter the conducted and more than 8 billion text a phase of accelerating change: workforce 20-plus years from now, there messages sent, every day will likely be a very inexpensive computing • The top 10 jobs a decade from now don’t device that is more powerful than the• Over 35 hours of video are uploaded even exist yet human brain to YouTube each minute à Å
  3. 3. 3 | LIVING AMONG WOLVES: IN FAST COMPANYIF WE REALLY WANT TO UNDERSTAND HOWTHIS RAPID-FIRE CHANGE IS THREATENING THESUSTAINABILITY of even well-established, global corporations,we need only look to industries that have been subject to swiftly changingconsumer behavior and the consequences they’ve experienced.Think about Blockbuster. In 1985, the first Netflix (now a major ‘on demand’ provider) brand to being swallowed up by a once muchBlockbuster store opened in Dallas, Texas. back in 2000 for just USD 50 million turned smaller rival.The expansion of the chain was rapid and out to be a fatal error. As Blockbuster’ssuccessful and a culture of home movie total worth dwindled to around $24 million, Both the music and film industries have beenviewing grew up and sustained this expansion Netflix added subscribers to its service at an turned on their heads in under a decade—afor just shy of two decades. Then something astonishing rate, and continues to do so. very short time in the world of strategichappened. planning and execution for large global In the first quarter of 2011 Netflix added organizations. It is tempting to look back onAs the world of ‘on demand’ took hold and around 3.3 million domestic subscribers to its the Blockbuster example and think the shiftBlockbuster’s traditional revenue stream web-streaming movie and TV products, nearly and the opportunity was obvious, yet thesebegan to drop, they faced the ultimate test: double that of the previous year. Meanwhile, a dramatic falls are not new.change and change quickly. fire sale of Blockbuster has seen it purchased by one of Netflix’s major competitors, DishUnfortunately, Blockbuster didn’t make it in Network. It took a little over two decades fortime. Their rejection of an offer to purchase Blockbuster to go from powerful, successful à Å
  4. 4. 4 | LIVING AMONG WOLVES: IN FAST COMPANYWHAT IS NEW IS THE INCREDIBLE SPEED WITHWHICH THESE CHANGES in the competitive landscape aretaking place, and how quickly traditional rivals are trading places.General Motors (GM) took 30 years to to earth – but who missed the switch from competitive landscape where dominancemove from a market-leading position into analogue to digital. They are now riding the doesn’t last, even if you think you have abankruptcy. In 2007, Toyota surpassed GM Android wave, but each of the players in the ‘killer’ the largest corporation in the world, yet mobile device segment understands thatholding that position for 30 years, as GM once change is always knocking at their door. Even Microsoft did not welcome the news ofdid, is increasingly unlikely. BlackBerry, once supremely dominant among Apple surpassing it in terms of market corporate users, has been forced to change capitalization in 2010, nor did Dell when theIn the tech space, the examples of dominant with the popularity and swift adoption of the same occurred to them in 2006. Sony is onlymarket positions changing quickly are even iPhone and Android. too aware that the dominance it once enjoyedmore stark. through its compact disc technology is now Business is accustomed to, and thrives on, harder to match. Tech giants everywhere areThink Motorola, who dominated the wireless competition. But this is not just competition racing to unveil their own tablet computer toradio market – including having the message we’re talking about. This is worldwide, frenetic rival the iPad. And on it goes, change at anfrom the first men on the moon beamed back change, which is fuelling in increasingly fierce ever-increasing pace. Ã Å
  5. 5. 5 | LIVING AMONG WOLVES: IN FAST COMPANYAS WE GAZE IN AWE OF THE SPEED, AGILITY ANDINNOVATION OF THE APPLES AND GOOGLESOF TODAY, we must remember that big falls come from greatheights. It’s clear that market leaders are acutely aware of the speed ofchange in the world they live in, and that they are helping to drive it, butno one is immune to these dramatic shifts in behavior and sentiment.Each of the examples above illustrate the Standing still is not an option. And manypoint that the pace of change within the global organizations have learned the hardbusiness community is increasing substantially, way that to operate differently, they need toand this is redefining the way we must think think differently.about business leadership. This is why innovative outsourcing solutionsIf change is happening faster, even large are becoming necessary to businessglobal organizations that traditionally struggle sustainability over the long term. A workforcewith agility must find ways to: that is unencumbered by established processes, practices, beliefs, and infrastructure• do more with less; is going to challenge the norms of any business, but it’s also going to offer new ways• innovate faster; to react to rapid market change.• think beyond their current paradigm; and• adapt continuously. Ã Å
  6. 6. “IF YOU LIVE AMONGWOLVES, YOU NEED TOHOWL LIKE A WOLF”RUSSIAN PROVERBTHIS IS PART 1 OF LIVING AMONG WOLVES, A WHITEPAPER SERIES EXPLORINGTHE FOUR FORCES DRIVING THE UPTAKE OF HR OUTSOURCING.ABOUT THE AUTHORROLF E. KLEINER is the Senior Vice-President and General Manager of KellyOutsourcing & Consulting Group. In this role he is responsible for the strategicand structural development of the global business practice of KellyOCG.ABOUT KELLYKelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA, KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions.Kelly® offers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-classstaffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire basis. Serving clients around the globe,Kelly provides employment to more than 530,000 employees annually. Revenue in 2010 was$5 billion. Visit and connect with us on Facebook®, LinkedIn®, and Twitter®. Ã EXIT