Outsourcing is frequently portrayed as a “bad” side of business; especially loss of jobs in America. But there is another, positive, side to outsourcing. I first became aware of it when I heard Bill Bartlett, CEO of Callidus Technologies speak at a State Chamber of Oklahoma annual meeting. He told of how his business had grown, in Oklahoma, because he had outsourced much of the manufacturing to other countries. The growth in Oklahoma was in higher-paying research and development, engineering positions. The lower-paying manufacturing/assembly jobs were being done in other countries and the business was experiencing excellent growth. His website is http://www.callidus.com . Callidus Technologies earned the 2007 Oklahoma Governor’s Award for Excellence in Exporting. Today the company continues to grow internationally and locally, in Oklahoma.
In his book, The World is Flat, on page 465, Thomas Friedman writes of his interview with Dov Sudman, CEO of LRN (http://www.thomaslfriedman.com). Dov tells why he is outsourcing to acquire knowledge talent needed to grow their business at a faster pace. Go to http://www.lrn.com and click on the “about” tab, you will discover Devon Energy is one of their clients. Devon’s corporate headquarters are in Oklahoma City. So, LRN outsources to grow more rapidly and has customers in the heartland of the United States.
What does this mean to those in the workplace? Several things, actually. First, the world of business is rapidly changing. Second, those businesses that will survive and grow are the ones who choose to strategically plan, on a global level. Third, there will continue to be a flow of labor-intensive jobs out of developed countries to developing countries. Fourth, there will also be a growth in jobs requiring education and critical thinking. The challenge will be not only for the job seeker to find these opportunities, but for the company to find the talent closer to home.
Think strategically about your career. Read, study, stay up-to-date on business trends as they affect your industry, job classification and find your niche. Just remember – the niche will always be on the move - - sometimes as slow as a turtle, but more often as fast as a rabbit.