Reflections: Learnings from my Journey (1: Davide Laghi)

Many are the learnings you bring away with you each time you move on to the next chapter in your journey. And one stands out higher than the rest and relates to the number-one Critical Success Factor in our business:  People, Leadership and Culture.

  • Choose your own leadership team and do not compromise on the quality of your people.
  • Technical competence is not everything… Do not compromise on the cultural alignment of the people you bring on board.
  • Make sure to secure yourself with high-quality HR change-leadership (full-time) support because our business is all about change - and change-enablement-specialised professional support is key to success.
  • Launch a cultural transformation project when the time is right (usually when the new SSC team is built), but as soon as possible and do not discount it (i.e. refer to it as the "fluffy stuff") and do not procrastinate.  Ensure behavioural alignment of sponsorship, leadership, teams and stakeholders and your service center will soar from Day One.
  • Choose carefully the desired mindset… improvement orientation and positive relationship-building capabilities are the two critical behavioural pillars required to meet the strategic objectives of your service center.
  • Give your people a fair chance to understand themselves and the new environment they will operate in.  However, do keep in mind that the honeymoon period cannot last forever. If cultural incongruency persists and people do not leave on their own terms (as often happens when cultural misalignment is deep and conscious), be prepared to face tough decisions.
  • And lastly, for business and SSC "leaders"… do not pretend to expect certain behaviors from your people when you are the first one to be incongruent.  "Walk the talk" and your teams will "follow" you.

Our business is all about "People and Change"; therefore, if we make sure these two objectives are on the top of our agenda then we will set ourselves up for success from the very beginning with no discounts, no shortcuts and no compromises.

Good luck to you all and enjoy the journey…

About the Author

Davide Laghi is the founder and MD of Y6Sigma Solutions Ltd., a consultancy and solutions provider based in Scotland in the UK. Y6Sigma focuses on solutions in shared services and BPO operations implementation, and continuous improvement. Davide has had numerous successful roles within shared services including two shared services directorships - at WL Gore and Iron Mountain. He was awarded an Honorary Mention in the Thought Leader of the Year category at the 2008 Shared Services Excellence Awards in Sitges, Spain.