An article last month in Wired Magazine called The See-Through CEO got me thinking about how the idea of extreme openness and transparency could really benefit our business.
For a while now I’ve been preaching around the office that Indian Call Centers and BPOs should be looking to Silicon Valley for guidance on how to run our business. Honestly speaking, part of the reason for my preaching this is simply shock value, but it’s really not a disingenuous comparison. I think small to medium sized independent BPOs like ours have very similar issues to technology start-ups. For example, we have to attract and hold key talent in a very competitive employment market. For those of us selling into an international market, we need to present a “larger than life” image, the same as a tech start-up that wants to sell to much larger corporations. Creating an image of staying power and muscle (while operating on a shoe-string budget) so that these companies trust us for their long-term business needs is critical to selling to them. I think there are other comparisons in the area of marketing and product development as well.
They say that after a while people start to look like their dogs. I’m not sure this is true…although come to think of it my ex-girlfriend does look a bit like a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, but I digress. The point I mean to make, and I’ve said this before here, is that businesses tend to start to look like the ones they compare themselves to. I’ve known of companies that have both succeeded and failed because of who they compared themselves to and ultimately emulated (consult Tom Peters for more on this topic). So, let’s compare ourselves to the best and brightest of the internet age. Let’s steal concepts from Google and Yahoo, Digg and Salesforce.com. Let’s be smart and innovative and value ideas. Let’s be on the bleeding edge of customer service innovation then let’s go public, become millionaires and come back and do it all again because it’s just so damn fun!