This short (and insightful) article from Tendayi Viki brings up a point that I've felt passionate about since starting Tribal Impact 5 years ago.
Organisations cannot outsource transformation. To be truly successful, transformation needs to be led from within.
That may sound odd because many partner with companies like ours to help build their transformation programs but therein lies the difference.
Partnering helps you to fast-track over the potholes, prepare for common objections and build a strategy that will deliver results (based on experience).
Using consultants is a great way to bridge towards building your own internal capabilities but they shouldn't be relied on as the long-term solution.
Early on, we decided to build a comprehensive Train-The-Trainer program where our customers could eventually learn how to stand on their own feet without our support.
It makes it clear to our customers that they can lead their own way after we guide them on the right path.
As the saying goes:
Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
When employees have limited time and skills, surrounding them with the good innovation coaches can help move projects forward. What you don’t want, however, is to completely outsource your innovation capabilities to external consultants. It is better for companies to use consultants as a bridge towards building their own internal innovation capabilities. I strongly believe that every company needs to have its own group of internal innovation coaches. This is an important innovation muscle to have. So when we work with consultants, we must not just use them to execute and deliver our innovation projects. We must also leverage their presence in our company to train an internal group of coaches.