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Local objections, global realities and things that go bump in the night!

Cognitive Dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. We understand the queasiness that occurs the night before a “go live” date all too well because Cognet was founded on our own adventures over the past six years. You have documented the process to look like the Human Genome project, ran parallel testing until your eyes bugged out and performed quality assurance until the cows came home. Yet, you still get that rumbling down in your gut even if it makes no sense. Yep, we get that.

Remember Y2K? The pundits, press and pessimists bombarded us with warnings of doom and disorder over two pesky characters missing in most financial programs. The ironic part for us is that this event in part catapulted India from emerging to emerged market status. Respected leaders resisted using equally competent labor and expertise from other parts of the world, while at the same time they knew that they didn’t have the capacity or time to get the job done. Smart leaders led, and kept your debit card happy.

The same cognitive belief systems exist in the HRO marketplace today, specifically amongst the peer group. We all wish that ADP really doesn’t want to grow their market share as a mature provider of an ever increasing product set in pursuit of shareholder value. Heck, I bet they will raise prices to offset those increased costs of doing business to free up some clients for the rest of us. Not! Take a drive around Hyderabad, India and see the million signs on the road that say “ADP Now Hiring” and you may become convinced that you have some dissonance in that big brain of yours. Well, it may not be a million but when you see the traffic there you will understand how it can seem like it.

Let’s get ‘Cognet’ive for a moment and examine a few mythical objections that we are familiar with:

“This job is just way too hard for anyone else to understand.” Been here, done that! Ask yourself a simple question in reply, but not out loud or the neighbors may begin to talk. “What happens when the person doing this incredibly difficult job today quits?” Your belief system as a manager tells you “other people can’t possibly be smart enough to do what Sally does all day”, but the reality is you lose employees all the time and magically find others that in fact do the work. The next reality is that you can find someone with a Master’s degree and Six Sigma training to do that same job.

“I must have my employees on premise in this expensive office space for them to be effective!” That one may have worked before we all started working remotely ourselves and AOL was the best thing ever. The reality is that businesses are becoming geographically dispersed in our own right. Some of our employees can be more effective as remote employees, so does it really matter if they are 100 miles away or 10,000? Welcome to the Cloud and what it really has to offer!

“We have more control over our processes “in-house” versus outsourced.” Do you know how many off-cycle payrolls were run by operator, shift, day of the week and tidal phase? Well, maybe not on the Spring Tide, but the difference between having a collaborative relationship with a provider and W-2 employees is measurement and accountability. The reality of on-premise work is that the process map may not exist, or measurements are not focused on cost per unit and error rates as they would be in a contractual arrangement. In an outsourced arrangement you gain more control over measurement, process and Service Level Agreements (SLA) than you have today.

“I am sure this will hurt customer service and cost us clients.” Most service organizations spend very little time on the phone or in front of the client, and most of it researching the problem or finding the data required. You have two choices. You can leave it alone and not change, or find ways to answer client questions more quickly and at a lower cost. If your offshore team ran the report, dumped it to CSV, massaged it to client specifications and then emailed it same day to your CSR, would you lose clients? Service and ticket closure time will decrease if you focus CSRs on Customers, not BS work.

We all developed a little Cognitive Dissonance at the start of the World Cup. I am sure there are some realists amongst us, but when Team USA got to the round of sixteen, we had delusions of grandeur for a moment or two. If you think about it, we actually outsourced and offshored our program to this improvement by sending most of our players to the European professional leagues, matching competency with geography.

Checkout our white paper that discusses not only overcoming objections and choosing what works, but also the methods and governance models to ensure it succeeds via common language and agreed upon results.


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