TON Looks at Internal Alignment. Often Underestimated. Always Critical.

March 13, 2017

Thanks again to our community for such an engaging day at FLSmidth on January 26, 2017. Our program took a look at two particular areas of internal alignment: Global In-house Center talent development and internal stakeholder alignment.



Our day kicked off with input from Michael Mol, Professor, CBS. Michael put focus on defining internal alignment and emphasising that “boundary spanners” can be critical for successfully bridging internal and external stakeholders. Often, there are challenges and misalignment due to external factors and/or changing demands of internal stakeholders. Boundary spanners can be indispensible for successfully managing these challenges. Michael pointed out that while companies can assign more people in order to improve any misalignment, there is a dis-economy of scale with more people and layers of management. Echoing this thought, Kalvin Lyle from IO Interactive noted that in all possible cases, he works to put the end customer (his internal teams) in direct contact with the developer or designer so as to minimise miscommunication and to strengthen their relationship.



We then were joined by Anurag Srivastava, VP Global Sourcing, Everest Group who presented their research into talent development at Global In-house Centers (GICs). GICs (f.k.a. captive centers) currently represent 25% of the offshore/nearshore headcount. Everest Group estimates that this footprint will grow significantly as digital services grow. These services tend to be more tightly connected to companies’ core business, thus increasing the interest of client organizations keeping the work in-house rather than availing themselves of an outsourced option.  A central theme in Anurag’s session was that future in-house center talent demands will be much higher on softer skills and “learnability” instead of exclusively focusing on technical skills. To successfully deliver on this new talent demand, companies will need to look beyond traditional talent sources, improve their internal training, and significantly increase their retention numbers.



Our afternoon was comprised of a workshop on stakeholder alignment. Run by Gritt Løschenkohl, Partner, Utænkt, the workshop gave us a chance to use “personas” as a way of better identifying stakeholder motivation as a way to better communicate and activate key stakeholders. In small groups, we acted as “detectives” to build five concrete personas: What motivates them? What are their internal drivers?  Using this, each group was then able to address the challenge specific to their stakeholder, for instance to secure their support in introducing robotic process automation or to volunteer to run a sourcing pilot even though they are skeptical. We are glad that we had the chance to work with these tools in TON and hope that our members try out the techniques in their own work.



It was a great way to kick off 2017! Thanks to all who were a part of it!



We are looking forward to our next TON program. It is being held at Mærsk in Copenhagen. We will be taking a look at supplier relationship management. William Menzel of Mærsk, is already on the program to talk about their journey in supplier relationship management.