This week’s topic:
On this call Michael Tushman of the Harvard Business School discusses his recently released case study he co-authored with his colleague Kerry Herman and our very own John Winsor: Deloitte’s Pixel (A): Consulting with Open Talent. The case study focuses on Deloitte’s methods of incubating exploratory products /services/methods for its consulting business. It focuses on Balaji Bondili, head of Pixel, as he considers how best to grow Deloitte’s use of open talent, as consulting companies and their clients face transformative change in the way client projects get done. Pixel, started in 2014, helps facilitate open talent and crowdsourcing for Deloitte client engagements, to access specific, difficult-to-find expertise, collaborate to develop new products and insights, and to design, build, and test new digital assets. Bondili found some avid users—and evangelists—of Pixel’s services among Deloitte’s principals, however uptake across the broader organization has been slow, and in some pockets has met with deep resistance.
Chat room transcript:
00:15:33 Andy Barnes: do we need popcorn? @b
00:15:46 Bryan Peña: is that why Balaji shaved?
00:16:05 Balaji Bondili: Popcorn, always!
00:20:48 Andy Barnes: apologies if you were in meeting room 9 … I lost wifi and rejoined
00:21:06 Todd Brous: That was NOT enough TIME!!!!
00:22:46 Wyatt Nordstrom: @Todd +`
00:22:51 Wyatt Nordstrom: +1
00:23:15 Todd Brous: @Jeff Davis You are a legend!!!
00:23:25 Chuck Hamilton: Book suggestion for all Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them
00:23:49 Chuck Hamilton: https://www.amazon.ca/Humanocracy-Creating-Organizations-Amazing-People/dp/1633696022
00:25:54 Andy Barnes: Great to see @elina from Brussels here
00:26:12 Elina Jutelyte: First time here (thanks to @Andy Barnes) and already had very interesting discussion in the breakout room. Looking forward to learn more
00:27:08 David Swift: I read the case
00:27:12 sheila mahoney: I tried to read the case!!
00:27:19 Eugene Ivanov: I did
00:27:31 Jason Marmillion: First time joining!
00:27:32 Eleanor Matthews: Not me
00:27:32 Andy Barnes: Did not have chance to download sorry
00:27:36 James Gallman: Not every company is standardized on zoom
00:27:39 Wyatt Nordstrom: yes, read it
00:27:41 James Gallman: Just FYI.
00:27:46 Ashley Beaudoin: Read it!
00:27:50 Alp Sezginsoy: Read it
00:27:55 Mark Hannant: Read it
00:28:58 Chirag Gupta: First time here. Where can I download the case? I tried finding it before the call, but couldn’t find anything.
00:30:36 sheila mahoney: wow this is like business school again!
00:30:37 Janice Stevenor Dale: Synonymous with research and development…leads to profit opportunities
00:32:57 Todd Brous: They must Explore new tools and business models for their clients… if they don’t adapt they will eventually die.
00:33:29 Gokul C: To be on top
00:33:50 Elina Jutelyte: @chirag Gupta – the same here, would love to see the study
00:33:58 James Wright: They know that it’s better to disrupt themselves than wait to be disrupted outside the org. Proactive over reactive
00:34:07 Todd Brous: @James: +1
00:35:14 Mary Mellino: It is a non-negotiable. AI, data and networks are requiring all organizations to redesign operating model and business model to stay relevant
00:35:35 Christine Morton: Brand reputation. The consulting firm is able to trade on its brand, and there is a price premium on their brand. So the amount they spend on being seen to be the best/the leader is huge – it’s why you’d see so many ads for Accenture in airports
00:35:39 Mary Mellino: and to achieve exponential growth
00:36:06 Chris Duarte: robots can only emulate human emotion but cannot replace human discretion in Consulting
00:39:05 San Rahi: [unrelated] Shout out to the BM Taskforce: I’ll send you all a note after the call today so we can nail down a time for our kick-off call.
00:39:38 Rich Copsey: Old habits die hard… fear of that which is not understood
00:39:54 James Wright: One the primary imperatives we face as a species, imho, is keeping computers working for humans, and not the other way around. We’ve already stepped from process automation to decision automation and we’re worryingly close to being the weak link in the self fullfilling, prophetic desire for efficiency, at all cost. Including Moral Agency
00:40:14 Mary Mellino: I second that San. Shout out to playbook workstream. Please respond to Doodle poll with availability. Hoping to nail down the meeting time today
00:40:48 Todd Brous: This represents a HUGE Threat the internal consultants… their entire jobs are at stake
00:41:06 Alistair Hofert: Biomimicry and new business models will only work when trust and governance has been around for a few years. Natural human behaviour takes a time to earn trust.
00:41:11 Chuck Hamilton: More Impact and less cost when using crowd talent
00:42:10 Todd Brous: @Ty: +1
00:42:20 Chuck Hamilton: Almonds found in some trees used to kill people. Then they domesticated it
00:42:21 Ashley Beaudoin: threat to confidentiality/NDA with gig workers and also a gamble that the freelancer won’t be a high caliber to be client facing
00:42:46 Mark Hannant: Steps away the mystique upon which the brand value is built
00:42:49 Steve Rader: It threatens your very value… perception to just anyone can do MY job
00:43:03 Christine Morton: precisely Steve – it’s brand protection
00:43:45 Chuck Hamilton: Hoarding your knowledge can protect your job for a while 🙂
00:44:40 Alistair Hofert: The Big 4 are based on risk averse mindsets……but the world is now based in innovation and exploration.
00:45:49 Catherine: Great to have you, Adam Sandlin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adam-sandlin/
00:47:14 John Healy: Canibalizing the way they leaders became leaders is viewed as threatening
00:47:35 San Rahi: Entrenched power tends to feel entitled to that power. Better faster cheaper is a threat to that.
00:48:05 Mary Mellino: Exactly John. Have seen this firsthand. Not just with open talent but with emerging tech adoption overall
00:48:20 Chris Duarte: the striking question that resignates with me is with the level of speed at which technology is growing with AI, robotics etc, what space is left for startups? how would startups ever acquire the money and ability to innovate at this level to corner new markets?
00:48:21 John Healy: Cheaper is also a threat to existing revenue models
00:48:36 Steve Rader: @Healy +1
00:48:44 Todd Brous: He’s brilliant! His class is amazing… not enough words to properly describe it.
00:49:04 Rich Copsey: open talent flips the existing paradigm on its head… threat to the old way of doing things
00:49:59 Maureen Rousseau: @Copsey +1
00:50:05 Catherine: https://www.maven.co/
00:50:09 John Healy: threat to differentiation
00:50:18 Mark Hannant: Fear of commoditisation
00:50:45 Mary Mellino: Consulting companies can win by providing technology asset-based managed services. They need to be the curation layer and prove out ROI of emerging tech then sell as tech/services package
00:50:57 Rich Copsey: great point Jason
00:51:09 Steve Rader: Also…we mistakenly market the savings we’ll get vs the increased capacity and performance.
00:51:14 Christine Morton: it’s the classic “no one ever got fired for hiring IBM”
00:51:18 Chris Duarte: jason +1! yes discretion requires a human level of experience to recognize the multiple aspects of quality improvement for people and not just numbers
00:51:24 Maureen Rousseau: @Rader +1
00:51:48 Alistair Hofert: Consider GPT3 before phoning a consulting partner. Controversial, but the next 3 years will change everything.
00:52:34 Janice Stevenor Dale: The berry isn’t essentially Deloitte, culturally.
00:52:40 Balaji Bondili: Ty – Pixel will forever will now be known as strange berry.
00:53:52 Jeff Doi: Feels a little like The Marix, blue pill vs red pill question
00:53:56 Chris Duarte: it needs to be a ambidextrous model, use both
00:53:59 Steve Rader: One mistake we also make is that we lump all types of work into our discussion. Open talent has different value propositions depending on who the project owner is (and their needs/gaps), the tasks/products needed, and the communities/platforms you are using.
00:54:17 Ty Montague: @balaji We do naming at co as well. You’re welcome!
00:54:22 Steve Rader: @Jeff +1
00:54:53 Chris Duarte: consultants on short term projects where innovation is needed and then run the tech to keep results consistent and improve profit by minimizing error
00:55:04 Chris Duarte: over time
00:55:08 James Wright: The problem isn’t whether the berry is poisonous or not. It’s how we approach the assessment of ‘change’ (a new berry being an example). Mitigate the percieved ‘risk’ of ‘change’ and you unlock full potential.
00:55:29 Alistair Hofert: @Michael – move this to the edge of your business, and outside your firm and invest 30% of all $ cash into new businesses that will become larger than your current business
00:56:15 Andy Barnes: Partners at Deloitte have to work their way up the ‘pyramid’ … why would you make everyone ‘equal and remove your pyramid which you have spent 15-25 years building?
00:56:27 David Swift: Genio, A-Connect and others are freelance native and have been working this way for years.
00:58:05 Rich Copsey: augment the existing model
00:58:08 Todd Brous: Assuming the Culture can grow… and the stakeholders can be properly incentivized at Deloitte… If Pixel can effectively “mine the gold” at the extremes of the Distribution Curve… and Curate the multitude of incoming pieces… then Deloitte should make this a PRIMARY Tool at the company.
00:58:26 David Swift: Exactly Andy. And freelancers can’t be controlled in the same way as those looking to climb the partner ladder.
00:59:20 Steve Rader: The traditional hierarchical, career path based organizations have lots of barriers to using open talent… but the traditional model simply can’t compete when it comes to accessing the latest and greatest skills/expertise and technologies. A mistake I see lots of organizations making is trying to maintain the traditional organization structure/processes while also trying to remain competitive.
00:59:41 Todd Brous: @Kashif +1
00:59:47 Bryan Peña: Kashif +100
01:00:07 Andy Barnes: Ditto David and Steve
01:00:09 Steve Rader: @David +1. I absolutely think that there is an underlying “loss of control” issue here… for managers and employees
01:00:25 Alex Wente: They resist because their existing business model already works and they don’t need to shift from what is tried and true
01:00:36 Steve Rader: Gatekeepers don’t go quietly into the night
01:00:53 Bryan Peña: gatekeepers keep their jobs by keeping the new out
01:01:21 Steve Rader: @Bryan +1
01:01:37 Janice Stevenor Dale: humans resist change
01:01:49 Todd Brous: @Bryan: and that’s how the company fails…
01:01:54 San Rahi: @Andy +1 – we’re looking at the biz reasons, but there’s a human dimension. Humans are loss averse. And losing power or status feels existential.
01:02:06 Steve Rader: @San Rahi +1
01:02:28 David Swift: Humans are not rational, contrary to what economists think!
01:02:35 Bryan Peña: @Todd amen
01:02:37 Steve Rader: @Eleanor… you have a whole watch party going! Love it!
01:02:39 Carissa Callini: The old “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” barrier. We’ve seen that a time or two…
01:02:53 John Healy: +1 @david!
01:03:04 Bryan Peña: people will avoid loss more easily that seek gain
01:03:24 Andy Barnes: Deloitte customer [a]…. chat to friend who is also a Deloitte customer [b]. They mention that using Pixel saves them 10% per ‘body’ as they can book direct. Customer [a] starts using EY instead….
01:03:33 Mary Mellino: bad timing for losing internet connection. apologies!
01:03:53 Andy Barnes: [possibly using EY gignow]
01:04:34 Steve Rader: @Andy… and that is why I think the companies that are successfully using these methods are not talking about it.
01:04:55 Chris Duarte: good points about the “innovator” type
01:05:03 Andy Barnes: @Steve it’e why I hardly mention 6prog.com
01:06:02 John Healy: +1 @Steve
01:06:37 Chris Duarte: Yes but the ones that are fractured will be afraid. the companoes that see the writing on the wall will devote their budgets to change. look at GE and Target
01:06:50 Janice Stevenor Dale: where on the spectrum of near death did Kodak change?
01:07:35 Steve Rader: I’m not convinced that established, successful organizations can actually pivot to the new structures that are truly necessary to keep up with the relentless change.
01:08:31 Steve Rader: Ironically, over the past few weeks, I’ve seen struggling companies closing down their innovation programs as they struggle to stay solvent.
01:08:41 John Healy: Adaptive Space by Michael Arena (former CTO at GM) offers some perspectives here…mother ship design for efficiency (to kill innovation) while maintaining a bridge to the incubation engines…
01:08:43 San Rahi: @Janice in the morgue, possibly?
01:08:53 Christine Morton: It’s hard. You can’t easily change the direction of a giant ship. Being nimble is an advantage.
01:08:54 Todd Brous: @janice: I wld argue that Kodak had every opportunity to embrace Digital… their internal R&D had everything they needed to succeed… but the internal culture led to their death.
01:09:07 Jason Marmillion: @Steve – it’s a very different challenge. Brings to mind IBM in the last decade
01:09:20 Janice Stevenor Dale: @Todd…it took decades….exactly my point
01:09:25 Andy Barnes: Kodak is the example but there wasn’t the same pace of change that exists today
01:09:35 Todd Brous: @janice +1
01:09:52 David Swift: All organizations are dysfunctional. The best ones are just less so.
01:09:55 Janice Stevenor Dale: so, our opportunity is greater now
01:10:08 Andy Barnes: Lol @David
01:10:11 San Rahi: @ Todd Kodak also had the benefit of brand love that gave them permission and some latitude. They squandered that too, I feel.
01:10:18 Todd Brous: @David: +2. #dysfunctional
01:10:23 Chris Duarte: you have to imagine that through this punctuation of covid, the innovators within each company see this as a time to assert themselves. if they arent heard, they will shift to new arenas where their innovations will be accepted.
01:10:37 Todd Brous: @San: yes!!!!
01:11:06 Andy Barnes: Kodak would have been creating a new product… ‘staffing/talent’ isn’t a new product … just the delivery is new
01:11:51 Kashif Razi: Balaji can now effectively ramp up and ramp down resources like a cloud VM …… that for a big 4 where people take years to progress in careers will create existential crisis for people
01:11:54 Steve Rader: I am totally impressed with everything Balaji has done here!!
01:12:11 Steve Rader: #Balaji2020
01:12:29 Janice Stevenor Dale: Yes, Balalji’s work does and will lead #Balaji2020
01:12:35 Paul Estes: He has my vote!!
01:13:20 Andy Barnes: TIMING is a massive part that John just mentioned. We all use Expedia to book holidays but there is only one decision maker in that… with talent platforms there are possibly 4 clients to convince (legal, sourcing, tax, and the PM). That takes longer than choosing a platform too book a holiday
01:13:39 Andy Barnes: *to
01:14:20 Steve Rader: We are all just starting out on this… this is the beginning of a long and painful transition.
01:14:33 Steve Rader: And I’ve been working this for 7 years
01:15:19 Todd Brous: If anyone wants to continue the conversation, please come to OVERTIME!
Topic: PIXEL OVERTIME
Time: Aug 27, 2020 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 960 6446 0956
01:15:47 Balaji Bondili: I will join Todd.
01:15:58 Open Assembly: Thank you Mike!
01:16:07 Bryan Peña: Thanks!
01:16:16 Elina Jutelyte: In case I am not on the list yet https://www.linkedin.com/in/elina-jutelyte/
01:16:19 Andy Barnes: Great meeting this week
01:16:21 Christine Morton: thank you!
01:16:27 Jeff Davis: Thanks Mike!
01:16:34 James Wright: Thanks !!