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 IT & BPO Service Providers (Pure Plays) face an uncomfortable future; maturation, stagnation, cannibalization and disintermediation figure large on the Indian Sub-Continent.

Talent scarcity; competition from other, cheaper locales; fractured client expectations and competitive pressure from Global IT Service Providers threaten the IT & BPO Service Provider industry inIndia.

 Is this True? What does this mean? Should I be concerned?

John Bolden, founder and principal consultant of TLIR Group, is intimately familiar with the mechanics, dynamics, optics and politics associated with in-country, virtual, near-shore and off-shore outsourcing.

John consults with organizations large and small on the benefits and pitfalls associated with outsourcing. His perspective reaches far beyond the business case; shining a light on upstream, downstream and parallel aspects of outsourcing that are typically overlooked, ignored or taken for granted whenever outsourcing is on the agenda…

Leader’s who truly understand the implications of what has to happen in order to realize the benefits associated with outsourcing are far better positioned to make the right outsourcing decision, realize their objectives and attain the results they were promised and that they promised to others.   

  John’s unbiased, independent viewpoint is refreshingly blunt, totally honest and harbours no hidden agenda. The rationale for why you choose to outsource is not in question – whether you have all the facts necessary in order for you to make certain that outsourcing meets expectations is another question entirely.

Contact John to schedule a private conversation, it will be a very wise investment of your time today and could save time, money and reputations tomorrow…


Recently, news hit the airwaves that the Government of Ontario had hired a high priced economist to join a 4 person commission studying what to do to improve productivity, streamline service delivery, etc, etc. While I do not understand how and why an economist would have the right credentials to join such a commission I wish him well…

As I see it, this commission will be expected to think outside the box…

A far, far greater issue that no one in government has got their mind around is the fact that any, good worthy ideas coming out out of this commission will end up being defined, planned and executed as though they were inside a linear, insular business improvement box…

Ergo, whatever this commission comes up will not be realized in a timely, effective manner if handled from within the Government proscribed Business Improvement Box…

Trivia Time!

William Shakespeare and Miguel Cervantes are probably the best known or even the greatest writers in the English and Spanish languages. These stellar lights of the literary universe died on the same day yet Cervantes died ten days before…!  


For a long, long time the first day of the official year in Englandfell on the 25th of March. So, for example Elizabeth I of England was recorded as having died on 24 March 1602 (Old Style New Year’s Eve). Her death, if the year were recorded as starting on January 1st (the modern system of numbering years) would be written 24 March 1603 which would then, after Julian to Gregorian transformation, correspond to 3 April 1603 (New Style).

Clear? Clear as mud! Does this remind you of the mindless ambiguities spouting from the mouths of transformation leaders?

Catholic countries such as Italy, Poland, Spain, and Portugalwere first to change to the Gregorian calendar. Thursday, 1582 October 4 was followed by Friday, 1582 October 15, with 11 days “missing forever”. Countries that did not change until the 1700s observed an additional leap year, necessitating 12 “missing days”. Some countries did not change until the 1800s or 1900s, necessitating more “missing days”.

Are you familiar with transformation projects where multiple streams of activity are occurring in apparent isolation? There would be a moment in time, far in the future where everything might, just might be synchronized, but until then – rampant confusion!

France changed from the Julian to Gregorian calendar on 9 December 1582 where the next day was 20 December 1582. In Russia, the Gregorian calendar was introduced much later—on February 14, 1918. Hence, the October Revolution of 1917 actually took place in November! (November 7 New Style = October 25 Old Style).

Englandchanged to the Gregorian date system in 1752. When Shakespeare died on 23rd April 1616 his date of death was recorded according to the Julian date system. Spain, as noted above, changed to the Gregorian system in 1582 so when Cervantes died on 23rd April 1616… he didn’t die on the same day as Shakespeare, he predeceased him by ten days. 

 And you thought corporate transformation was complex…!

Information is the Key that enables Good Decisions…

How many places one has to go to get the Information is the Lock

Filtering Information through Place Based Layers Lines Up the Tumblers

 Information is a product of Process


When what is being asked is Process Centric, the Process is the Information source IF you know what Process to turn to, know who to contact, what steps to follow and understand the rules that govern access and use of the Information.


Across any and all levels of government and within any medium sized business or large corporation; Processes in the tens of thousands create, update, maintain and use Information millions of times every hour… When one needs to access, layer, filter, consolidate and analyse in order to infer, conclude or make informed decisions from multiple Process / Information Verticals – one is faced with a challenge!


When what is being asked spans processes, dynamically shifts according to what the Information yields and changes each and every time; the Information Repository for the Process is the place to go – not the Process itself.


Information Sets emanating from multiple Information Repositories will be as diverse  as there are numbers of Processes; some Information Sets will be massive, others will be sparse, some will be exquisitely detailed, others greatly summarized , some will be subject matter specific, some will be generalized.


Finding the linkages, relationships and implications within and between Information Sets; thereby, enabling informed decision making would be a monumental task each and every time a multi-Process Information Requirement arose.


Place Based Information Management cuts through mountains of process specific Information; filtering, interrelating and highlighting Information independent of Process and brings to the fore key facts and figures about places, communities, areas and regions that would otherwise be buried.

Advances in technology hinged upon faceted search enable Place Based Information Management do be a reality without massive investement in time, money or restructuring of current IM practices – contact us to find out more via our web presence.


SNAFU! Just another business improvement debacle…

Many business improvement problems – cost overruns, delays, low quality, stakeholder dissatisfaction, etc, etc. – can be traced back to the fact that when external parties (vendors, consultants, service providers) are involved; profit centric objectives of these parties take first priority over business objectives.

Far too often, what is intuitively obvious (to me) is overlooked, ignored or taken for granted by those who think they know better (project people) and those who ought to know better (business people) take what is said as given (the fact that project people often know that miracles have to occur in order to deliver according to business people’s expectations is not said).

Unfortunately, as history evinces, far too many so called project managers have been raised on the premise that consensus is best. An utterly and completely wrong perspective when one is dealing with greedy, backstabbing external parties intent solely upon making money. It is not difficult to manage external parties provided one is prepared to bruise egos or spill blood at the first inclination of upcoming problems.

Here then are some words to the wise. The following quips and quotes speak to matters far more damaging than the mere mechanics of change and that, I suspect, is the root reason why so many good, worthy efforts to improve the business fail to meet expectations. Each quip is generalized and the specific degree of impact would shift for better or worse according to the situation of the reader but, and this is important, would rarely be totally obviated.

 1. In this instance, one could replace the words ‘corporate transformation’ with the name of a company or government entity and, accepting that scale of impact may differ, the rest of the statement would hold true. I would be very pleased to be proven wrong…      

 Introductory Remarks: Sun Tzu and the Art of Corporate Transformation
 “Never in the history of corporate transformation have so many business improvement projects delivered so little, so late, so poorly for so much cost and aggravation. Now for the bad news…”

J. Bolden, ICKCCO, Boston USA

2. The following is a perfect question to ask when the sum of business improvement projects are not delivering results as expected. Both Hierarchical and Matrix Organization structures are the breeding ground for too many chiefs, far too many mercenaries and far too few truly focused on improving the business.

 Keynote Presentation Extract: The Case for the Chief Change Officer
 “One trusts that someone, somewhere, has full and complete vision of everything that is being considered, being planned and being undertaken to improve the business, across the entire business. Let me ask YOU! Who would that be…?”
J. Bolden, IICM, New Orleans USA

3. This statement speaks to the dangers of accepting what is proffered at face vale by external parties as the means to salvation. It is only by independently assessing what is on the table within the true context of who will be doing what to whom, why, where, when, at what cost and with what expected result that one can determine if what is envisioned is plausible and possible, that what is planned is practical and achievable and that what will be done makes sense, avoids risk and will meet expectations…

Tutorial Extract: Quislings Multiply Like Lemmings
 “Asking questions about who is going to do what to whom, where, when, why, at what cost, with what intended result and with what impact to the organization and other projects is Good management. Relying solely upon answers from those who stand to Gain or Lose the most from the outcomes of change is Not necessarily Wise management…”

J. Bolden, ECITM, Paris France

4. There are hundreds of thousands of project managers, most are good at what they do – the question is, is what they do right and proper for the greater good of the business or right for the project? If external parties are in play, their change mechanics govern and their change mechanics are aligned first and foremost to profitability, not to changing the business as quickly and effectively as possible. In far too many cases, project managers (internal or external) are excellent managers of the mechanics of change but have little appreciation or skill about the other dimensions of change that are ready to render yet another good, worthy effort to improve the business a failure.  

 Keynote Extract: Corporate Singularity – Who’s On First?
 “No Matter What You Want to Do to Improve the Business… Seamless, Deft and Adroit Management of Change Mechanics AND Business Dynamics AND Corporate Optics AND Office Politics is Essential for Success… 
Focusing Solely Upon the Mechanics of Change is a Recipe for Disaster!
Let Me Explain…”
J. Bolden, PAC-CM, Singapore

5. Ah! I equate this to shooting at the moon. Aim at the moon (the business), fire the gun (define the improvement), wait for the explosion (the outcomes and deliverables). Nothing happens, the moon has moved (the business has moved on in the meantime) and the intended deliverables no longer fit and/or are not needed!

 Presentation Extract: Corporate Transformation, Who’s on First?
 “Today, most business improvement projects are managed according to yesterday’s thinking. Linear – Singular – Insular Project Management mindsets all but guarantee business improvement projects will fail to meet expectations. Let me explain…”

J. Bolden. EMTC, Rome Italy

6. The dichotomy of silo based process improvement …

¨        Business Motives Beget the Need for New or Changed Process… 

¨        Process is created or changed through Project(s)…

¨        Project(s) view Information from the perspective of the Process Need…

¨        Project(s) cause Information to be structured to satisfy Process Need…


Information/Process Silos are outcomes of defining and structuring Information as a Necessity for Process rather than as a Value Enabler for the Enterprise.

Keynote Extract: Information / Process Silos / Bane of the Enterprise

 “If Information is the DNA of the Enterprise, then Information/Process Silos are Viruses that Prevent Seamless, Cohesive Transfer of Knowledge between Enterprise Nodes.”

J. Bolden, IICM, New Orleans USA