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(2 minute read.)

Do it for me?

Continuing a point made earlier… here's the case for outsourcing the management/executive of a business.

Largely swiped-and-adapted from the pitch of one-or-more such providers, it's a bit stilted, but makes the point.


Outsourcing a CEO or similar key role to a professional service firm may seem laughable, perhaps disturbing to 'place so much power with others'… because these positions are valued for their strategic thought, determined execution and the leadership they bring to the organization.

But the reality is that appropriate outsiders can provide a better alternative to in-house employed individuals.

The outsourced CEO can provide as good and better corporate leadership, direction, management and strategic supervision as an employed individual. And their commitment to client objectives and cultural values should be as strong.

In outsourcing the exec role to an appropriate firm, the business gets a team rather than a single individual, bringing advantages which include:

  • Broader expertise and experience.
  • Better continuity through covering periods of illness, vacation and unexpected availability.

It's likely a better alternative to a conventional board supplemented with non-execs.

Years ago outsourcing anything wasn't accepted, and now it's normal.

Large corporations accept interim exec-outsourcing. (And usually during a difficult period, so it's silly to not be open to it on an ongoing/permanent basis.)

Although more common with charities and non-profits rather than commercial businesses, there's an increasing number of firms providing Executive Director-level full-management services on an ongoing basis through renewable 3/6/12-month contracts.

I don't agree with those who consider 'core competencies should always be retained and critical jobs/tasks should not be outsourced'.

There is no reason to believe that the service provided 'externally' by someone who doesn't have a vested interest will be inferior. (In my advice & support work I've often provided a higher level of care for others than I have in my own enterprises.)

The leadership of a business really *doesn't* need to be employed personnel with/without an equity stake.

If the owners of a business are sufficiently savvy to know broadly what needs to be done and recognise the quality of the provided service, it'll work well and they can effectively leave the 'external CEO' to get on with things and report accordingly.

With my 'almost total outsourcing' strategy, the what-to-do becomes relatively simple (the individual parts of which can be handled, tweaked and improved by the providers of the specific services), and the 'boss role' should be unonerous… mostly overseeing.

He was nominally the leader, but others actually ran the organization.

Ethos… »