The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals has inducted Peter Drucker into its Outsourcing Hall of Fame, one of the industry’s highest professional recognitions for contributions to business and society.
Also inducted, along with Drucker, were Lynn Blodgett, president and chief executive officer of Affiliated Computer Services, and Marty Chuck, founder and managing partner of the CXOs LLC and former CIO of Electronic Arts Inc. and Agilent Technologies. Presentations were made at the IAOP’s annual conference in Carlsbad, Calif.
“These individuals represent the highest quality of outsourcing professionals globally,” said IAOP Chairman Michael Corbett. “Practicing outsourcing with social responsibility is one of the top and growing interest areas, and these Hall of Fame inductees are at the forefront of advancing practices that are a model for all companies.”
In accepting this honor, Drucker Institute Director Rick Wartzman noted that Peter Drucker viewed outsourcing “not merely as a means to cut costs, but as an important social innovation—especially for service workers who are hungering to be challenged in their jobs and to find pathways for advancement.”
Wartzman then quoted from “Sell the Mailroom,” Drucker’s 1989 Wall Street Journal article on the topic: “If clerical, maintenance and support work is done by an outside independent contractor it can offer opportunities, respect and visibility. As employees of a college, managers of student dining will never be anything but subordinates. In an independent catering company they can rise to be vice president in charge of feeding the students in a dozen schools; they might even become CEOs of their firms.”
But Wartzman noted that, in the very same article, Drucker pointed out that “there is a price for unbundling” businesses in this way.
“If large numbers of people cease to be employees of the organization for which they actually work,” Drucker warned, “there are bound to be substantial social repercussions.”
Wartzman concluded: “This, then, is the delicate balancing act that Peter would have asked all of you to keep in mind: to use outsourcing as a powerful tool—to help spur innovation, to better focus your enterprises, to improve quality, to enhance productivity, to maximize effectiveness—but to do so with the sober understanding that every decision you make touches the lives of those who work for you and work with you, their families and their communities.
“Or, to quote the title of another of Peter’s pieces on this subject—this one from a 2002 essay in Harvard Business Review: “They’re Not Employees, They’re People.”
The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals is the global, standard-setting organization and advocate for the outsourcing profession. With 40,000 customer, advisor and provider members worldwide, IAOP helps companies increase their outsourcing success rate, improve their outsourcing ROI, and expand the opportunities for outsourcing across their businesses. For more, please visit www.outsourcingprofessional.org.