Are We Throwing It All Away?

Someday you’ll be sorry
Someday when you’re free
Memories will remind you
Of what was meant to be
But late at night when you call for help
The only sound you’ll hear
Is the sound of your voice calling
Calling out for help

Just throwing it all away
Throwing it all away
And there’s nothing that I can say

With apologies to Phil Collins, that slightly modified verse just keeps playing over and over again in my head. This recent article in Industry Week on optimizing outsourcing relationships for today’s market realities has me shaking my head. Manufacturers signed contracts to outsource more than $10.4 billion worth of IT and business process services in the last six months of 2009. 10.4 Billion! That’s an awful lot of services being handed out and an awful lot of knowledge at risk of disappearing. Not that I have anything against augmenting your capabilities with those from best-in-class organizations, but the way most organizations approach outsourcing, where it’s just thrown over the wall and forgotten about until all knowledge of the service disappears from organizational memory, scares me.

And ever since I saw that ridiculous article that said we should outsource thinking, I’m on edge. We’re on the precipice of a new age, but if we’re not careful, it will be a very dark age in American history. Innovation got us here, and without innovation, which depends on thinking, we’ll fade away.

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