After seeing the results of several rounds of outsourcing, it’s clear that a successful outsourcing requires a significant investment by both the outsourcer and the company. Often, the company that is outsourcing their system or organization underestimates the amount of work needed to kick off and maintain the relationship. This leads to frustration that the outsourcer “just doesn’t get it” when, in fact, they aren’t getting paid to be mind readers!
That analogy came to mind recently when I tried to outsource part of the journey to manhood of my two sons. I didn’t approach it intentionally, in fact, it took a couple of years before I realized what I was doing. It helped that my wife stayed close enough to the situation so I didn’t shoot myself in the foot!
I spent my childhood and most of my young adult years in a Christian scouting organization. When my older son was old enough to join, we went to a local church that offered the same program (even though it wasn’t ours). He never seemed to love the program like I did and his younger brother wasn’t a fan either so we went ‘shopping’ for a better option…or should I say a better outsourcer. We looked at several alternatives and ended up participating in a group at our local YMCA called Adventure Guides. After the first event, all I did was complain that it didn’t meet my (unexpressed and not well understood) expectations. I was guilty of many of the same errors first time outsourcers make and I didn’t even know I was in the market!
I’ve come to the realization that I need to be the main supplier of experiences on my sons’ journey if I want to ensure that they arrive when and where I think they should. If I want to entrust that responsibility to anyone else, I’ll need to be almost as involved as I would be if I did it myself. And it makes me wonder, what other areas of my life am I unintentionally outsourcing.
How about you? Are there any areas in your life that you’ve been unintentionally outsourcing? Let’s talk about what you can do to be more engaged there in the comments section below!