A Paradigm Shift in Contracting Sensibilities? by Jon Hansen

Posted on March 27, 2013


Just this morning I received a notification of an upcoming seminar series presented under the heading “A seminar on Relational Outsourcing Management: Source Relationships, Not Deals or Transactions!”  I am of course quite familiar with both the phrase sourcing relationships not deals, as well as the organization behind the seminar; Strategic Relationships Solutions Inc.  You can check out my recent coverage of SRS’ Andy Akrouche’s commentary regarding public sector procurement in Canada through the following links; Government’s proposed changes to procurement show that they are in the right room but haven’t turned the lights on . . . yet! and Relationship Contracting Expert: Questionnaire on CF-18 Hornet replacement dubious at best.

Now in and of itself my receiving notifications of the latest and greatest seminars is nothing new.  In fact with  the daily influx of paid invites to cover these events I could theoretically be on the road 365 days a year.  However, what made this particular seminar announcement stand out beyond my prior knowledge of the organization, was the fact that it was being promoted by both The Institute of Public Administration of Canada or IPAC, and IACCM – with the latter offering a free one-year membership for those who register to attend.  Talk about credible endorsements!

The endorsement for the seminar by IPAC and IACCM, along with The Telfer School of Business also signals something else . . . an important paradigm shift in contracting sensibilities.  Specifically, the realization that traditional performance-based contracting in which the buyer relies upon onerous belt-with-suspender legalese to ensure vendor performance doesn’t work.  For many of you out there this realization isn’t exactly news as you have either directly or indirectly through an associate, experienced the nightmare of a contract that has run off the proverbial rails.

So what is the alternative to the familiar, heavily traveled boulevard of broken dreams?  Well this is where Akrouche’s seminar and soon to be published new book The Evolution of the New Paradigm in Outsourcing come into play.

According to Akrouche, we have to concentrate on structuring relationships of understanding and cooperation between contract stakeholders.  This means creating the platform that facilitates an honest and transparent interaction between all parties that serves both the individual and collective interests of those involved in the successful realization of an initiative’s goals.

Given that 70% of outsourcing relationships fail to achieve their stated objective, I would have to say that the Akrouche is on to something.

Based on the organizations who are getting behind his efforts, I can also see that I am not alone in my thinking.

SRS Seminar 2013

Click above to learn more about the SRS Seminar


Posted in: Commentary