Get Offshore Leverage

I really want to focus the first half of this newsletter on how new offshore talent best absorb new knowledge and run with it effectively.  I personally believe way too much stock has been placed on offshore “recruiting” (I call it talent acquisition as it’s a process), and not enough on transferring skills so that talent can thrive long-term in your business.

Here is what we’ll cover this week:

1. The Cone of Learning – how offshore talk knowledge ent best learns in their role.
2. Gestalt – how to transfer through stories.
3. Who pays the tax?  Who owns IP?  Clearly outlined in your Statement of Work.
4. Small Details / Big Gains when attracting offshore talent.

The Cone of Learning – how offshore talent best learn in their role.

As you read this now and walk away later, if I quizzed you on the key learnings of the newsletter, you would retain 10-20% of what’s written.  Most likely the HEADLINES.

If I accelerated that by placing these insights in a video and teach it to you (which we do), you might retain 30-50%.  

If we practice this and you were asked to teach the concept back to me tomorrow morning, you would retain 80%.  Why – because having the skills to teach a skill means that you implicitly understand those skills.  They are now part of your core concepts that make up how you would do things in the future.

So how do we leverage these insights?

  1. Documenting a Standard Operating Procedure is step 1, but NOT the final step.
  2. You have to create a mechanism in your 1-on-1 to allow for offshore talent to teach you the skills back.

    Continue this look on tasks/processes on a regular basis to ensure skills are retained.
    This is the only way your team truly retains the core competencies of the role.

Gestalt – how to transfer knowledge through stories

Some of you reading this might be part of Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) which has a process for which founders transfer knowledge to each other.  It’s called Gestalt.  Essentially no founder is allowed to tell another founder what to do our what they think a founder should do in a situation.  They can only make their point by telling a story from experience.

Over the years we developed a Coaching Process at Sales for Life and Pipeline Signals that leveraged this principle and it was so astonishing how well sales managers were coaching their sales professionals.

How does it work?

Picture a “coachable moment” you want to teach your offshore talent.  Example – how to best communicate to customers via email.

Step 1 – you first have to unlock their mind that there are alternatives to how they’ve done this in the past.  You do this by asking them about how they best approach crafting emails to customers, but you ask this in only WHAT and HOW based questions.  You go 2 and 3 questions deep to help the teammate see that they don’t really have an objective, effective way of doing a task.  This creates Opportunity Cost.

Step 2 – You tell them a scenario-based story that happened to you or a colleague based on a similar situation.  The story helps the teammate see that if they didn’t alter the way they made decisions/actions in the future, they could up a cast member in a similar storied situation.

Step 3 – leverage the “teach-back method” from the above article (Cone of Learning) to help the teammate practice their future decision-making.  Think about if they had a time machine.  How would they make decisions in the future?  

Who pays the tax?  Who owns the IP?  Clearly outlined in your Standard Operating Procedures

A couple of nightmare scenarios I’ve seen.

  • Founder goes to sell their company.  During due diligence the offshore DevOps team didn’t sign an IP release form.  Now the deal is stalled until legal can track down offshore teammates from 4 years ago to sign these documents.  The offshore teammates stall out knowing they could get paid to sign this release doc.
  • Founder (me as this actually happened to me) has a series of contractors that didn’t save for tax season.  The contractors come begging me for money to pay their tax bill.  They have two options:

– Me give them a loan
– Me give them more pay (which will be taxable)
– They leave

Either way it wasn’t a good scenario.

When you create your Statement of Work for your offshore teammates, don’t forget these two (2) critical areas:

  1. They are responsible for their own tax (unless you are using a tax remittance payment processor).
  2. ALWAYS for all employees, contractors and vendors, no matter where they live in the world – IP Release form.

In our Learning Portal we have a sample you can download for a reference.

Small Details / Big Gains when attracting offshore talent.

When you fish, they don’t just jump into the boat.  You need to find the “hook” that is unique to the other fishing boats.  Here are a few tactical tips that have served us well over the years when attracting offshore talent:

Jump the Queue – what gets candidates and/or recruiters to focus on you?

  1. Money talks – you are creating a labor arbitrage of 3-10x.  Don’t fret the nickels.  A 10-20% increase over posted market prices seem small to you as a dollar value, but monumental to the talent you can attract.
  2. Benefits after 90 days.  HMO insurance is one of the biggest determining factors to employee retention.  Health and safety for both your talent and their family will drive interest in your opportunity that almost anything else.  We offer health benefits after 90 days.
  3. Work from home.  Commuting to work in India and the Philippines can be 3-4 hours of time wasted for your teammate.  Allowing them to work from the comfort of home is massive.
  4. Two weeks of holidays and all religious holidays.  We have teammates that previous to working with us, they hadn’t celebrated Ramanan or Easter with their families in 5 years.  Religious events are most likely more important to them than you – make it a perk!

Get ready to be shocked!

Don’t Forget to Benchmark your team against offshore talent.

  • What is the profit increase you could expect?
  • What is the sales relief / reprieve you could expect to generate the same profit?