Time to Rethink GBS Leadership: From Directors to Strategists.
In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, Global Business Services (GBS) have become an integral part of corporate structures. GBS models have proven their ability to drive efficiencies, standardize processes, and enable cost savings. Yet, despite their ubiquity, there’s a growing sentiment that the traditional role of a GBS Director is fast becoming obsolete. I would go as far as to say that the position of a GBS Director is dead! Instead, what organizations urgently need are Global Business Service Strategists.
The Changing GBS Landscape
As we navigate through the digital age, businesses are grappling with unrelenting pressure to be more agile, innovative, and digitally fluent. Consequently, GBS has evolved beyond merely providing shared services to a model that is driving strategic transformations. From advancing digital capabilities to enabling data-driven decision-making, GBS is positioned at the heart of enterprise-wide transformation efforts.
The Need for Strategists
This shift in role necessitates a shift in leadership. While traditional GBS Directors focused on operational efficiencies, cost control, and service delivery, the emerging reality calls for a more strategic approach. The role of the GBS leader must evolve from an administrative overseer to a dynamic strategist.
Let’s be clear. We’re not implying that the importance of GBS leadership has declined. Quite the contrary – the necessity for strong, forward-thinking leadership in GBS has never been more vital. What has changed is the role itself, transforming from a focus on administration and coordination into a strategic, transformational, and innovative one.
Global Business Service Strategists are required to be the torchbearers of change, promoting digital transformation and championing innovation across global service models. They should be able to identify trends and opportunities in the market, create value by driving strategy-aligned transformations, and be nimble enough to adapt to new technologies and business models.
Driving Digital Transformation
Global Business Service Strategists need to lead the charge in digital transformation, recognizing the potential of technologies like AI, machine learning, and automation, and integrating them seamlessly into business operations. This doesn’t just mean introducing new tools but fostering a culture of innovation and continuous improvement that empowers teams and accelerates progress.
Enabling Global Efficiencies
Businesses today are looking for GBS leaders who can successfully enable global efficiencies. The Global Business Service Strategist isn’t just overseeing tasks and initiatives, they are analyzing and implementing strategies that drive global operational efficiencies and effectiveness. They are consistently optimizing business services to ensure that they are not only effective but also cost-efficient and scalable.
The Power of Strategic Partnerships
Beyond driving digital transformation and enabling efficiencies, the GBS Strategist must be a strategic partner to other business units. This involves working hand-in-hand with various departments to align on common goals, ensure seamless coordination, and facilitate shared decision-making processes.
GBS Strategists are also responsible for maintaining relationships with external partners, suppliers, and vendors. This involves managing contracts and partnerships that can provide the business with a competitive edge, making the role even more integral to an organization’s success.
The Bottom Line
The shift towards the Global Business Service Strategist is not just about changing the job title. It’s about changing the mindset, the approach, and the skillset. As such, the Global Business Service Strategist should be well-versed in technology trends and digital transformation, capable of strategic and analytical thinking, and be a strong collaborator, with the ability to influence and drive change across the organization.
The world of business is evolving, and the GBS leadership must evolve with it. The GBS Director position as we know it may be dead, but in its place, a new breed of leader emerges. The Global Business Service Strategist is the future, equipped with the vision, strategy, and tools to drive global efficiency, spearhead innovation, and lead digital transformation.
The demand for Global Business Service Strategists has never been higher. It’s an exciting time for GBS professionals willing to embrace change, drive innovation, and play a pivotal role in shaping the future of global business operations. Therefore for those who are ready to embrace this shift, the opportunities are endless.
Advisor Business Process Transformation
Over the last decade, I have guided companies to achieve a cumulative 300 million USD in savings and productivity boost through Global Business Service transformations.
Author the newsletter: “The Journey of GBS Leader” which is read by more than 1,100 GBS professionals every day.