Transformation Blog

The True Threat to Global Business Services: It’s Not AI, It’s Leadership

Krzysztof Herdzik

Krzysztof Herdzik

GBS/SSC/BPO Practicioner


In a bold and daring statement, let’s face it: the Global Business Services (GBS) as we’ve known might come to an end – AI might be the biggest change catalyzation since the GBS concept was created. And no, it’s not artificial intelligence (AI) that’s ringing the bell. It’s something far more human – it’s the capabilities of GBS leaders.

GBS has always been the reliable backbone of enterprises, enhancing efficiencies and integrating global operations. But as AI and automation reshape the business landscape, it isn’t about the machines taking over; it’s about the humans in charge and their readiness to lead in this brave new world.

For too long, GBS leaders have been waiting in the wings, biding their time for the green light from the business. They feel silenced, budget-less, and stripped of their authority to drive change. But in a world that’s on the fast track to digital and AI-powered solutions, waiting is a luxury GBS can’t afford.

The myth that GBS is a mere follower, waiting for instructions, needs to be shattered. GBS has the potential to be an influential driver of change. It needs leaders who can step up to the challenge, leaders who can take charge, inspire their teams, and blaze the trail in this AI-dominated world. But are our current leaders ready for this challenge? That’s the million-dollar question.

Many GBS leaders don’t fear AI; in fact, they see it as a solution. Their struggle lies in getting to the boardroom table, in making their voices heard. It’s about influence, about the power to shape strategic decisions, and about advocating for change on a systemic level. It’s time for a leadership revolution in GBS.

In this new era, GBS leaders need to be more than just operational experts. They need to comprehend disruptive business models, navigate the uncharted waters of technological change, and play a pioneering role in AI initiatives. They need to build credibility and trust, not just within their own teams, but across the entire organization. They need to be business influencers and change catalysts.

So, the question is not how many complex finance tasks you can handle, but how many of you have influenced your company’s bottom line? How many of you have improved customer satisfaction through your GBS organization? How many of you have contributed to customer retention or influenced the business model?

GBS leaders need to shed the back-office mindset and step into a more strategic role. They need to understand the end customer, the market dynamics, and leverage technology to deliver tangible value. GBS isn’t just about cost efficiencies; it’s about driving business growth and customer satisfaction.

We’ve heard GBS leaders voice their inability to drive change because they don’t control IT. But this isn’t a question of control, it’s about collaboration. It’s about building alliances and creating partnerships based on mutual respect and shared goals. It’s not about hierarchy, but about forging meaningful relationships that transcend organizational silos.

To remain relevant and thrive in the AI era, GBS leaders need to step up. They need to demonstrate boldness, innovation, and proactivity. They need to stop waiting for permission and start pioneering change. They need to move away from a support mindset and towards a leadership mentality that drives value and impacts the bottom line.

Therefore, the new GBS model is about influencing revenue and customer satisfaction. It’s about retaining customers and impacting business models. It’s about being a driving force in the organization, not just a support function. To truly succeed, GBS leaders need to understand their end customers, the market, and how they can leverage technology to create real value.

This isn’t just an article; it’s a call to arms. GBS leaders, it’s time to step up. The future of GBS is in your hands. Are you ready to take the lead? It’s time to stop playing catch-up and start setting the pace. Let’s be brave, let’s be bold, and let’s shape the future of GBS together. Our time is now!

Krzysztof Herdzik

Independent GBS Advisor

Author of the newsletter: “The Journey of GBS Leader. Newsletter, which reads more than 1 100 GBS professionals every day. Would you like to be one of us?

My mission is to help GBS Organisations to create more meaning full jobs, one after another. I truly believe that GBS Organizations have one chance in a million just now.

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