All in all, consulting/implementation firms may think they’re better off delivering every requirement regardless of customization load, but it comes at the cost of diminishing long-term returns for their customers.
… which brings us to the next consideration: Focus.
In the book Focus: Use Different Ways of Seeing the World for Success and Influence, Drs. Higgins and Halvorson report that people tend to orient themselves based on promotion or prevention paradigms. These orientations impact everything we do. Those who are promotion-focused concern themselves with maximizing success. On the other hand, prevention focus is characterized by minimizing losses and other protectionist behaviors.
In the context of an IT consulting firm, the choice of how to focus is more critical than ever.
Promotion focus behaviors lead towards ingenuity and innovation while prevention focus becomes paralyzing with hand-wringing about optics, including whether the consulting firm is viewed as an order taker or strategic partner, and a disproportionate focus on touting achievements and people pleasing.
The Bimodal Model of Operations
A parallel can be drawn between promotion and prevention orientations and organizations’ increasing interest in becoming bimodal. Bimodal, a concept introduced by Gartner, Inc., is the practice of separating IT functions into two modes. Mode 1 is prevention-focused, concerned with safety and stability. Mode 2 is promotion-focused, characterized by its interest in exploration, speed, and agility.
A challenge of bimodal adoption is the perception that Mode 1 is less glamorous and concerns itself more with legacy application stability, whereas Mode 2, characterized by rapid development of emerging technologies is perceived as the more “senior” of the two groups. Gartner underscores extolling the importance of both groups in positive terms. Both are critical for the organization’s long-term success. Mode 1 folks are samurais; Mode 2 are ninjas
As it pertains to Salesforce, it may be ninjas who are developing the latest enhancements, but, since we know Salesforce is often integrated into legacy applications, it is the team’s samurais who ensure that a cohesive application ecosystem remains robust.
Implementing bimodal operations may bring two categories of benefits. A survey of CIOs bimodal structures yielded a “balance of outward-looking benefits (business-IT engagement, innovation and time to market) and inward-looking benefits such as improved perception of IT and change in IT culture. Top-performing organizations tilt heavily to the outward-looking benefits.”
Managerial competencies, business acumen, and technical acumen result in a balanced set of skills, which allows teams to be more effective. Knowledge transfer remains one of the most critical aspects of integrating outside talent and preparing for their departure.
This means firms need to find people who not only possess given skill sets and Salesforce certifications, but also seek out lifelong learners. Firms who have myopically focused on the quantity of Salesforce certifications or target a very specific certification may not consider applicants with track records that show they continue to acquire necessary skills outside of the Salesforce platform.
Conversely, as the demand for Salesforce professionals increases, job seekers may also be looking to certifications and interview prep guides to artificially bolster their actual experience. While there is nothing wrong with hiring entry-level Salesforce talent, the reality is some positions require experience, and that experience needs to be vetted before resumes arrive in your Inbox.
At the end of the day, there is always a best candidate for each position, and that candidate can’t be found by simply searching for certifications, nor can certifications alone make the perfect candidate.
Since each incorrect hiring decision wastes time and resources, firms may benefit from collaborating with experienced talent consultants to vet candidates and help them hire the best professionals for their business. Pinkus Partners possesses a blend of deep knowledge in both talent acquisition and IT services to develop a Salesforce Talent Network: a community of skilled professionals who are poised to help a company’s CRM initiatives succeed.
This post draws from information found in the professional handbook How to Win at CRM: Strategy, Implementation, Management, written by Seth J. Kinnett and published in 2017 by CRC Press.