January 6, 2021 Trend Spotting, IT Consulting, and Endurance Sports with Barry Matthews
Barry Matthews, Founder, Re-Source Future of Work, joins Uprisor to share what he’s learned over 20 years of helping organizations adopt new processes like automation, outsourcing, and on-demand talent. Barry is an expert in change spotting, focusing his energies on future workforce strategies and teaching enterprises how to plan and thrive in this new world.
In this episode, Topcoder VP Clinton Bonner and Barry discuss the “aha” moments in Barry’s career, outsourcing’s historically dismal track record, and why no industry or business model is safe from disruption. Enjoy the conversation and check out highlights below.
Barry describes four key light bulb moments in his career that compelled him to act. The first combined two of his great passions—technology and endurance sports. As an avid competitor in marathons, ultramarathons, and ironman competitions, Barry noticed a lack of a platform linking the athletes interested in competing with the races themselves. So, he created a company called Endurancelife, which is still going strong now, almost 20 years later.
YOU CAN’T PUT A JET ENGINE IN A WRIGHT BROTHERS PLANE
Barry describes the next two big ‘aha’ moments in his career—that large organizations needed help setting up outsourcing and offshoring deals successfully, and then stumbling on RPA technology and helping enterprises incorporate those elements into their operations. Before Re-Source, Barry founded Source, which pioneered robotic process automation (RPA) and the application of automation and AI technologies for the IT consulting and outsourcing industry.
He notes that when companies try to tack on something like outsourcing or RPA on their own, it can be like putting a jet engine into an old Wright Brothers airplane. It’s too big, too heavy, too complex–it just won’t work. You need to change the structure of the organization to accommodate the new strategies.
Adding global expertise to your toolkit
As Barry has seen the rise of crowdsourcing and the gig economy, he’s also seen a similar need for organizations to have guidance as they incorporate these new ways of working with talent. He wants to help companies unlock huge efficiencies and productivity gains for businesses, but to do that they need to be able to access global on-demand talent through the right platform. He envisions a new position that many companies will need going forward, a “blended workforce lead” that can guide organizations as they balance in-house and on-demand talent.
“The crowd is not there to replace your internal resources…it’s an augmentation discussion. We can make you brilliant by adding so much global expertise to your toolkit.” – Barry Matthews
Looking to the Future
When asked about his predictions for the post-COVID world, Barry asserts that we’ll never go back to working the way we did before, with so many people commuting to a physical office. Companies that have been flexible and focused on resilience are handling the COVID disruption better than ones that have been reluctant to embrace change, and that flexibility will be part of the new normal. Both workers and employers are seeing the benefits of flexible, remote work.
“I honestly think that where we work is going to be so unimportant. We’ll laugh, really, about the thought of going to the office every day.” – Barry Matthews