Surprisingly, the business needs of a world-class ruler and those of a VP of IT are similar, and so are their choices. In both cases, their personnel choices boil down to mercenaries or advisors. While each has a place, picking the wrong one can have disastrous consequences.
When a ruler needs to prop up his regime and he lacks the trained manpower to do so, the simplest solution is to hire mercenaries. These fighters-for-hire are usually skilled, willing to take direction, expecting to exercise very little autonomy, and are relatively inexpensive. If our neighborhood strongman needs only to quell a small uprising of democracy, these soldiers of fortune may do the trick.
The real problem comes in their direction. Mercenaries, by definition, fight for the money and are at the beck and call of another. They don’t have “skin in the game” (other than keeping their own skin intact). Poorly led mercenaries can do more damage than the enemy, because they are typically very good at what they do and will carry out orders without question.
Interesting stuff, but what does this have to do with the world of Salesforce and development? Let’s look at the other option, the advisor.
A military advisor is many times more expensive than a mercenary. He or she does, of course, have fighting experience and skills, and in an emergency will gladly pick up a weapon and fight, but that’s not her primary role. Instead, the advisor is brought on for her ability to look at the big picture, devise strategies, and if required, engage mercenaries to help her employer, the ruler. She will make sure those hired fighters are the best available, trained for the unique terrain of the host country, and that they are well supervised so they don’t run amuck and do damage to friendlies.
Are you starting to see where I’m going with this? A good technology partner provides “military advisors” and has the ability to seamlessly put mercenaries (resources) to work for you, if required.
Yes, anyone can go out on oDesk – or any number of other ‘human marketplaces’ – and hire bodies for a fraction of what a true advisor costs. But who has the time and talent to supervise and direct those mercenaries? Remember, like our fighting brothers, these people will take direction but bring little or no oversight and advice. They are tools, not architects.
Of course sometimes all that’s needed is some inexpensive labor for a tedious task. But oftentimes a company–or a country–needs fresh insight and professional leadership. Your friends at Basati are happy to discuss your individual situation and make recommendations based on our decades of experience. No matter your needs in the Salesforce and development world, we’ll provide you exactly what’s best for your circumstance.