“Neomania” and the World of MSP Programs

The MSP landscape is certainly full of ‘new’ things right now, but when you strip everything away, talent management is still all about people.

By Dave Elliott-Smith, Contingent Portfolio Strategist, EMEA & APAC  |  September 18, 2018

I have recently been reading a fascinating book by Rolf Dobelli entitled The Art of Thinking Clearly.  The author has summarized ninety-nine of the most common forms of cognitive error, also referred to as “systematic deviations from logic.”

I can recognize many of these errors in my personal and professional life, but the one that has struck the biggest chord with me is what the author calls “Neomania.” My role within KellyOCG is to develop the future strategy for our contingent workforce portfolio in EMEA and I face many calls for the ‘latest’ and ‘shiniest’ new idea. Why? Because it is presumed that unless we add something ‘new’ into our programs then we are not delivering an innovative enough service. This presumption that ‘new’ is better than ‘old’ is essentially what “Neomania” means.  

The MSP landscape is certainly full of ‘new’ things right now. Technology platforms and/or applications filled with robotic process automation and artificial intelligence are offering a variety of exciting opportunities to improve process flows—BUT when you strip everything away, talent management is still all about ‘people’—it is about talent deciding how they want to work and who they work for; it is about hiring managers articulating why someone would want to work for them.

At KellyOCG, we believe that being transactionally excellent is no longer enough of a differentiator. We believe that the real power of an MSP lies in how we help your organization to use talent management as a competitive advantage. #ditchthescript  

During Procurecon Total Talent in Amsterdam on 26th September, I will be moderating a panel discussion that will explore how MSP programs are likely to evolve over the next 10 years to meet emerging needs and requirements. Joining me will be the highly qualified Madelyn Abreu, Global Contingent Workforce Project Deputy Business Lead for Roche; Thomas Michaelis, Material Group Manager HR and Management Consulting Services Corporate Procurement for Swarovski; Gonneke Vulto, Global Service Line Manager Contingent Workforce Unilever; and Andreas Hettwer, Global Head of Contingent Staffing Procurement for Capgemini.

We will certainly touch on what’s next from a technological perspective, but we will also discuss why so many MSP programs today are not nearly as well leveraged as they could be. We will examine why this understanding holds the key, rather than new process innovation, in evolving from program efficiency to effectiveness and from good to great.  

When contemplating the future, we can often place too much emphasis on the novelty of new rather than examining why the current isn’t working. Maybe it is time to #ditchthescript, to accept that many MSP programs are under-leveraged simply because organizations are not ambitious enough about where they could add value; or because they overly focus on control, visibility, and savings objectives, which are not necessarily front-of-mind of the hiring manager who is just trying to get some work done or talent that is looking for a partner to create their career journey.  

If you are attending the Amsterdam event I look forward to hearing your views. If not, I would love to hear your views anyway!

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