People they say are our most precious commodity and any major change initiatives are bound to have a significant impact on people .None more so than the Outsourced Service Agent programme I was fortunate to be associated with in Xerox .The programme involved the gradual transition of Service Managers and Engineers from their traditional role as employees to entrepreneurs. Being sensitive to the acute unease that quite naturally would be in the minds of the employees and their family, I and other members of the Programme Team travelled across the country to personally meet the family members and assuage their misgivings. While the Programme Team put in enormous effort to make this change initiative successful, I will restrict my observations to some of the human aspects of this programme that touched me.
Family support and involvement was a feature of this programme .Wives joint the fledgling companies to take care of the Office and Admin responsibilities; Fathers joint to take care of Accounting and Stores Operations; and in at least one case grown up children chipped in to help. The involvement of the families had an immeasurable impact on the success stories that were to emerge as the programme rolled along.
In most out lying towns , community support was also evident .In Dharamshala , the Red Cross offered office space free of charge to the OSA Partner , to encourage entrepreneurship among the youth of Dharamshala .The transition of OSA Partners from employees to entrepreneurs and their ensuing success , enabled the partners to grow In stature within these communities.
Many of the employees who adapted well to their new lives as entrepreneurs grew into effective business men and expanded their operations into other areas .Some became channel partners of the OA Division. For most these was the first venture into entrepreneurship for any member of their family. The OSA Programme could rate as an outstanding initiative in the creation of grass roots entrepreneurs.
The human side of the OSA Programme lead to most of the early adopters remaining in touch with each other and also most of the key Programme Mangers. A mutually support community across the length and breadth of the country emerged and does remain intact although much stronger at the regional level.
Inevitably in a programme of this nature there would be the drop outs and the less than successful. Yet from an over all perspective, I would rate this programme as one of the most successful I have been associated with .I was privy to the heartburn and uncertainty that pervaded the early adopters and their family members when the programme was announced .But like all changes those that adapted and rose to the challenge emerged as winners in their professional careers and in their lives.
Later this year I would have an opportunity to spend quality time with some of the early adopters in Himachal and Punjab and have already touched base with them .I really look forward to meeting them and their family members , now that almost ten years have gone by since they took to the entrepreneurial way. When I have more time on my hands, I do intend to interview and document many of the success stories and perhaps write a book out of them.