[CI&T Learnings 2] Co-sourcing: the key to agility in business impact


You are going to read about:

  • Co-sourcing, the potential of collective intelligence
  • Problems are not just opportunities, they are gold
  • Access the best tools, methods and processes


For some years now, adopting collaborative and multidisciplinary work models is the recommendation for companies that want to survive in the digital environment. So much so that, little by little, companies are adopted in the most diverse formats. Whether by creating innovation centers separated from the reality of the operation; the adoption of squads, following recipes from digitization playbooks; or gradually, in transformation journeys adaptable to changes in the market that aim to reach the company from end to end.
At CI&T we believe in the last path. The real value for the company - the expected digital transformation - will happen and gain scale only if solid, gradual and secure changes are established, based on consistent business results. Innovation nuclei tend to become eternal appendages without ever infecting the company with the digital soul. Squads installed by decree are prone to repeat - in a reduced format - the previous models of hierarchical work without ever achieving true autonomy, neither horizontality nor effective collaboration.
Our digital transformation model, Lean Digital, is based on the creation of multidisciplinary squads, working from end to end, and constantly in a single value stream with a clear focus on the consumer. The goal to be pursued is the attention to the client's needs and not the fulfillment of a fixed schedule of scheduled deliveries or planned goals in the medium and long terms. This is because, in a volatile environment like the one faced in the market, these plans do not contemplate reality as it presents itself. Therefore, they tend to be sterile.
The teams are composed of professionals with expertise that make sense in the value stream of which they are part, and each person has the necessary preparation for the real sharing of responsibilities and merits, for collaboration and the exchange of ideas, which results in a great value for the company: building collective intelligence. It is the format we call co-sourcing, in which the company's intelligence is constantly fed by different sources, with views of the world, personal connections, types of creativity, totally different experiences and formal knowledge.
The more diverse the team, the greater the potential for co-sourcing, collective intelligence in building effective solutions to satisfactorily meet consumer demands and the greater its capacity for innovation to surprise and leverage results. The more the team is autonomous, free and prepared, the greater its agility to follow the changes in direction that are necessary.

Problems are gold

However, to establish this format it is necessary to take a step back. The leaders have to be prepared to, in fact, grant this autonomy and be the support of these teams in their experimentation processes, in their constant learning curve. It is necessary to have leaders with a mental model aimed at understanding the real value of error in the construction of knowledge for success.

And here, a valuable principle comes in for us: problems are gold. Inherited from the Lean management philosophy, the basis of our operating format and our mindset, the premise of understanding problems - which are inevitable - as components of growth and the process of continuous improvement should be part of the culture of companies. In other words, leaders must be able to withstand adversity and understand that mistakes are opportunities for teams to feel free to dare, experiment and innovate.

Only in this way is it possible to make room for problems to be identified and resolved quickly and to feed the learning that will generate more prepared teams, more agile companies and increasingly powerful and fast results for the business.

How to prepare teams for co-sourcing

To prepare our people, we use principles and tools from the Lean management philosophy, from the Agile methodology and Design practices that promote collaboration and support us in the profound transformation of everyday practices, necessary for the effective installation of squads. This is because - according to the master Lean John Shook and our extensive experience - it is the constancy in the new practices that changes the behaviors, and the behavior change is the only way to change the culture of a company in a consistent way.

“The way to change a culture is not to change how people think, but rather to start by changing how people behave - what they do.”

John Shook, How to Change a Culture: Lessons from Nummi, MITSloan Management Review 2010

If you are interested in knowing more about how to install the co-sourcing model, with truly collaborative, autonomous, effective teams capable of generating great business impacts with speed, access the link below and check out our paper. In it, you will find information about our cultural and structural transformation model, Lean Digital, as well as the cases, tools, methods and practices that we use to build our operation and support our customers in this challenge.
With this material, we hope to be able to help you and your company in its operational transformation process, in the development of your own co-sourcing model. Come on, it's time to change! If you want to know these and other learnings, visit our platform. Shift The Core!