One problem that I see with many companies is that they try to do too much themselves. For some reason, they seem affraid of outsourcing jobs. Most of the times, these companies stumble because they really don’t have the expertise to do the job properly (see About image and outsourcing expertise), however there are other reasons why you should considered outsourcing…respect.
In a larger company, there exists a chain of command. People need to be held accountable, and report to their superiors. Respect flows up, the higher you are on the totem pole, the more respect you demand from subordinates. This business model has worked for a long time, and the “fear” element that comes with it is useful in having a well run organization. Of course, this model has its weaknesses as well, especially when it comes to corporate image.
I’ve mentored many young graphic artists over the years. Many often come to me feeling very frustrated, because they need to please “the boss”. Often, their superiors have no design training and rely on their opinion of what appeals to them. This leads to disaster from a design point of view. The problem is, the business hierarchy means the “expert” on the subject is often lower on the totem pole, and thus has no respect.
Funny thing is, if you were to take that same employee out of the shop, and have them come in as a consultant, they would instantly have the respect required to do their job properly (see Say “no” to clients).
The fear of displeasing the boss and potentially losing your job can affect more than just your company image as in the above example. The same problems can arise in every division of the company, especially in areas that aren’t the business’ primary area of expertise.
It takes an outsider to earn the respect needed to achieve your goal, someone not affraid to piss off the boss. Of course, the contractor may be the type who is affraid of losing clients, but good contractors are in demand because they do a good job. Be wary of those who try to please you all the time. Sometimes you need someone to stand up to the boss, they aren’t always right especially if they aren’t in their area of expertise, for the good of the company.
Lesson: what is needed to run a company can sometimes cause a lot of problems for that same company.