Who moved my job

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary

Publisher Lulu
ISBN 978-1-40922-461-7
RRP £5.95
Reviewed by George Williams MBCS CITP
Score 7 out of 10

Who moved my Job This is a lightweight short story on outsourcing, which continues to prove that even in these modern times you can still use allegory to make a point. This pocket-sized book is designed to be read in 30 to 40 minutes.

The author has written several books focused on outsourcing, change, and globalisation, but then had an idea that he could use a short story format to illustrate some of his ideas around career change, migration and outsourcing.

So, instead of writing a long study , the author hopes that this short story about dogs on a farm in England, written in a simplistic style, will create some debate that will encourage the reader to explore both the value and dangers of migration and offshoring, along with a pragmatic exploration of how better to prepare for a changing world.

The book tracks the lives of Winston, Charlie and Blair - all border collies working on Manor Farm in Bedfordshire. They were herding dogs, and masters at it, the best sheepdogs you could possibly imagine. And as far as they were concerned, they were the finest sheepdogs in the whole of England.

The book explores how the dogs' lives are suddenly changed, when the farmer brings three new dogs onto the farm, and encourages the collies to pass on their local knowledge of the farm to the three new arrivals: Lech - a Polish lowland sheepdog, Pandit - an Indian dhangari dog and Mozi - a Chinese shar pei

Then suddenly the collies find that they are surplus to requirements, and are shipped off to Battersea Dogs Home. Will Winston, Charlie and Blair find new jobs even after the farmer found a new way to resource his farm? Best to read the book!

Unsurprisingly the book owes a debt of inspiration to two authors, both admired by the writer: Dr Spencer Johnson who published 'Who Moved My Cheese' in 1998 and none other than George Orwell, the author of 'Animal Farm', published in 1945.

The serious point here of course is that, as it becomes more common to source services from remote global locations, companies are now exploring all kinds of services that could never have been remotely delivered in the past. These include accounting, human resources, research, editing, legal analysis - the word is changing fast - and both you and I need to adapt to that change if we want a job next year.

All-in-all this easy-to-read little book, of some 70 pages, is a warning wake-up call to all white collar professionals who may be in danger of their jobs being outsourced in the not too distant future...

April 2009