Why Cultural Fit is an Important Part of Selecting an MSP Partner


Famous management consultant/guru, Peter Drucker is credited with saying “Culture eats strategy for lunch.” What he meant was that in any given business organization, even if the business strategy is a sound one, the enterprise will still fail to achieve its goals if the organizational culture is weak or otherwise unhealthy. In fact, of the three pillars of success in corporate structure—strategy, capability, and culture—culture is the most important and critical to achieve. That is why we urge customers to not overlook the culture of an MSP (Managed Service Provider) with which they’re considering engagement.

Not to be forlorn, the wisdom of the crowd intuitively understands this dynamic. In fact, a Global Talent Trends Report produced by LinkedIn revealed that of the workforce management professionals polled, a full two thirds (66%) named culture and values as the most important factor in their decision making regarding service providers and suppliers. By comparison, something as influential as perks and benefits only garnered 54%, and overall mission and vision a 50% share.

Business strategies must evolve over time in response to or anticipation of market trends and economic factors. So, it is expected that the business strategy of today will likely seem much different than the strategy in place two years ago. However, core values that inform organizational culture should be more fixed and immutable. Organizations with well-developed and broadly enunciated cultural principles outperform companies lacking such shared values. It is important for cultural mores to be applied consistently in all areas of the organization to ensure consistency of execution and a shared sense of purpose.

When shopping for an MSP provider, a client must assess demonstrable evidence of a good fit between the client’s corporate culture and that of the MSP provider. As the LinkedIn survey clearly demonstrates, employees care greatly about values. If your corporate culture is strong and affirmative, why would you undermine your operations by aligning your organization with an MSP provider that exhibits poor or even no formal culture? It does a grave disservice to your own efforts to do so. MSP providers are an intimate part of setting your workforce strategy. They often sit onsite and manage a large population of workers who are often impacting your customers. They may even develop or recommend critical business policies. All these are reasons to ensure cultural alignment.

We know that many times, assessing providers based on culture can be viewed as “fluff” or treated as an afterthought. However, there is much to be gained and little to be lost by taking some time to truly investigate the culture of any prospective MSP providers and find those that align most neatly with your own.

If you would like to read the full Global Talent Trends Report produced by LinkedIn, please click here.

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