A business will end up in the waste paper basket if it fails to adapt. Harsh, I know, but I do not want to sugar-coat my words. Extinction is a serious subject.
I believe the key issue that prevents a business from adapting to new market conditions is a lack of talent diversity. If everyone in an organization thinks the same, where will new ideas come from to help the business innovate and deliver new value to customers? If diversity of thought dries up… extinction will not be far behind.
The supply chain is no stranger to disruption. We are used to handling events that challenge our ability to supply products or services to our valued customers.
Hurricanes, earthquakes, transportation failure, or the business cycle, have all tested the supply chain. The global reach of modern supply chains means there is always something to contend with somewhere.
In short, there has never been a period of uneventful normality for the supply chain.
Although ‘normal’ is a stranger to the supply chain, the last three years feel different. Disruption appears to have intensified.
Geopolitical tension and trade tariffs test the supply…
Connection with other people is on my mind. Probably because we’ve been told to maintain physical distance between ourselves.
In a strange twist of fate, humankind has entered self-imposed isolation when technology connects us to each other like no other time in human history.
Our kitchen benches, dining tables, and spare rooms are now extensions of our workplaces. We’re connected to our jobs 24/7. That means it’s even tougher to take a break than before. This is a challenge for someone like me who loves to work.
Traditionally businesses go out of their way to reward and motivate people who perform well in sales. This makes sense — without sales there is no business. What about the support functions of a business though? They deliver on the important groundwork made by sales.
What impresses me every day about our supply chain, are the wonderful people performing an extraordinary job, in what might be considered ‘ordinary’ support roles. Anyone who has read my articles will know how I feel about the supply chain — it’s of strategic importance to any business.
That’s why I love the photo that…
Supply chains are global and ambiguous in nature. Those two aspects present a challenge for people. How do you achieve visibility of all parts of the supply chain and certainty on its deliverables?
How far away are your product’s components from manufacturing? Is the finished product with logistics? Most importantly, can the customer track their order? If the supply chain is your team’s responsibility, they must be able to visualize the journey your organization’s product or solution takes through the supply chain. That’s complex and difficult, so visibility remains a supply chain pain point for many.
People are industrious though…
The Supply Chain industry needs women. Why? Is it to meet a quota or to give the appearance of inclusivity? Strong female talent strengthens our industry in unique ways and are critical to your talent pipeline.
To grasp why women are ideally positioned to help the Supply Chain thrive, let’s consider what the Supply Chain used to be. The industry was a different place 25 years ago. It was characterized as blue collar and extremely reliant on manual labor. You had to be tough, rough and willing to get your hands dirty. People assumed it was a ‘man’s job’.
I see supply chain as a discipline that binds both business performance and customer satisfaction goals of an enterprise. I don’t prefer to call supply chain a ‘function’ as that term creates silos, it’s the reason why many companies keep it confined to back-office. In reality, supply chain delivers best business value when allowed to play a proactive role in every event touching customers, both internal and external.
Back in the 1990s, supply chain was still in its development stage. There were multiple roles across an organization stitching the conveyor belt, connecting demand with supply. It was all disintegrated. It…
When you look at the photo above, what stands out the most? A group of women smiling? The Lenovo backdrop? How we didn’t know which camera to look at? Well to me, I see that photo and I see diversity.
I believe diversity is important to the success of an organization, but we need to be clear what it means. As I’ve said before, diversity is defined by the demographics of your organization. Your leadership team is going to be more effective if it’s reflective of your population.
When we look at our organizations, we should not limit our understanding…
I like articles about career success. It is enjoyable to read about the highs people reach after a good decision. This is not one of those articles. Instead, I want to talk about failure. The cold hard truth is you will sometimes fail before you succeed.
No one wants to fail, but a paralyzing fear of it is unhealthy. Fear of failure has a profound downside for individuals and organizations. In a fearful environment, good ideas often go unheard and innovation is stifled from a lack of risk taking.
Nevertheless, failure is a painful process. …
Chief Operating Officer for Lenovo’s Data Center Group