In his classic satire Candide, Voltaire makes fun of positivism which was an influence philosophical movement in his time. Positivists see the world we live in as ‘the best of all possible worlds’. In an entertaining and funny way, Voltaire makes sure to the reader that we can question and challenge this statement from different angles. This was 250 years ago.
Today S&OP and IBP can be called one of the most influence business process movements of our time. IBP represent ‘the best of all possible worlds’ in how we communicate across business functions, stay aligned to our business strategy and effectively plan and execute this strategy.
In businesses around the world and even more in supply chain functions, IBP believers are the positivist of this age. It’s hard to find negative references on the internet on IBP. Why is that? A small community keeps telling or selling how good IBP is. And hardly anybody is challenging them. In relation to IBP, it’s hard to find the equivalent of Voltaire asking:
– Do people actually want to collaborate and share their information?
– Does every top manager want the whole company to know the strategy?
– Do we prefer to lay blame on others and work in silos?
– Do we dislike visibility and transparency?
– Do we naturally reject technology and process integration?
– How many IBP projects are not successful?
Readers of this blog are probably IBP believers and won’t ask the question if natural human behaviour is made for IBP. We just assume change management will fix that. Maybe it’s time for an IBP Voltaire to give us some perspective to our believe that IBP is; ‘the best of all possible worlds’.
Before you start to write, be warned! Voltaire published his book in secret and still had to flee France because of its content.