Supply Chain and S&OP left brainers

It has been a while that I wrote a blog.  I’ve not read a lot of interesting articles, blogs or tweets on supply chain to get any inspiration. It seems more of the same. Usually when I go for a run or take the bicycle along the bay of Melbourne to work I think about topics to write. Lately I’ve been using that time to think about my new business venture; my own social network! So I’ve been getting a lot of inspiration lately by hanging out with gen Y app developers. I just closed my round of funding and will start developing a social app soon, so it’s exciting times for me.

My last blog was a reaction to a question from Lora Cecere on how to change company DNA. Or company culture. It just strikes me over and over again that supply chain left brain bloggers, writers etctec don’t touch the topic of leadership and company culture. A little exception left and right maybe, but in general you can’t find it. The fact that an article of me on this topic has been for over a year under editors review, makes me think people don’t get it either! Maybe it is my writing style.

For me the equation is so simple:

The right consistent leadership drives trust and the right behaviour by employees. The right behaviour over time drives company culture. Company culture will enable you to communicate faster and more effective, to really collaborate, to make more effective and faster decisions and execute according to what was agreed as there is a high sense of accountability.

Therefore company culture can be a competitive advantage.

Brain

I’m a left brainer and analyst too and had to make a journey. I started of thinking the world can be optimized with algorithms when I finished my studies in operations research. Then I worked across 10 countries as consultant I soon learned about different cultures and how people are different.  In my first year as supply chain manager my customer service department had a turnover of 100%. I realised then it was about people. The last 5 years I learned that, although you can’t change a country culture, you do can change a company culture for the better

You ever experienced this? You sit in a meeting, you and the team have prepared well, and all the information and decision documents are available. All the attendees had the chance to read through the information before the meeting. But you sit there and you don’t get value out of the meeting, there are no quality decisions. And all the fancy reporting by the sexiest systems in the world won’t help.

There is no open transparent discussion, no trust; politics are on the agenda more than the real agenda. No accountability is taken and there is no follow through on actions and agreements. No constructive feedback is given on suggestions. People are not listening with the intention of being influenced. After the meeting the real decisions are made.

All signs of a non-effective company culture. My estimate is that this stuff happens in over 80% of companies. This is where we can unlock real value. The supply chain left brainers just decide not to touch on the subject and keep talking about data, systems and other left brain stuff.

I just don’t get it!

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