Information age thinking needs information rich leadership

Boards always ask the hardest questions. That is why these gentlemen (and ladies) get to be on the boards. They know just the right questions to ask at the right moment. Towards the end of this blog I will relate my recent experience with one such question.  They may not know the answer, but they know that they are facing fundamental disruption.

And, they take their roles very seriously.  Sometimes, more so than the management.

In their eternal quest to continued effectiveness, boards face two fundamental set of choices:

(c) GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN GROUP

On one hand, they can massage the quarterly (or monthly, or annual) numbers and pretend that the results are much better than the actual results. A temporary high can be achieved month after month, quarter after quarter, year after year till the fiction can be no longer upheld.

Then you end up losing a tremendous part of your market value in a short period of time. While this story is all too common, the most usual alternative is not pretty either – read the story I recount in this blog post.

So why do many companies resort to massaging numbers? Are they not aware of the consequences? Or, are they just hoping to kick the can down the road till the next market explosion?

One of the reasons is clearly hard nature of the other side of the road.

To achieve fundamental disruption you need to apply relentless thinking.

Source: Unknown

But clearly thinking is not enough. There are already enough strategists who have done nothing else but thinking (and writing what they think).

 Action requires confidence

If you are wondering why so many of strategists’ reports just gather dust on office shelves – the real answer is simple. Lack of confidence.

In what?

Confidence in the findings, as well as, in the ability to implement the recommendations. After all, by now we have a generation of advisers who have made nothing but slides all their lives. Most practitioners have serious issues with that.

GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN GROUP

Source: THE 5-STAR BUSINESS NETWORK (www.5starbusinessnetwork.com)

Fundamental Strategic Flaw in Most Disruptions

Most strategies fail to foster confidence because they are based on industrial age thinking. You cannot fault the managers. Even the best business schools continue to teach outdated industrial age thinking today. And, in the rough and tumble of the real world, very few managers have time to think and work out that they have been taught an outdated business thinking process.

I have written many blogs on the difference between the industrial age thinking and the information age thinking, so I will not repeat entire blog posts here. But I will put in one simple slide to highlight the difference:

Source: A Fiduciary Board Report – The Future Of Business In The Age Of B2B Networks,

(https://globalscgroup.com/onlinestore/product/a-fiduciary-board-report-the-future-of-business-in-the-age-of-b2b-networks/)

So while leaders talk about disruption, there actions remain embedded in traditional thinking. Fresh thinking is even harder than traditional thinking.

Not just that, there is a new kind of leader that is required for disruption. For strategists data is everything – it allows them to focus on the select few things that matter.

Information age thinking needs information rich leadership.

Supply Chain CEOs think differently. They are able to focus on the entire B2B network simultaneously – both on the demand side, and the supply side. And they know which levers to pull when to make them match in real time. My book THE 5-STAR BUSINESS NETWORK covers the nitty gritty in a great deal of detail. But here are the five key levers in a nutshell.

Source: THE 5-STAR BUSINESS NETWORK (www.5starbusinessnetwork.com)

 

My next book THE SUPPLY CHAIN CEO will cover scores of case studies and practical examples of the difference, and how you can apply these techniques in your company.

Before, I stop penning this blog, let me highlight the question that the board asked.  The question was – Why can’t we do both the things together?

It is a great question, and I am still thinking of the answer.

I will answer it in my next book THE SUPPLY CHAIN CEO.

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Vivek Sood

My name is Vivek Sood, and I am an ex-ship captain and I specialise in global supply chain strategies for over 25 years. In 1997, I started my first SCM strategy project after I joined Booz Allen & Hamilton, the company that invented Supply Chain Management (SCM). I was blown away by the potential of SCM, and decided to learn and become one of the best in this field. I sought out the people who 'invented' SCM and requested their mentorship, and dedicated the next 5 years to working very long hours on some of the most challenging SCM projects. In 2000, I took the leap and co-founded Global Supply Chain Group. It was not an easy run - at that time, not many people knew what supply chain meant. Since then we have done a lot - but my current work is even more interesting. My current interests include studying the differences between those supply chain professionals who become the CEOs of their corporations, and those who do not. As more and more supply chain professionals get on the boards of directors of their companies, it is clear that some key factors separate those who make it to the very top, and those who remain at the tactical level - I am actively building exciting intellectual capital in this arena. What drives me to do this? And, why many of my clients also call me 'Mr Supply Chain'? You can get answers on my personal site - viveksood.com What are my professional qualifications and credentials? On my professional profile on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/vivek/ you can find the details of over 400 projects covering over 85 countries and added value of over $1 Billion to our customers' bottom line. I have also written (or co-written) 4 seminal books, over 20 other major reports, 120 articles, and studied over 2000 supply chains in the last 25 years. Who are my clients, and what kind of work I excel in? You will need to contact me for that information - info@globalscgroup.com

  • Mal G says:

    I was waiting for your next blog – turns out it was well worth the wait. I have already read the book you quote above. What will be the new material in your next book?

    • Vivek Sood says:

      My next book is titled THE SUPPLY CHAIN CEOs – BUSINESS NETWORKS, PLATFORMS AND ECO-SYSTEMS THEY ARE BUILDING

      Hopefully that gives you an idea of the content of the book..

  • Sanmario says:

    Information will be the greatest opportunity for business leaders in the coming years—and perhaps our biggest headache.

    Since the dawn of the internet, all of us in business have been swept up by the Niagara of information that fills our daily life. Real-time updates from the Hang Seng index; online earnings calls; photos shared around the world seconds after they’ve been taken; customized maps and directions delivered to you even as you drive. It’s all breathtaking.

    Although I am Agree with Mr. Soods’s Statement “Supply Chain CEOs think differently. They are able to focus on the entire B2B network simultaneously – both on the demand side, and the supply side.” Thanks much for the information you have provided it is very useful for implementing supply chain in our business, keep doing the great work, Mr. Sood.

    • Alex Jordan says:

      Entrepreneurs are responsible for inspiring and motivating your employees to fulfill your shared mission. Doing so requires constant learning and self-improvement.

    • Vivek Sood says:

      Everyone talks about trying to squeeze insights and wisdom out of data and information. This is extremely difficult. It needs contextual knowledge and ability to connect the dots. Even the best data scientists are useless if contextual knowledge is missing. That is the reason many big data projects never yield any benefits – but that is a topic for a whole new blog post.

  • daxi says:

    学无止境,认真拜读!

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