The Coronavirus situation has now been declared a pandemic. With over 750,000 cases, over 36000 deaths the expectation is the number of infections will continue to grow at an incredibly rapid rate.
Countries and companies are taking extreme measures. Millions of people have been quarantined, travel has been restricted if not prohibited, and events of all kinds are being cancelled or deferred.
The economic and Supply Chain impact has been, and will be, enormous with employees unable to work, factories shut down, and modes of transportation idled in record numbers. It will take enormous intelligence and expertise to get the Supply Chain back on track throughout, and after, this crisis.
Having come through the Coronavirus pandemic, most people will have felt the impact of Supply Chain failures.
For consumers they will have seen empty store shelves and either an inability to get goods or at a minimum delays in getting deliveries. For employees, at a minimum they will have experienced stressful working conditions to resolve issues, and at its worst they will have lost their jobs or even seen their companies fail.
All of this implies that making improvements and Supply Chain progress is necessary and eventual. However there are 2 pivotal factors that will almost certainly lead to the failure of organizations to improve their Supply Chains in any respect.
History has proven that change is inevitable and unstoppable. In every aspect of our environment, our personal lives, and our professional lives we can count on the fact that things will change.
Despite this eventuality there are those who not only resist change but who go out of their way to block, stop and even reverse change. On the other hand, there are also those who embrace change and even drive change. And in between there are those who follow and accept change, either willingly or begrudgingly.
In the business world change is rampant. People have new ideas, businesses have lofty goals, processes are inefficient, metrics are being missed, stakeholders demand improvements, bosses want more productivity, and employees want their jobs to be easier. There are myriad circumstances driving the need for change at every turn.
But despite that need for change, change doesn’t always happen the way people would like. There are so many variables, disruptions, personalities, politics, blockers and of course Murphy’s Law that all get in the way of making positive change. I have seen a lot of extremely smart people fail in their attempts to make meaningful change despite their technical prowess.
One of the key factors which determines whether changes will succeed, or fail, is leadership. A common phrase used in business is “Change Management”. I personally don’t like that phrase. The idea of managing change seems to me to be much more passive, reactive and less controlling of the circumstances at hand. A lot of people try to manage change only to find that the change is actually managing them.
I prefer to use the phrase “Change Leadership”. It has a much different meaning and connotation than management. It is a more proactive, thoughtful, strategic and insightful idea and approach on driving what is going to happen, as opposed to managing what is happening.
I have been a witness to and a party in many, many transformational efforts. Metrics are falling short of expectations, the competition is beating us, customers are demanding more, and processes are woefully inadequate for the task at hand. All of these situations require change. Yet some of these change efforts will succeed while others, in fact the majority, will fail.
What is the reason most change initiatives fail or fall short of expectations? A lack of leadership. More specifically, a lack of “Change Leadership”.
As mentioned previously I have seen a lot of very bright people attempt to make significant changes of on type or another. They are intelligent, have great subject matter expertise, and are highly respected. But more often than not their attempts to drive change fall short because they don’t recognize the need for “Change Leadership”.
This doesn’t mean that they aren’t great leaders. It does mean that there are unique differences in leading change. There are so many unforeseen circumstances to consider, so many personalities to deal with, and so many human reactions that will arise that you need to specifically develop and hone skills in “Change Leadership” to augment your technical leadership skills.
“Unchaining Change Leadership” is a compilation of learnings, lessons and techniques in driving change that I’ve experienced over a lifetime. Every chapter covers a different aspect of Change Leadership which have proven over time to be the difference in success and failure from one project to the next.
Depending on the scope and nature of the change you are trying to make some of the content will be more or less relevant for your particular situation. Taken in aggregate I have used these techniques and lessons to drive some truly remarkable, game changing, breakthrough and industry leading results in the course of my career.
In the spirit of Supply Chain Game Changer™ (www.supplychaingamechanger.com), my website dedicated to sharing experiences and expertise to help others on their own journeys, I have created “Unchaining Change Leadership”.
Every chapter is based on real life experience, learnings, successes and failures. I present this material to you in this format to provide a single place that you can go to so as to help you in your transformational journey. If you can learn from this material this will help to increase and accelerate your chances of success. If we don’t learn from the past, and if we don’t learn from others, we are doomed to fail.