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Change Management

  • Winning Principles for Teams Driving Change

    • Peter J. Sherman
    January/February 2017
    Your organization’s new strategic supply chain program has stalled. Process-improvement projects are abandoned, and employees are checking boxes at best and checking out at worst. Of course, these are all symptoms of the deeper issues at hand. The real problems actually rest in the makeup of the project team and how well the change management effort has been orchestrated. The good news is that these factors are within your control.......Read More
  • Dismantling Barricades

    Build bridges for multicultural supply chain excellence
    • Ron Crabtree
    September/October 2016
    Supply chain professionals face recurrent and perplexing headwinds as their organizations work to deploy systems and processes across borders. Adding to the usual issues of human resistance to change and the inherent culture challenges of multinational companies, often there also is a divide involving local customs and social norms.......Read More
  • Change from All Sides

    Project success demands acceptance, buy-in, and ownership
    • Gary A. Smith
    May/June 2016
    I have spent my entire career in supply chain. I was a consultant for 20 years, during which time I was involved in virtually every kind of supply chain project imaginable, including process improvement, warehouse layout, inventory optimization, network design, transportation routing and optimization, outsourcing, equipment justifications, software analysis, reorganizations, and key-performance-indicator development. I consulted at firms both large and small for clients in the areas of retail, automotive, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, food and beverage, apparel, and government. ......Read More
  • Voices of Reason

    Listen to both customers and employees during times of turmoil
    • Annette Franz Gleneicki
    January/February 2016
    Scholar, author, and theorist Deepak Chopra said, “All great changes are preceded by chaos.” Perhaps “chaos” describes the current state of your organization. Maybe your business has been acquired, merged with another firm, ousted its executive team or a key member or two, or been wading through major process changes that executives are trying to instill throughout the organization. If you have been (or if you are going) through any of these scenarios, then my next questions for you are simple: Prior to the chaos, were you listening to your customers? Were you listening to your employees? Are you listening now?......Read More
  • Process Understanding at the Speed of Sight

    • Cynthia Owens
    • Dave King
    There is a reason emergency instructions on airplanes use pictures rather than just text: Our brains process visual information much faster than the written word. Thus, with visuals, airline passengers can literally see what they are supposed to do in the event of an emergency—and they understand it more clearly and in less time than if they had to read the instructions. The pictures create clarity and understanding at the speed of sight. ......Read More
  • Keeping Biases in Check

    Critical thinking helps achieve consensus
    • Eric P. Jack
    • John P. Collins
    May/June 2015
    There once was a business involved in a change management initiative relating to inventory management processes. During this turnaround situation, one of the challenges was to reduce operational costs. ......Read More
  • Systematic Advancement for Tough Problems

    Identifying and applying the right process improvement methods
    • Eric P. Jack
    • John P. Collins
    March/April 2015
    We’ve all heard the famous slogan “there’s an app for that.” As more and more people around the globe make use of the mounting list of application software, the providers of such tools will no doubt continue to devise solutions to enhance our lives. As supply chain and operations management professionals, we are similarly focused on enhancing business processes, so perhaps our mantra should be “there’s a process for that.” Better yet: “There’s an improved process for that.” ......Read More
  • Expert Agents of Change

    The essential qualities of world-class master facilitators
    • Ron Crabtree
    January/February 2015
    Improvement programs of all kinds increasingly require leaders who are experts at engaging people. Indeed, soft skills are being correctly recognized as part of the “secret sauce” of success.......Read More
  • Corporate Customs

    Defining organizational culture and exploring why it’s difficult to change
    • Richard E. Crandall
    January/February 2015
    Why do organizations find it difficult to implement new ideas and technologies into everyday operations? The initial cost is one impediment; however, there frequently is a hidden resistance to change in the dominant culture of an organization.......Read More
  • Hearts and Minds

    Make it personal to make lasting change
    • Eric P. Jack
    • John P. Collins
    July/August 2014
    Operations management has diverse and far-reaching applications. University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban applies operations management principles to improve the team’s processes. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, uses operations management principles to better execute his business strategy. ......Read More
  • Consideration and Compromise

    The importance of achieving consensus
    • Eric P. Jack
    • John P. Collins
    March/April 2014
    We supply chain and operations management people are expected to understand the nuances of lean production, inventory management, and sundry other concepts within our domain of expertise. Because many of us are deeply involved in continuous improvement activities, we also are supposed to be fairly adept at various quality and project management fundamentals.......Read More
  • The Personal Touch

    Are you holding back your company’s improvement efforts?
    • Kim Crabtree
    • Ron Crabtree
    March/April 2014
    At the end of the day, organizations are made up of people. Winning their hearts to fully embrace the vision is ultimately a personal decision. Perhaps the “secret sauce” that is missing from most management programs and transformational models is that people make all the difference.......Read More
  • Visible Leadership

    Proven strategies for achieving meaningful improvements
    • Kim Crabtree
    • Ron Crabtree
    January/February 2014
    The leaders at these companies recognized the importance of people and culture, as well as processes and technologies, in the effort to realize a vision for improvement. ......Read More
  • Leaning the Brain

    Studying the lessons of neuroscience to overcome resistance to change
    • Ron Crabtree
    November/December 2013
    Coping with a lot of change at one time is exhausting. This is part of the human experience and is nearly impossible to stop—however, we can find ways to cope with it more effectively. ......Read More
  • How to Disrupt a Business

    And like the results
    • Christopher Jablonski
    September/October 2013
    Jeremy Gutsche is founder of the crowdsourced trends website and author of the award-winning Exploiting Chaos. Here, Gutsche speaks on developing an opportunity-based culture, managing the effects of disruptive innovation, and focusing on your customer. ......Read More
  • Unsolvable Problems

    Reveal creative business strategies with polarity management
    • Paul Pittman
    • J. Brian Atwater
    September/October 2013
    Polarities are all around us. The most productive people are those who successfully manage the work/rest polarity, the most effective leaders are those who know when to take action and when inaction is more effective, and the best-performing organizations are those that skillfully handle the polarities inherent in business. ......Read More
  • Shared Strategies

    Unite your company’s vision with its operating plan
    • Gary A. Smith
    September/October 2013
    There often is a disconnect between a company’s annual goals and its strategic plan. Annual goals can be subject to the whims of the annual planning process, while a lack of focus can create gaps in continuity. The question becomes, how can supply chain and operations management professionals support the firm’s long-term strategic plans with short-term annual goals?......Read More
  • Tallying the Pros and Cons

    An age-old tool helps uncover sources of waste
    • Ron Crabtree
    July/August 2013
    Tally sheets have the potential to help organizations find and solve systematic issues with processes while being straightforward to implement and easy to use. ......Read More
  • Memories and Dreams

    Are you behind or ahead of the changing competitive landscape?
    • John P. Collins
    May/June 2013
    The world has became smaller as the price of transportation, then communication, fell dramatically. Likewise, the competitive landscape—particularly with regard to operational capabilities—continues to change incredibly fast. ......Read More
  • Learn a Trick or Two

    Teaching resisters to embrace change
    • Ron Crabtree
    March/April 2013
    At your company, in order to teach something new to your established employees, you need to acknowledge there is a process, recognize it takes time, and commit to enacting and reinforcing best practices. ......Read More