Three Answers Every Supply Chain Executive Should Give Themselves This Year

A recent post over on the Harvard Business Review Blogs pointed out Three Questions Executives Should Ask for the New Year based upon eight characteristics of top performers and four characteristics of under-achievers identified by Melissa Raffoni of Raffoni Ceo Consulting and author of Managing Time in the HBR Pocket Mentor Series.

According to Raffoni, who identified the following eight characteristics of top performers:

  • they set clear measurable goals
  • they seek feedback
  • they communicate thoughtfully
  • they act thoughtfully
  • they are decisive
  • they have integrity
  • they have ego-less confidence
  • they study to make themselves smarter

and the following four characteristics of underachievers:

  • they don’t set goals with leverage in mind
  • they don’t get enough out of the people around them
  • they don’t listen well
  • they lack the energy and boldness to try new things

executives should ask themselves the following three questions before setting their goals for 2010:

  • If there was only one thing I could do to improve my business, what would it be and how would I make it happen?
  • If there was only one thing I could focus on to improve my personal performance, what would that be and how would I make it happen?
  • What messages am I not listening to or refusing to confront in my business and personal performance and how am I going to overcome that this year?

I agree. But even more importantly, I think supply chain executives (CPOs, CSCOs, etc.) should start with these three answers:

  • I’m going to improve my organization’s technology platform.
    Supply management is too complex, and the opportunity costs associated with continuing to use antiquated spreadsheet technology (which never fit in the first place), are too great not to have the right tools. I’m going to get the right platform for the job, make my people more productive, and watch the savings go Straight to the Bottom Line as efficiency soars and my people are able to strategically source more categories than they were able to in the past.
  • I’m going to get training.
    I’m going to learn what I’m missing, fill the holes in my vision, understand what my team needs to be the best they can be, and then get them the right training.
  • I’m going to say “uncertainty be damned”.
    “I’m not one of the lemmings“. “If my brethren want to jump off the cliff into the ocean, that’s their choice”. “I’m going to forge ahead and be successful, economy be damned”. “I’ll make the tough choices”. “And I’ll win”.

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