What Works for Nations Works for Business, and what works for business works for organizations within the business — Supply Management included. This recent article, over on Chief Executive, that reviews the new book, Why Nations Fail, noted that just as nations flourish when they foster political and economic institutions, and they fail when power and opportunity are concentrated in the hands of the few, companies are setting themselves up for trouble when decision making is almost entirely restricted to top executives. Similarly, your Supply Management organization is setting itself up for trouble if all (major) decisions have to pass through the Director or, even worse, CPO.
In order for your supply management organization to be successful, your people have to not only be in a position to make the decisions that need to be made when they need to be made, but feel empowered to make such decisions. They need to know what authority they have, when they have it, and feel trusted to use that authority. They should only be going to their manager, director, or CPO when a new issue arises that is beyond their experience where they should have some guidance to solve it. And if your supply chain organization is filled with talented, empowered people, this is not an event that should be happening every day.
I’m keeping this post short because I want you to read the article on What Works for Nations Works for Business and dig further into this issue, both in the SI archives and the CE publication. It’s one issue that should not be overlooked.