CHANGE LEADERSHIP IN THE DIGITAL ERA – A New Way to Accelerate Supply Chain Transformation

Anastasia 20 October 2021

Change leadership and change management methods and tools are well known–and ineffective for most organizations. For years, we have been told that “the only constant is change” and that “it needs to start at the top.” We have relied on axioms like “make sure that your communications strategy involves all stakeholders,” “provide a clear call to action throughout the organization,” and “have a good business case and make sure all leaders have the same talking points.”

And yet, ALL the companies we work with report that the classic approaches are no longer as effective as they once were. It is hard to get employees to adopt the right solutions and allow them to scale, to rally them around a new direction and push ahead with urgency. Curiously, there does not seem to be any technology that helps. We still use the same approaches – the only difference is, we’ve upgraded to emails instead of paper.

Why are traditional approaches no longer as effective? There are several reasons. First, people have changed as they adopt everything from lightning-fast smartphones to self-driving cars to communication using memes. There are very few people who have not picked up new ways to communicate, and any of these new ways to communicate did not even exist ten years ago. For example, almost no one inserted GIF files in their text messages, yet today they are used in all corners of the world. Second, the world economy has become more and more driven by globally interconnected supply chains for everything from dog food to servers to healthcare. Finally, the rate and pace of change have driven the need to make the decision much faster than ever. Following the old school command and delegation model is not agile enough to survive.

This paper will outline new ideas that work well to generate change for supply chains and discuss how to leverage today’s differences in people and technologies to create the change required to develop a successful Digital Supply Chain.

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