Key Takeaways from Mega Session powered by AWESOME at 2019 CSCMP EDGE

September 26, 20194 minute read

Leveraging Talent to Innovate, Disrupt and Scale Your Supply Chain

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Part of the power of the powered by AWESOME session at CSCMP EDGE came from the range of organizations represented on the panel – from the Department of Defense, supporting military members around the globe…to DHL, a logistics leader with more than 380,000 employees delivering goods in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide…to Hallmark, an iconic brand that is the oldest and largest manufacturer of greeting cards in the United States…to NIKE, the inimitable, dynamic, multinational company known for its innovative and vibrant culture.

The insights were also powerful because the panelists bring an extraordinary breadth and depth of experience to the topic of supply chain talent.:

Kristin French, Chief of Staff, Defense Logistics Agency, US Department of Defense, and recipient of 2017 AWESOME Legendary Leadership (ALL) Award

Sally Miller, CIO North America, DHL

Beth Ward, SVP Supply Chain, Hallmark

Trish Young, VP Strategic Enterprise Capabilities, Value Streams, NIKE, Inc., and AWESOME Advisor

Moderator Dana Stiffler, VP Research for Gartner, introduced the discussion with compelling results from a CEO survey finding that 62% of CEOs interviewed see the talent gap as the major constraint to growth. She introduced the concept of “digital dexterity” that describes the competency organizations want and need to develop among their employees.

View Dana’s presentation

Even with the diverse needs of the organizations the panelists represented, they emphasized certain key points when answering these questions.

What type of talent is needed for the future?

“We see the need for people who are adaptive and problem-solvers and who have a strong operational acumen.”

“Our people need to be open to bold new ideas.”

“The people who work for us need to see a problem proactively – and not wait for it to happen. They need to ‘see the work’ and get it done.”

“A global understanding – and knowledge of the language of business.”

“We need adaptive people who like to solve problems, tinker and figure out technology with a strong supply chain acumen to deliver service to customers.”

“We need people who will dig in, get in the shoes a few steps upstream and a few steps downstream to better understand and have the ability to speak in the language of business.”

How is your organization attracting and retaining the people it needs?

“To counteract the challenge of finding the people we need, we are trying to accelerate digitalization.”

“We have to understand how people today want to work. They want mobility and flexibility.”

“We have to enable people to see a career path, but also let them know they aren’t locked in to one track.”

“Sometimes early-career people get impatient with experiences they need in order to learn what they need to know. They want to check the box and move on to the next. We have to help them be willing to dig in and get the real learning they need.”

“When looking for talent internally, we expand the aperture on where great supply chain talent might come from.”

“Bringing great talent in from other industries has helped us accelerate our internal competencies and develop new ways to best service the customer.”

“You have to invest in your people and create opportunities – which don’t always come naturally — to train people to be leaders. It’s so important to spend the time developing future leaders.”

“In the area of IT, we focus on bringing people out of school and helping build their career. To do that, we give them opportunities to rotate through various areas of our business.”

“If your company runs on strong values, let people who might want to work for you know what those values are. You’re ahead of the game if your values are aligned.”

“For us, it’s not just about attracting people – its finding the right people. It’s important for us to be on Gartner’s list of top supply chains. We want to validate we take supply chain seriously. We always want to know if supply chain really matters to a candidate. And we try to help them see what joining our team will mean for them.”

“We see that many of our veterans come back to work for the government as civilians. So we have a training program – we view it as a ‘pathway to career excellence.’ We’re also looking for people coming in from other industries to make the government more innovative.”

In conclusion, words of advice:

Trish: “For people who’ve been around awhile, it’s easy to start dismissing new ideas. You have to be more open. For people who are new to their role, my advice is to listen to why something is being done the way it is. That will help you solve the right problem.”

Beth: “Create an environment of high performance. Great talent wants to win.”

Sally: “Create a culture that’s inclusive, that gets people excited about what they’re doing and about their opportunities to advance.”

Kristin: “Our responsibility is to support the men and women who are protecting our country with the supplies and services they need at all cost – and to be there for them at all times. What that means is honestly telling people who work for us what they’re getting into – and asking for their loyalty in return.”

Read more words of wisdom from AWESOME leaders on twitter #awesome-cscmp2019