Ann Drake speaks about “Lessons from the Pandemic”

December 01, 20211 minute read

On Wednesday, November 17, AWESOME’s Founder and Chair Ann Drake became the first woman to deliver the Northwestern University Transportation Center’s William A. Patterson Transportation Lecture – now in its 39th year. Speaking also as the President and Founder of Lincoln Road Enterprises, Ann described the background for her topic — “Beyond Transportation Excellence: Lessons from the Pandemic” — by saying, “For the past three decades, manufacturers have pushed to keep days of inventory as low as possible, relentlessly telling suppliers to provide materials when needed. At the same time, consumers had gotten used to getting what they wanted when they wanted it thanks to e-commerce, igniting a supply-chain arms race. Even with the implicit challenges, that system was generally working until the COVID-19 pandemic.” She then applied the urban legend about the boiling frog: “We were sitting in the pot for some time, not noticing how hot the water was getting.” She went on to talk about the critical importance of systems thinking, collaboration, transparency, and the strengths women bring to leadership. 

Read more about Ann’s talk and view her video here.