We are all so busy that it can be hard to find time to give back. Yet, the future of our profession, future leaders and our region is at stake. Making this a priority during your day may not be as difficult as you think.
Choose a way that works for you.
Some people prefer to donate time. Others prefer to donate money. And others donate expertise.
I started this journey because one of my colleagues, Ellen Kane, who has to be one of the most helpful people I know (and therefore there is no way to say no to such a wonderful person) asked me to participate with the first APICS Western region student case competition (with just a hand full of students from three colleges). Fast-forward 10+ years…. We led the competitions together with over 100 students from universities around the globe (from the western region of the U.S. to Canada to China and beyond).
To give an idea of the types of activities you might get involved with in your profession, community or with future leaders, here are the giving back priorities of LMA Consulting:
1) Manufacturing/ Supply Chain Community
2) Southern CA Community
3) Students and the future of the profession
Within these categories, here are some of the examples of our activities. Hopefully they will prompt ideas for you:
- IEEP (Inland Empire Economic Partnership) and IEGO (Inland Economic Growth & Opportunity): We focus on advancing supply chain and advanced manufacturing in Inland Southern California to contribute to the economy of the area.
- MCIE (Manufacturing Council of the Inland Empire): Certainly this group also has a focus on manufacturing in Inland Southern California to contribute to the economy of the area. For MCIE, we lead the Innovation Awards and partner and recognize manufacturing in the region.
- APICS Inland Empire & Universities/ Colleges in the I.E.: APICS is the leading trade association for supply chain and operations professionals. Our goal is to provide value to manufacturers and distributors in the area as well as to students/future leaders (Harvey Mudd, Cal Poly Pomona, CSUSB, UCR, University of LaVerne, Drucker & Norco College).
- Student internships & mentoring (Pomona College & the Drucker School): We also partner with students at Pomona College to provide internships in research and business topics and with students at the Drucker School to mentor women in supply chain.
- University of LaVerne Board of Advisors: As part of this role, our goal is to advise the business school, participate with the CEO Summit and contribute to the committee focused on advancing women in the business school.
One of the best pieces of advice we’ve received is to start small. You can make a difference by giving back in a small way and expand where it makes sense for you. There are no competitions when it comes to giving back. Do it in a way that makes sense to you. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Also, you might have completely different interests. For example, my business partner in the Society for the Advancement of Consulting contributes by volunteering for an association that focuses on diabetes. I have colleagues who give back by taking care of aging parents.
No matter your interests, it is likely to give you a bit of diversity in your life.