Tag Archive: mentor

Global Consultants & The Value of Diversity

December 23rd, 2018

 

When I was in Australia recently week for a meeting with my global consulting strategy group, it hit home that there is power in diversity.  We represent 4 countries (Australia, Japan, U.S. and Canada), a diverse group of company types (from tiny to Fortune 100 businesses ranging from manufacturing to healthcare to nonprofit/government), a diverse group of specialties (strategy, innovation, organizational change, financial performance etc.) and more.  Diverse viewpoints definitely add value!

I joined the group around 3 years ago. At the time, I was the only woman (although another joined shortly after), and our mentor said he thought I’d add a unique value for that reason in addition to others.  I didn’t see his point until I was the only woman for a brief period of time, and it turned out he was right! I also have received significant value from the group members who have the least in common with me – a fresh perspective can go a long way!  Along the way, I’ve noticed that some of the best feedback comes from unlikely sources. Have you sought out diversity, even when it isn’t comfortable?

One tip to implement this week:
Let’s start by thinking about the groups and people we interact with on a monthly basis.  Are we hanging out with people who are just like us? For example, there is a member of my group who does practically the same thing as I do, just in Australia.  He is easy to talk to (of course), and he adds a unique value because he understands my questions/ concerns but if the group was full of these people, I imagine I would have received only 20% of the value to date.  

It is easy for us to become comfortable with people like us and not seek out diverse, sometimes scary opinions from others.  For example, I remember when one group member pushed back on my comments, and I truly didn’t agree at the time but when I listened to the session again in the car a few months later, I realized he was right.  I just wasn’t understanding and/or ready to think about it at the time. How many of these have you ignored, thinking you were right?

Although I see great value in the global nature of my group, it isn’t because I focus on having a global practice (although part of my practice focuses on international global corporations).  Instead, it simply brings a diverse viewpoint – even if I worked 100% in my hometown and never strayed (as one of our members does in a small Australian town), I’d get huge value from thinking differently.  He has no desire to move beyond his hometown yet he said our group is one of his most important priorities.

Don’t think about diversity in the light they talk about on the news. How many Fox News and CNN people listen to both programs?  Actually, I’ve heard more Australians who tell me they listen to both to understand than I’ve heard Americans. Instead, why not embrace that next person you think “on, no!  I don’t want him/her in my group” and see what happens and whether you gain a diverse perspective. I’ll bet 80% of the time, you’ll feel better off in the long run. And, remember, one bad apple (the 20%) doesn’t make a trend.

 



Women in Supply Chain (and Why Men Should Care)

August 22nd, 2017

Supply Chain BriefingWhether you’re a man or woman, if you are in the end-to-end supply chain, you should be thinking about women in supply chain. We’re facing a serious skills gap in the next several years in manufacturing and supply chain circles. Although women make up 47% of the labor force, they compose only 27% of the manufacturing workforce. Thus, logic dictates that if we can raise that percentage, we’ll cover much of our skills gap!

I spoke on “Women in Supply Chain” at the western district conference for APICS (#1 supply chain management association) this weekend. I also am a mentor for Women in Supply Chain at the Drucker School of Management. Since I have been the sole woman in a leadership role in manufacturing circles frequently throughout my career, I don’t even notice it. However, we should pay attention.

Women in Supply Chain

Talking about “Women in Supply Chain” at the Western District Conference for APICS

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?

There is no doubt that we should be concerned about the impending skills gap.  Almost every client tells me that they do not have the skills  they need in certain areas of their manufacturing/ supply chain.  And, this issue is not improving – as baby boomers retire, knowledge leaves with them.  Technologies are constantly improving, requiring higher skill levels in every respect – which is also driving the skills gap.  We are in process of researching the current skills gap.  Please provide your feedback with this short survey.

The great news is that there are many people thinking about this topic.  The Drucker School and Toyota created the Women in Supply Chain mentoring program.  APICS, the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte created STEP Ahead.  Harvey Mudd College, the #1 school for engineering attracts an enrollment of at least 50% women.  The attendees at my speech last weekend for the western district of APICS was 50% women.  And the list goes on.

So, what can we do?  Mentor young women in supply chain.  Find ways to volunteer your time, educate and be involved with the women in your company.  Perhaps think about how you see them and make a conscious effort to encourage them to grow, invite their colleagues and friends to join the supply chain field.  And, by all means, do NOT ignore the men.  We need to grow our skills base dramatically to meet the demands of the next century.



New Survey Says Manufacturing Key to American Prosperity

May 17th, 2017

According to a survey by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, more than three quarters of Americans surveyed believe the U.S. should invest in the manufacturing industry. Nice to see what I see on a daily basis come to life and gain momentum! Specifically, more than 80% see manufacturing as vital to America’s livelihood, 76% believe the U.S. needs a more strategic approach to developing its manufacturing base and 90% believe industry jobs will require a higher level of technical skill.

manufacturing

Interestingly, the overall public ranked manufacturing 3rd, just after technology development centers and health care facilities, in terms of the country’s leading sectors for job creation. The bottom line is that manufacturing is “in”! Are you thinking about how to leverage this opportunity?

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?

Manufacturing is riding a popularity wave. While Americans are seeing its relevance, there will be more interest, investment and education in the sector. Take stock of your professional career and of your company’s position. What can you do to get ahead of the curve so that you’ll be ready for opportunities?

For example, from a career perspective, what is your ideal job? Do you have the skills, experiences and behaviors required to move up the ladder? There will be vast opportunity with manufacturing’s popularity, which will be heightened as baby boomers retire. Sign you and your team up for relevant classes. For example, APICS Inland Empire has several classes in manufacturing processes. Become a mentor and simultaneously find a mentor. I find being a Drucker Women in Supply Chain mentor, a Pomona College mentor and an APICS student case competition chair and mentor rewarding, and I learn just as much as my mentees. On the other side, I wouldn’t be nearly as successful without my consulting mentor and business mentors. There is no better way to learn than from someone who has “been there, and done that”.

From a company perspective, shore up your skills, resources, processes, technologies and the like so that you are the ideal source for new business. Tailor your approach to the most likely opportunities. Do you have capacity availability to jump on opportunities? Think strategically about what will arise down-the-line and put your company in a proactive position purposefully. Think about your supply chain partners and include them in your plans.

 



Vision Backed by BIG Goals and Leadership

October 4th, 2016

SAP CEO Bill McDermott talked much more than just about data. One of his most compelling stories related to turning around Xerox’s lowest performing division and ending the year as #1. Who says success isn’t derived from leadership has his/her head buried in the sand.

The keys Bill described were quite simple: 1) Listen. 2) Provide the vision and goals. 3) Lead.

We believe this proves the premise behind our newsletter, Profit through People — people are any organization’s #1 assets! Do you treat your people like assets? Or costs?

Bill said that the people at this division were quite disgruntled and specifically upset because the cost cutter that preceded him took away their Christmas party. So, he listened to what they requested — for him to communicate clearly what he wanted and for him to give them their party back.

The next day he stood before them and told them that he had booked the best place in town for the party, and he gave them his vision for the future. He accompanied that with the BIG goal of going from last place to 1st place by the end of the year. And then he supported them — and LED.

Guess which division ended the year in 1st place? Theirs!

As my HR mentor used to say, leadership will make or break success. Bill proved this theory. Will you?

 

Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to strengthen your Eagle Eye:

It Begins and Ends with Leadership

The Hidden Benefit of Observation 

 



Lisa Anderson Selected as Toyota Women in Supply Chain Mentor

September 16th, 2016
Lisa Anderson

LMA Consulting Group’s Lisa Anderson has been selected Toyota Women in Supply Chain Mentor for The Peter F. Drucker Center.

Lisa Anderson MBA, CSCP, president of LMA Consulting Group, was selected to participate in The Toyota Women in Supply Chain Mentoring Program sponsored by the Toyota Foundation and The Peter F. Drucker Center for Supply Chain & Logistics, Claremont Colleges. Anderson, a sought after speaker on supply chain, customer service, skills gap, ERP, SIOP, and the Amazon Effect and its impact on business operations of manufacturers and distributors, will mentor a student and help her be ‘economy-ready,’ understanding the people, process, strategy, structure and technology involved in Global Supply Chain Operations.

Anderson is board approved in supply chain strategy, an advisory board member for the Advanced Supply Chain Certification program, and was named a top 100 supply chain blogger on SupplyChainOpz. Recognized as the 16th most influential person in supply chain management and sustainability by technology leader SAP’s “Top 46 Resource and Optimizations Influencers (Plus a Few Others),” she retains Pomona College interns to help them gain valuable experience, co-chairs the APICS West Coast Student Case Competition and sponsors student participation in APICS-IE.

“I remember coming out of college and having to do a lot of learning on the job,” explains LMA Consulting President Lisa Anderson. “I’ve been fortunate to have several wonderful mentors who helped me navigate the “real business world” and apply what I learned in school to drive business results. Without a doubt, I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. Thus, I’d like to pass on the same type of knowledge to my mentees.”

“Supply chains have become substantially more complex over the last several years. For example, supply chains have extended (with many more players involved), natural disasters have created customer disruption, security threats are commonplace and Amazon has driven elevated customer expectations which have created a supply chain skills gap. There has never been a better time for women to rise to the occasion. I find vast talent in young women. With a bit of mentoring, they can thrive, fill critical gaps in organizations and develop rewarding careers in supply chain management.”

Celebrating its 11th year, LMA Consulting Group helps growing companies elevate overall business performance while creating a customer service edge. Through a number of proven proprietary processes, LMA Consulting Group can pinpoint areas for improvement with eagle eye precision and develop the strategies to deliver results. Anderson, also known as The Manufacturing ConnectorSM, is currently working on a book entitled “The Amazon Effect” detailing a business roadmap to thriving in an ultra-competitive marketplace. A regular content contributor in topics including supply chain, ERP and SIOP, she has been interviewed for articles in publications like Industry Week, tED Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. She actively posts educational blogs three times weekly and has two newsletters, Profit through PeopleSM and “I’ve Been Thinking.” For information about Lisa Anderson, go to https://www.lma-consultinggroup.com/ or call 909.630.3943.