Tag Archive: solution

The Resilient Supply Chain: Are You Resilient?

December 31st, 2018

I was carpooling across town for an event tour (that had been postponed once) in rainy weather in rush hour in Southern California.  If this situation doesn’t call for resilience, I don’t know what does!  Of course, something is bound to go awry, starting with traffic jams galore.

We both had to be home at an early hour to get to key events that evening and we hadn’t had the best of days.  Not only did we miss key meetings to attend the postponed event, but the most important part of the day was cancelled due to delays, and several things weren’t coordinated too well.  Already a little frustrated, we headed home.

My carpool partner was already concerned about driving through large puddles with her small car because she didn’t want it to stall out.  Prior to the tour, we made several trips around the parking lot.  We decided to move to higher ground or we’d be up to our knees in water when we returned.  After the tour, while making our way to the exit, we had to drive through big puddles. On the last big puddle before exiting the lot, the car started making a loud noise.  Not good!

After we pushed through and pulled off to the side, it was apparent that the undercarriage cover came off.  Clearly the water didn’t make it fall off, but there must have been something in the water that caused it to separate.  We were at a male dominated facility with at least 4 guys at the exit. They came over but couldn’t define the problem.  My carpool partner was no expert at cars but saw that it was the undercarriage.  So we decided to back up so that we could see it and weren’t dragging it along.  She asked them for ideas or recommendations for a shop nearby. No one had any idea and just pointed out that the undercarriage was dragging below the car. My carpool partner was becoming frustrated.
After a few more minutes with no help from “the guys”, she decided we could tie the undercarriage up so that it would stay for the ride home – BUT, we needed rope.  Of course, no one had a clue. Luckily, she found rope in the backseat (which, I admit, would never be found in my backseat…until this experience). Next she tied it up herself as one or two of the bystanders watched.  We needed a scissors to tie it up. What do you think happened next? Of course – no one knew. I went over to the guard shack and borrowed a pair. She cut the rope and we drove back in the rain for about 2 hours in heavy traffic.

Since she is new to the area and didn’t want to leave the temporary rope option too long, it occurred to me that my mechanic is amazing at customer service and would probably help us out.  I texted him, told him the story and said we’d drop by in 20 minutes. When we showed up, he took us immediately, offered us coffee and conversation while they assessed the issue. He returned with a temporary solution and showed us why she would have to purchase a new undercarriage cover.  Less than 30 minutes later, we left with the car intact and safe to drive until the dealer could order a cover that he offered to put on for her. My mechanic didn’t charge us for this service and left us thanking him profusely. My carpool partner even left with a tip on how to buy a new truck for her husband who was moving out the next day.  Who doesn’t value relationships!?!

In this situation, we could have become seriously delayed (missing our evening events or taking Uber on a lengthy drive), stuck, angry and more.  Instead, my carpool partner took control of the situation, got us going and then we leveraged fabulous connections to ensure the temporary solution would “stick”.  Resilience and perseverance won out in the end!

What would you have done?



How to Get Out of an Escape Room & What It Has to Do With Work

June 9th, 2017

My ProVisors group had two competing teams working to get out of an escape room (my team is pictured below). Thanks to James Valmonte for such a great idea and coordination! It was an exciting experience to work through the clues and figure our way out of the room. Although I was a Nancy Drew fan when young (and even wrote a Nancy Drew-like novel with my childhood friend Vonda Zwick that won an award), I wouldn’t say this was an easy process in the slightest. It took the full team to have any hope of figuring it out. It certainly brought quite a few skills to the forefront that are valuable in all aspects of life.

Escape Room - ProVisors

One tip to implement this week:

Getting out of an escape room requires many skills needed to succeed in business. There is little to no hope of getting out while working in isolation; a team with varying skills is needed. Working in collaboration is essential. Thus, even though it might seem easier to do a task yourself, think first. Take a step back and consider your end objective. What do you want to achieve? Then, think about the skills and/or resources that would be helpful to best achieve that objective. Gather your team and tackle the issue.

You might not want to collaborate with people you think will disagree with your approach or aspects of your project; however, think twice before dismissing that thought. Instead, think about how to pull different opinions and perspectives into the mix to gain a better solution.

Looking for more ideas to keep your supply chain connected? Access more tips and resources on my blog. And keep connected by subscribing to my newsletter and email feed of “I’ve Been Thinking…”


Hidden Figures & Providing Value

January 16th, 2017

supply chain

I went to see the movie, “Hidden Figures” last weekend and really enjoyed it! It was an uplifting story about what perseverance can achieve. Three brilliant African American women were the brains behind the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit at a time when women, let alone African-American women were not considered important or involved in anything important.

One of the women ran the group of African-American women known as human computers (although wasn’t recognized as a supervisor). As a new contraption came on board (an IBM computer), she realized they would be without a job. Instead of digging her head into the sand or complaining, she found a way to continue to provide value. She taught herself Fortran (computer language) and developed the group into computer operators. Do you take this approach with much less threatening situations?

Hidden Figures movie

One tip to implement this week:

I find that we have gotten into a bit of a rut — there is a lot of complaining, talk about “they” causing problems, and looking for blame in organizations. This week, let’s jar ourselves out of this rut!

The next time you think about a frustrating topic or someone brings up a topic and wants you to commiserate about the sad state of affairs in your company, department, government or whatever else might arise, STOP. Think about these brave women in Hidden Figures who were at a much higher risk for just doing a good job. How could you respond to the situation more productively?

Can you find a solution? Can you brainstorm with your colleagues to contribute to a solution or path forward? If nothing comes to mind, perhaps follow the old school route of these women — get a book to stir ideas. You probably won’t even have to steal one from the library! These days, we can find almost anything we need on the Internet. Or, get in touch with a trade or industry organizations. There are countless resources available — and we don’t have nearly the roadblocks on our road to success that these women in Hidden Figures experienced. Think solution; not roadblock.

Persevere and I bet success and personal fulfillment will follow.

Looking for more ideas to keep your supply chain connected? Access more tips and resources on my blog. And keep connected by subscribing to my newsletter and email feed of “I’ve Been Thinking…”