John Holland, in his writings on CAS argues that complex adaptive systems are systems of interacting agents or active elements that adapt by changing the rules that guide them as they gain experience with their environment. Since we are talking about ways to manage our supply chain, this means we have to give employees the opportunity to collaborate and connect with other employees within the organization and those outside the organization. So my question si, what are we doing to make this happen.
We certainly do supplier site visits, and we certainly reciprocate and invite suppliers in to our facilities. But to what end. I'd argue, that all we need are two simple rules to guide these exchanges and that's enough. The first one being to define where "North on the Compass is" In other words, where do we want these folks to end up. the second simple rule would be to define the boundaries they have to stay within as they head down this journey. I'm not saying put a straight jacket on them, but to give them guidelines such as, "stay between the lines of being ethical, or transparent, or whatever. And beyond that, cut them loose and just work to facilitate their work and efforts to make things happen. I think left unhindered, these folks who "aggregate" will do much more, in less time. The net result is greater organizational and supply chain collaboration. Soon enough we'll all learn what patterns of behavior works and hone in on using them.
Net result...... a supply chain that has greater effective.
So in finality
Define North on the Compass
Define the boundaries of behavior
Stay out of the way and support folks. If you teach them and equip them, you can trust them
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Chuck Nemer is a trainer/consultant with 40 years of experience in Supply Chain Management, Lean, Leadership, and APICS. He currently works with approximately 50 universities and 3000 students annually in supporting the use and play of the simulations in the classroom. Within those 40 years, he has taught, and continues to teach, professional certification classes for APICS, professional development seminars and programs on his own, and on behalf of colleges in their outreach programs to local and regional manufacturing firms.
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