In Our Business, It’s the Forest that Makes the Tree……..YOU

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In networking, it’s the forest that makes the tree. That’s you up there – a tree shaped woodpile that is the sum of the parts of your network. And for others, you are one of the logs in their woodpile. As the saying goes, “One in the woodpile does not laugh at the one in the fire.”

This entire topic of ‘networking‘ is a non-stop topic of articles spanning decades of Harvard Business Review. I share quotes from several of these articles below. That’s why we dropped the word ‘association’ from our name in 1998, changing it to ‘network’. At the same time, whe changed the name ‘contractors’ to ‘producers’. Today our membership maintains a ratio of 2:1 producers:service in a NETWORK.

80% of success in life comes from just showing up“, said Woody Allen, and it is so true.

In AAPN we have learned the hard way, also over decades, that none of us is as smart as all of us. You’ll see this in action Feb 8 at our Los Angeles Regional Conference – and again each and every time we meet in 2018. Why? Because in the first article below, it says, “sometimes the critical players in your supply chain may be several links away” and we have 30 plus links in our network – so the critical players are here right now!

DON’T TWEAK YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN – RETHINK IT END TO END, HBR, October 2010
“Companies need .. collaboration with multiple companies to create new industry structures… even linking up with competitors to tackle challenges of scale .. sometimes the critical players in your supply chain may be several links away… challenges are too great for the supply chain of one enterprise to tackle on its own … collaboration can bring cost-efficient, innovative solutions and a competitive and economic advantageYou can do anything, but not everything. —David Allen.”

CAN ABSENCE MAKE A THE TEAM GROW STRONGER?, HBR, May 2004
“….(our study of various virtual teams) convinced us that when a project requires a diversity of competencies and perspectives and the work can be done by means of electronic documents and tools, its better to opt for a far-flung team than one that works face-to-face”
“….a project manager, in response to a product emergency, wrote, “I instantly needed experts from (OUTSIDE OF HER COMPANY) research, people who knew the supply chain, an expert in sourcing, someone who knew our manufacturing process, someone who knew the quality system, and finally someone who knew marketing in case we changed the product”.”
“….the computer revolution missed a step. When companies went from enterprise computing to individual computing, they jumped over the small-group level, where the preponderance of the work takes place”.

HBR: How Leaders Create and Use Networks 
Successful leaders have a nose for opportunity and a knack for knowing whom to tap to get things done. These qualities depend on a set of strategic networking skills that nonleaders rarely possess, they write: “When (an exec got promoted) improving his network was the last thing on his mind. The main problem he faced was time. … Networking, which (he) defined as the unpleasant task of trading favors with strangers, was a luxury he could not afford. … we’ve found that networking — creating a fabric of personal contacts who will provide support, feedback, insight, resources, and information — is simultaneously one of the most self-evident and one of the most dreaded developmental challenges that aspiring leaders must address. … When challenged to move beyond their functional specialties and address strategic issues facing the overall business, many managers do not immediately grasp that this will involve relational — not analytical — tasks. Nor do they easily understand that exchanges and interactions with a diverse array of current and potential stakeholders are not distractions from their “real work” but are actually at the heart of their new leadership roles. … Not surprisingly, for every manager who instinctively constructs and maintains a useful network, we see several who struggle to overcome this innate resistance. Yet the alternative to networking is to fail — either in reaching for a leadership position or in succeeding at it.”

Supply Chain Pros in Demand in 2011 in a journal of supply chain professionals, we found this: “The new year (2011) will see a marked increase in global opportunities for supply chain professionals … there is a shortage of procurement and supply chain pros across multinational organizations … although supply chain and logistics has a low profile for the general public, its value is being increasingly recognized by corporate. … supply chain managers need sophisticated skill sets and the ability to act across organizations.”

WHO ARE THEY? HBR, 1990
“…..it was not the size of the companies in Taiwan that mattered, it was how they organized them industrially that gave them a competitive advantage”

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