Monday, October 24, 2011

Are you prepared for the Supply Chain Talent Crisis?

The CSCMP Annual Global Conference was held earlier this month (October).  I had the honor of serving on its planning committee and overseeing two tracks and one of the conference's mega sessions.  The Mega Sessions are held on the last day of the conference and focus on issues of major interest to most attendees.  

My Mega Session focused on the the current talent crisis in the supply chain arenaKen Cottrill actually wrote the white paper on this particular topic at the end of 2010 for MIT entitled: Are You Prepared for the Supply Chain Talent Crisis?  The paper served as the basis for our "Talent Crisis Mega Session."  

The basic premise for Ken's paper revolves around the fact that supply chain is becoming a critical strategic piece in the health and future success of organizations.  Companies need the kind of supply chain talent that can offer not only high technical skills, but also broad business skills as well as the ability to operate in atmospheres of ambiguity.  

Tackling this talent crisis topic is best done by looking at the different perspectives of corporations, educators and recruiters.  Thus our panel consisted of Stewart Lumsden, the North American head of the SpencerStuart Supply Chain Practice, who provided a recruiter’s perspective; Rebecca Lyons, Vice President of Strategy and Supply Chain Services at Johnson & Johnson and Ty Gent, SVP Supply Chain Commercialization, GNG Sourcing and Contract Management, PepsiCo providing a corporate perspective; and Jarrod Goentzel, Ph.D., Executive Director, MIT Supply Chain Management Program, who gave us a talent provider point of view.  
The panel members talked about the reality of the talent crisis and how their institutions were addressing it.  The focus was on cross-training with other disciplines within organizations, mentoring, and bringing in talent from other fields and training programs.

The Talent Crisis Mega S
ession was extremely well-attended. The standing-room-only crowd actively participated in the highly interactive 90-minute session. We've posted photos of the session on my Facebook Profile and the (very new) Stratman Partners Company Page. 

I have to say that this particular topic appealed to everyone. In other words, you're either the talent or the talent acquirer--both sides want to know the status of the marketplace. As an executive coach, I am a huge advocate for broadening leadership skills regardless of the position one holds.  This mega session provided an excellent forum for this message.  Supply chain is integral to the success of an organization and therefore supply chain needs to have talent with the tools necessary to understanding and fully participating in  the company’s strategy.  To read more, click here.  If you attended our Talent Crisis Mega Session, I'd love to get your feedback. Feel free to leave your comments here on this blog post. 

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