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On Demand News: 02/28/2019

DW Morgan Company OnDemand Supply Chain News-This Missing Think: Why some companies achieve stunning transformation while others stick stubbornly to old strategies long after they stop working.

The Missing Think

28 February, 2019 // “I’m trying to think, but nothing happens.” So, observed the noted philosopher and movie Stooge, Curly Howard.

That sums up much of the problem with modern business according to Harvard Business School professor emeritus, Gerald Zaltman.

In a recent interview, Zaltman described why some companies achieve stunning transformation while others stick stubbornly to old strategies long after they stop working. “There’s too much deference given to the desktop computer and not enough to the neck-top computer—the manager’s mind” Zaltman said. “Too often, that mind is very much afraid of being wrong, rather than being right.” 

In teaching his MBA students and working with executives, Zaltman devised a test. Which statement sums up your personality? “I love being right,” or “I hate being wrong.” For most of us, both are true. If we’re being honest, though, we hate being wrong more because of the pain and penalties that come with a mistake. “That produces a lot of ‘Let’s do today what we did yesterday, and let’s do tomorrow what we’re doing today,’ ” Zaltman says. 

Prof. Zaltman’s new book, Unlocked: Keys to Improve Your Thinking, provides a series of exercises to build thinking skills and awareness. Think of it as mental yoga for management. We can recommend it for those who want to out-think their competitors.

At Morgan, we have built our business by helping clients break free of Zaltman’s “it worked yesterday” mindset. If you’re merely looking for peer-level performance, there’s no need for thinking. In today’s supply chain, though, competition and change are forcing leaders to rethink how they move and distribute goods—and even how they own them. 

If you could use some thinking to help you unlock your supply chain’s full potential, let us know. We’d soitenly be happy to review your challenges.


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