Our conventional approach seemed to break down as we struggled with a series of unique processes and requirements. For supply chain management, an important function in any enterprise, I found not even one division that could act as a stakeholder to initiate the change in the organization. How to overcome this challenge? It seemed impossible to change the culture, mindset, and management of a firm of this magnitude in such a short time. We had to go back to the drawing board to the rethink our approach. I needed to act fast, but without taking any drastic step that would disrupt the situation and jeopardize the progress of the project itself. I needed to “reset the execution context”.
I realized that it was a large community of people with different backgrounds and I should be cautious about the impact of a major cultural change on these people. Keeping that in mind, I decided that instead of trying to sweep changes into divisions as a whole, we needed to take it from the grass root level upwards and take the people into our confidence. We analyzed the firm’s processes further, drilling down to basic elements that could be benchmarked, and broke best practices into smaller solutions that could be executed quickly without major disruption. These small positive results created a confidence for the client in our team. Then we began to implement more advanced supply chain practices, setting forth a path away from the traditional logistics-based thinking. Although we could not yet reform the organizational structure, we could gather support to change the prevailing mindset and that helped accelerate the progress of the project.
Then we met the client’s mid-level management and had much less trouble, creating consensus, as “change” now seemed less threatening. The impressive results we delivered, won their confidence. With the newfound enthusiasm in the decision makers, I had little trouble presenting and convincing them,