As the thousands of alumni of TMG know quite well, we have long had a passion for Competency Development – professionally and personally. We have written and spoken extensively about it, have organized many discussion groups, made it an integral part of the Next Practices Xchange (now PERT), have done extensive research and benchmarking, developed and published competency models etc. etc. We have also long wanted to partner with the academic community to influence both their curriculum and their modalities and have had discussions with many of them and have found it quite challenging (to say the least) to get them engaged.
Hallelujah!! We finally succeeded. We are very pleased to announce our collaboration with the Center for Supply Chain Management(CSCMS) at the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University. Long recognized as a premier school for supply chain, the Center is dedicated to serving the needs of our profession. Through the efforts of a client who is on their Board (thanks Carlton A.), we have recently launched a number of initiatives with more to come. For example, we just announced an Executive webinar series “From a Necessary Cost to a Competitive Weapon – Transforming your Supply Chain to meet Tomorrow’s Challenges! ” and the 1st webinar is already scheduled for September 13th and is titled “The Why – Supply Chain Must Change and What Will Happen if We Don’t?”(Please join us). We have also launched an extensive benchmarking study to understand what competencies are needed by supply chain and where the most significant gaps are. That study will lead to a workshop of executives where we will analyze the results and develop some solutions. We will share those results with faculty to inform and influence their thinking, publish a white paper based on those results and of course, the Center will use the results to fine tune their offerings to their community. Under a new Director (welcome Cindy Minor!), CSCMS is rededicating itself to its mission and we actually facilitated their recent strategic planning session where that dedication was very obvious.
I was humbled by my appointment as the Executive in Residence for CSCMS and to their Advisory Board and am looking forward to advancing this collaboration even further. For example, we are looking at finally offering (based on repeated requests from a number of you 🙂 ) some of our curriculum through them to the general public where you can send some of your people (details still being worked out so stay tuned). There are a number of events that we are planning that are focused on hot topics (cyber security; cost to value, sitting in the C suite, etc.) where we will be holding workshops. It’s a beautiful campus and a great campus community so plan on attending some of these. It also takes me back to my school days at a Jesuit school (St. Columbus in New Delhi – oh those Irish fathers had a mean cane they swung on my butt repeatedly).
Collaborations are not easy and this one is going to be no different. If you have been following the discussions, everyone is on the band wagon (welcome all from those of us who have been waiting 🙂 ) of collaborative relationships between trading partners and shifting the focus to value. Adversarial trading relationships apparently have cooties all of a sudden and many are blaming the “take no prisoner” processes we’ve had (as did we – in 2009! Strategic Sourcing is Dead 🙂 ). Even when all the parties involved know that there is significant value for all from the collaboration, collaborations are not easy! Dating is fun – marriage is work in my opinion and collaborations are all about the marriage. Collaborations require lots of effort and also do not come naturally to trading relationships – they are in fact unnatural by design. But the results – oh the results from successful collaborations – they are beautiful and bountiful. Here’s to lots of beauty and bounty from this collaboration! Go Billikens!!