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Tag: work in 21st century

Supply networks, co-creation, open technology made simple

Suppliers rule!

In the later days in Zimbabwe, I would walk into the Greek Bakery (hey, it was called that) and say, “What’s for breakfast?”.   Whatever they had, I ate – happily.  Samosa and salad.  That’s OK.  Coffee machine working?  OK, tea is fine.

Restaurant at Art Village not the Greek BakeryI developed an appreciation of the best deal on offer and the loyalty of traders who give me the best deal they can.

What can you do for me?

It was little different in New Zealand.  I taught a massive class of 800 students, and then some.  And they all worked.  Supermarket, department store, restaurant – the people serving me were students and quite likely my students.

That’s great, isn’t it, though the university had strict rules about accepting favors.

A hop-and-a-step in my thinking told me something else. They were students – smart, obliging, but totally unqualified for what they were doing. They were hired because they were cheap and because the managers thought raw enthusiasm was a sufficient substitute for sound training.

Well, how hard is it to say “Would you like fries with that?”

But it is hard to keep  raw enthusiasm done and I soon learned to wave away the menu and decline to “look around”.  I went back to my Zimbabwean ways.

Waste no time on over-specified supply chains

I wasted no time on the loss leaders and dramatic deals that might have caught my eye but were essentially scammy.

I wasted no time specifying solutions that the enterprise ‘should’ have delivered but wasn’t going to because the staff weren’t trained and would probably have no idea what I was talking about.

I simply asked what they could do for me.

Co-creation

And so my style of co-creation was formed and practiced.

  • This is what I need done and what I can pay for.
  • What solutions can you provide?

Supply networks working fabulously

I got good service.  Happy service.  The raw enthusiasm worked fabulously.  I got what was available and what staff could deliver and it was often better than I had looked for in the first place.

This is the essence of supply networks of the 21st century.  The customer is not king (or queen).   The customer contributes a need and a readiness to pay.

All the players in the supply network scratch their heads and say “ You know what?  We could .   .  . “

By staying in the range of what we can do, we do better.

  • First who, then what.
  • Whoever comes are the right people. What we decide is the only thing that we could have decided.
  • And when it is over, it is over.

Supply networks, co-creation, open technology – tiz all the same.

And it works in scarcity and abundance by being reasonable and collegial.

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I have the power, but dare I use it?

The Power Of One

One song can spark a moment,

One flower can wake the dream.

One tree can start a forest,

One bird can herald spring.

One smile begins a friendship,

One handclasp lifts a soul.

One star can guide a ship at sea,

One word can frame the goal.

One vote can change a nation,

One sunbeam lights a room.

One candle wipes out darkness,

One laugh will conquer gloom.

One step must start each journey,

One word must start each prayer.

One hope will raise our spirits,

One touch can show you care.

One voice can speak with wisdom,

One heart can know what’s true.

One life can make the difference,

You see, IT’S UP TO YOU!

Author Unknown

A Psychologist’s View of the The Power of One

Powerlessness

Most people who consult a psychologist feel powerless, or at least overwhelmed by circumstances.  They don’t want to hear about the power of one!  First, they want simply to be heard.  They want to be acknowledged and not feel foolish for feeling powerless.  Then ideally they want the power of many.  They want the circumstances fixed ~ now!  Of course, that’s the psychologist’s job:  to help put their predicament in perspective and to stay withe them until they are willing to move forward again.

Portfolio workers

Increasingly though, work & organizational psychologists help people who run portfolio careers. Portfolio workers often consult us when they are feeling powerless, or unappreciated!  The reality though is that they have massive power.  In a sense, each person works in a niche.  In reality, they work at the nexus of a great network.  Everything they do, or don’t do, potentially makes a massive difference to the world.

Portfolio workers are the new bosses

There are many things that frustrate us and on which we voice an opinion in the pub or on a blog.  In the ‘olden days’, solving those problems would be in the gift of a ‘boss’.  In our interconnected world, we can do anything about anything.  Because we are so powerful now, we need to take the responsibility of ‘bosses’ on our shoulders.

Are we ready to change the world?

Do we really want to solve the problem in the way we say?  Have we thought about the side-effects?  Are we willing to take responsibility for the side effects?

We have become so powerful that the fun of complaining in the pub is over for us!

And use our influence wisely?

What we really have to do is to list all the changes in the world that we want to see.  Put them in order of importance.  Become sufficiently expert to understand the ripples that we will cause and the costs of our solution to other people.  And do it.

The interconnnected world is also a moral world.  Sitting around complaining when you have the power to act marks us as parasites.  But action requires moral accountability.

Are we willing to be accountable for the small things we do, and not do?

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