Sondheim’s philosophy works in the supply chain too

Recently before the Grant Park Concert in Chicago which features works by Stephen Sondheim, I heard a presentation before the concert. The conductor of the program, Paul Gemignani said that Sondheim was the most collaborative composer, he knew. He was always willing to listen to anyone to improve and gain new insights into his work.

Collaboration is a word, you probably heard too much when reading or talking about the supply chain. It is the key to running the process most efficiently. To be successful in collaboration, listening is a must.

So who did you listen to? Your first thought is probably you need to listen to your boss and his boss also. But listening does not stop there. Anybody impacted by a supply chain action needs to be heard. What are the concerns in the field about new software implementation?  When a problem occurs, does most involve need to be heard. Proactively decide who needs to be heard.  Many times, because of past negative experiences, the person who needs to be heard is silent.

Listening oddly enough sometimes requires you to speak. A timely and thoughtful question will focus the person talking and will improve the answer.  So part of any project is asking the question whom needs to be listen, and what information might be gained to improve the process.  And like Sondheim who listened to others, the end result will yield superior performances in the final product.

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