17 December 2014
The holidays season has officially started, Chanukah, Christmas, and New Year are all drawing near (again, so soon!!!), and it is usually the time when many of us would reflect on the past year and set goals for the New Year.
For those who work in the Supply Chain & Logistics industry, much of the work has moved beyond being a linear chain of actions: from suppliers at the upstream of the chain, manufacturers, through distributors via its regional DCs/hubs, and the last mile to individual shops or more and more, directly to the end user. Aided by the ever-evolving technology and vast choice for the end-users, isn’t it scary to think that some of today’s skills could well be out of demand in the near future?
To counter this reality, may I suggest the following as part of your New Year’s Resolution?
- Innovation in supply and demand network is happening quickly. One must think of adopting a learning-based approach. How could 2015 be more about how to make learning continuous throughout the year? In dynamic times, a better learner is more sought-after than a better doer.
- Note to hiring managers: You should look out for someone who is able to create real-time decision-making processes and can make good judgment calls when there is no one-size-fits-all answer available
- Be smarter and more selective about how you spend your online time. Instead of just hitting the delete button all day with all the bombardment of dumped down ads for all the latest apps and social networks, why not make the decision to spend 10 min. in the afternoon each day and check out something refreshing and engaging like TED talks? Something which allows you exercise another part of the brain to actively listen for patters or associations that “make you think...” The net is full of unforeseen resources for success and inspiration, why not take advantage of it and learn a new thing every day?
- Practice actually writing something. I know, in this day and age, we all “write” a lot but we use one of the many devices as the medium to “write”, but according to many experts in the learning field, it is good to write the conventional way i.e. with a pad and a pen. This engages different parts of your brain because writing, together with the physical act of the writing strokes (a kind of sophisticated art) helps to reframe your thoughts and you often look at problems differently, and possibly remove some of the constraints that a medium like email automatically adds to the subject. Who knows? You take few moments to reflect while you are writing, you could hear the distant stirring of the next competitive advantage which of course would greatly benefit your career.
- "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough," Albert Einstein said. It is easy to learn new information/knowledge and it is far more valuable when one can retain and integrate it enough to share the learnings with others. So next time when you learn something, explain it to another member of your team and you will see what new thoughts or approaches come to mind.
- Occasionally do something that seems random like take a new route to work or move things to the other side of your desk. Or maybe just try some activity that is new. I have a recent and personal example. Because of an ankle injury, I cannot return to the dance studio until it is properly healed, and that takes weeks and weeks. It is a heart wrenching experience because of my love to dance but now being limited to upper body work-out, I am also finding new way to get fit and work those muscles which I ignored in the past. The injury has opened new doors to my exercise regime and I am surprised by how much I am enjoying it, where as in the past I used to loath going to the gym. So, give yourself a chance to do new things, you might be pleasantly surprised!
- Give yourself some downtime. Not a surprise, right? But most busy professionals and busy home bodies are constantly exhausting themselves. You need downtime for your body and your brain, which is basically a non-stop “processor” if we don’t actually make quiet time. Only when you have enough actual downtime will you actually reap the full benefit whatever you do when you are ON!
And I am sure that there are many more variation of New Year’s Resolution. What are yours?
May I take this opportunity to wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season, a healthy and successful 2015 however you celebrate it!