Evolutionary Basis for (Supply chain) Innovation
Tuesday, 13 April, 2010 Leave a comment
Here is a piece that I found particularly interesting. The full article can be found here.
Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s capacity to modify its organization, pertaining to the acquisition of new skills and learning. Several decades ago, the consensus was that the neocortical areas were immutable after a certain stage of development. However, recent studies determined that environmental changes could alter cognition by modifying neuron connections in adults. What’s more, it was determined that stress is the key factor in boosting plasticity, and learning, in the nervous system.
In other words, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. The brain says to itself: “Oh, my survival is at risk, so I’d better start thinking and learning really hard right now.” It’s only when you have skin in the game that you’ll really focus and learn.
Unfortunately there are still too many people who have difficulty in coming to terms with the FACTS that, the “others” who have always been around and tended to make things all right are no longer as reliable as they once were!
Who’s that then?
Well, it is the institutions that we were brought up to trust. Organisations that could be trusted but who have shown themselves more concerned about holding on to power and/or wealth than implementing the changes that right-minded people are, increasingly calling for. Any innovation is on their terms and, first and foremost, for their benefit. They need people to rely upon them for leadership. Individual inertia and fear maintain their power.
But, like the human brain, we now have the means to form our own, new connections and networks. Like-minded people can now readily seek each other out, communicate and form groups to truly innovate. Why accept “the norm” or “conventional wisdom” if you do not (cannot) believe in it?
You only have to look at the rise of social networks to see what I mean!
There is more. The traditional (linear) supply chains with which we have become so familiar are under pressure like never before. This should come as no surprise when you think about it. If, at each stage in the process, each participant is looking to maximise their financial return but manage the cost to the end user then something has got to give. This has even affected THE brand that, quite literally built its reputation for QUALITY over many years…Toyota!
Global inter-connectedness has improved linear supply chains but the principal benefactors are the participants NOT THE END USER. Network supply chains are becoming more the norm and this trend will continue. BUT with greater interdependence and functionality comes greater complexity. For these models to truly flourish and consistently deliver QUALITY the CUSTOMER (rather than return) must remain at the centre of the proposition.
By building customer focussed VALUE NETWORKS, monitoring and managing the necessary system complexity and embracing transparency new sustainable revenue streams will be created and grow.
Alternatively you could sit around waiting for others to change their ways and make things alright again…I know which path I choose!!!
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- Fund Strategy Magazine: Complexity lessons from nature for a better economic future… (davidgwilson.spaces.live.com)