I’ve discussed the Social Supply Chain regularly in the past so I’m sure you realize the importance that I place on these capabilities. There are two areas that these capabilities can impact the extended supply chain; internally with labor and execution, and externally through event management. I believe that external event management capabilities will shortly become a ‘cost of doing business’ and these capabilities are becoming critical success factors. In these times of instant communication and sharing progress and events across an extended and worldwide network, taking advantage of these capabilities in your extended supply chain are a natural progression.
Critical to the success of implementing these capabilities is identification of your key community members and gaining acceptance of these practices. Another key success factor is a high level of trust across your key community partners; you must feel safe in sharing critical information across your extended network. The aspect of shared success must replace the aspect of ‘selfish’ success! In these days and especially moving forward I suggest that success in the future will be defined by the success of the community.
I understand that this feels at odds with generally accepted practices in the past and I understand that it will be hard to maintain the faith and I understand it will be hard to share your critical information in order for the community to succeed but I also strongly believe that without these new practices that your risk of failure will multiply geometrically. The value of the community is the specialties and extended capabilities that the community shares across all members. These extended capabilities will bring much greater value to your organization than you would be able to achieve by yourself.
So, my advice is that you should begin to identify your ‘inner circle’ of trusted partners and start the conversation with them. Develop your partnerships and the key members of the community to start the process. Starting with an ‘inner circle’ will allow you to speak openly and develop the critical beginnings of the community. Starting with a small group allows you to experiment and change quickly if something doesn’t work, or expand capabilities for the things that do work. A critical practice in this beginning phase will be building trust; remember to assume innocence in your relationships. Also, remember that the community will not be successful and grow if you do not focus on mutually beneficial relationships.
This will be very hard because the general practice is the short term view; achievements in 90 days. What I am suggesting requires a long term view; three to five years for instance. The long term view allows you to focus on investments and focus on the activities that will build the success of the community for all partners.
Share your information; share your success and share your challenges! The community can help you adjust to the challenges and setbacks through share commitments and sacrifice to support the community. You must remember however that everyone must give in order to achieve success; you cannot be selfish! The social tools developed for Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare can also help to build and support your partner community. Give it a try and open yourself up to success!
Now for the audience participation portion of this program……
How do you feel about the changes I mention above?
What do you feel is the likelihood of these changes coming to fruition?
What additional changes and repercussions do you see as a result of these trends?