I interviewed Niels Van Hove who discussed why mindset matters for supply chain and S&OP.







Can you provide a brief background of yourself about why mindset matters for supply chain and S&OP?


Yeah. Of course, Dustin. Good to talk to you too. My background, I've been in supply chain for about 20 years, worked across many different countries, about 12 to 15 different countries, as well online organization, [inaudible 0:00:30]. I'm also an accredited Mental Toughness coach and founder of Mental Toughness Online and also author of self-help guides on mental toughness and illustrated a children's book on mental strengths.


My first question is why do we have to move on from the traditional S&OP discussion to a more looking at how it can support the company culture and team effectiveness and meaning?


Just a bit of context there... I've always wondered, my whole career, why it's so hard for people to work together. S&OP is trying to make people bring together. But often, is the process is implemented, it is still hard to make it work, and often, that's because of the behaviors and the mindsets of people.


So I actually think, and often we say, S&OP is dependent on the company culture. My premise is we have to use S&OP to influence and change the company culture for the better.


Can you talk a little bit about how to implement this and do it effectively?


Yes, of course. I wrote about that in my Foresite articles as well. But it's about understanding, first of all, what are effective behaviors for S&OP, but you can extend it a little bit. Behaviors are effective for S&OP. They're also good for employee well being and performance. So actually, it's a double whammy. If you define the right behaviors to support S&OP and start incorporating them from the executive level in S&OP and measure them and ask feedback on them, then you start to influence your company culture. S&OP need to have a certain amount of maturity, of course. First you need to have a level of maturity. So S&OP is seen as an important business governor's model. Only then it can start to influence the company culture. But once you have that maturity, and you define behaviors, and you commit to displaying those behaviors through S&OP, you actually influence the company culture for the better, which in return, improves your S&OP.


Do you have specific examples that you could share of some success?


Yes, of course. Mainly, I work myself on workshops that improve trust. So with the leadership team, what define what types of behaviors improve trust and trust improve S&OP, of be course, but it also improves psychological safety for employees, which improves their performance but also wellbeing.


So with a leadership team of 40, the top 40 leaders, I did a workshop to define how can we improve trust and collaboration. And we distilled a couple of key themes, behaviors, which the leadership team committed to, to improve trust. And we started our feedback on that in the S&OP meetings. So slowly but surely, more and more of those conversations were starting. And that started to impact the openers of the meeting and the willingness of people to provide feedback and challenge each other.


Do you have any final recommendations?


Well, my recommendation is really to start thinking beyond traditional S&OP, which has been around for 30 years. I still hear a lot of talk about forecast accuracy and those type of measurements, which are great. But if we want to engage the real executives, the real senior leaders, we have to give them more meaning to the meeting, to the S&OP cycle. If we can provide a means to influence the company culture for the better, the employee engagement and wellbeing for the better, we define a whole new area where S&OP can be involved and can influence a business, which will increase executive engagement.


Thanks for sharing together, Niels.


Thanks, Dustin.



About Niels Van Hove






Niels Van Hove


Coach | Consultant | Author


LinkedIn Profile