Consumers are hungry

We are closing in on the biggest consumer bonanza of the year in the United States.  I continue to be amazed at the resiliance of the American consumer, but I wonder how long it can really last. How long can we continue to ignore the patently obvious – the fact that fast and cheap is not in alignment with core humanitarian values.  While we delight in the great bargain, behind the curtain is a supply chain that is full of challenges.

Our hyper connected world is starting to provide a window in to the realities of cheap labor around the world. Companies should start now to examine the full cost of moving operations into undeveloped markets, including the ethical and human costs. As we’ve seen with Apple and others, transparency is coming, and the sooner corporations get ahead of it the better.


A Nimble Workplace – What Does it Take?

Creating an environment in which workers can quickly react to change (formal and informal) is a challenge. Many organizations still have a ‘Taylor-hangover’, where they are trying to impose piece-work management styles to work environments where unpredictable problematic situations are the norm. Expectations quickly become mismatched in this type of environment.

A nimble work environment challenges leaders to have trust in their workers, to enable them not just through technology but also through dispersed decision making, transparency across organizations, and open and fluid communication. Even more important than a good knowledge repository and detailed communications is an environment where communication between people can thrive.