You want a strategic supply chain team? Here are 5 things you need to start with.

How many times have you heard that this or that company is hiring strategic supply chain talent, and yet their task force is plagued with tactical experts? Professionals that for the most part spent their careers in just a couple of areas. Good start, but not good enough.

Consider the following 5 tips:

  1. Hire brains trained to “think” versus just “do”. You need to topgrade your talent (By the way, I strongly recommend a book titled Topgrading by Bradford Smart). Then look back and don’t stop until you have a good balance of tenured experience and higher education in your team. My personal favourite: hiring industrial engineers with an MBA right out of college! 
  2. Seek international experience with at least bilingual skills. What decent supply chain nowadays is constrained to just one country? 
  3. You need true diversity: Not just the one that gives you “points” with the authorities. True diversity is as much about skin colour as it is about background, education, geography, languages, etc. And please hire and promote more women! Specially if you are a female executive, stop worrying about what others might think about your hiring preferences…
  4. Seek professionals from other industries. If you still believe your company or your industry is truly unique…you haven’t traveled much lately have you?
  5. Consider professionals that had the guts to manage a P&L in their past, or even spent a few years leading a marketing & sales team, or did work in finance. You don’t really understand how powerful SC is until you have a team that truly understands how your company grows and makes money. 

Good luck!

Jose-Luis Bretones

Linar Advisors – Managing Partner