In a blog in the Wall Street Journal, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Chair and Director of the Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative, notes she had recently attended the 2015 AWESOME Symposium. Kanter participated in an “Up Close Conversation” at the Symposium on May 7, and all Symposium participants received a copy of her new book Move: Putting America’s Infrastructure Back in the Lead.
In the WSJ essay, entitled “How a Decaying Infrastructure Hurts U.S. Manufacturing,” she writes, “Supply Chain management has become a route to the C-suite , as I heard at the recent summit held by AWESOME (Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management and Education), a three-year-old network encouraging the best and brightest women to work in this field. I urged them to become advocates for big investments in renewing and reinventing America’s transportation infrastructure.”
At the Symposium, Kanter was interviewed by Heather Sheehan, Vice President, Indirect Sourcing and Logistics, Danaher Corporation, and an AWESOME advisor. “America was once on top of the world, and we had the most advanced transportation and the modern shiny infrastructure and we don’t anymore. We’ve slipped badly in all of those fields,” Kanter pointed out. To solve the problem, she said, “We need new models and this, like every other problem, is a leadership problem.”
When asked what supply chain leaders can do to address the country’s infrastructure needs, Kanter commended companies who have taken steps to transform and reinvent themselves, and added, “Now our issue is transformation of the ecosystem around the company. So one thing you can do is become civically active in your spare time and convince other executives also to be civically active and take your issues — whatever pain points you see in your company because the infrastructure isn’t working for you — and champion them.” Read more words of wisdom
Kanter’s book also was praised recently by TV talk show host Jon Stewart as “not just a good book, but an important book.” In the Daily Show interview Professor Kanter says U.S. infrastructure “is shabby. It’s deteriorating. It’s behind other countries in the world.” She suggests that for the problems to be solved, we need to have a positive vision and talk about the various components – highways, light rail, busses, trucks – “in the same breath.”
More information on infrastructure, why this is an issue of importance to supply chain leaders, and why urgent action is needed.
Supply Chain Quarterly infrastructure investment (Economic Impact of not investing based on American Society of Civil Engineers study)