• AWESOME Insights

“Supply chain is what brings a business to life.”

Nearly 200 senior supply chain leaders attended the third annual AWESOME Symposium on May 6-7 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, home of the World Headquarters of Johnson & Johnson, host partner of the event.

The following are the first wave of insights from discussions, up-close and collaborative conversations, and participants’ Q&As.

On the importance of supply chain as a key business strategy:

    “The supply chain is integral to what a business is capable of doing.”
    “The idea that supply chain is delivering widgets is 30 years old.”
    “It’s a travesty that there aren’t more Chief Supply Chain officers in this country.”

On industry trends:

    “The industry is changing from customer service to customer relationships.”
    “The massive amount of data that is now being generated by technology is requiring a new skill set. It’s not just about collecting the data or providing the data or understanding data – it’s about using the data to generate answers.”
    “Supply chain leaders have the requirement and obligation to participate in the conversation about what’s happening in the business.”

Women’s leadership

    “When women get into a seat of authority they can influence the creation of a culture.”
    “Women can contribute in a big way without men being threatened.”
    “A growing number of companies are adding diversity to their leaders’ performance reviews – not just about whether or not the leader achieved goals, but HOW that person achieved them.”

Leadership skills

    “You can’t focus just on what you’re doing. People tend to see that and think you’re only out for yourself. You need to how learn to make your colleagues look good, too.”
    “Your calendar can eat you up. I try to have clarity around a short list of big priorities. I decide where to apply my efforts by making them outcome-based rather than activity based.”
    “Put the right team in place and make those choices early.”
    “Push for honest feedback. If you’re not getting it, ask, “What’s one thing I can do better than I’m already doing?’”


    “It’s not just about discussion and communication. It’s working together to arrive at something that helps all the parties achieve their goal.”
    “Collaboration produces something you couldn’t do individually.”
    “When it comes to collaboration, we’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg.”

On managing life and a big career:

    “Don’t let the bubble burst. Life is a journey. You need to be your whole self every day.”
    “Today, there are more role models of women who have started a successful career, had children, and re-emerged to fully engage again. This shows other women that combining a serious career with a rich family life is a viable life option.”
    “Women are looking for more flexibility. What they want to say to their companies is ‘Tell me what you want me to accomplish and I’ll get it done in a way that works with my life.’”

Watch for more comments and insights on the web site soon.

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