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Puff, The Magic (Cough, Cough) Dragon

By Art van Bodegraven | 03/16/2012 | 8:14 AM

Confession: I only ever followed Peter, Paul and Mary on account of the achingly haunting Mary Travers. But, more to the point, mijn vrouw is usually about two years ahead of the wave in the mad whirlpool of social phenomena.

Thus, it came to pass a couple of years ago, that she attempted the tablespoon of cinnamon adventure so popular now on YouTube. Not a success, and not a pretty sight, although she is usually gorgeous. Her eyes began to water; she appeared somehow mortally stricken. When she opened her mouth to speak, perchance to scream, little puffs of cinnamon dust rose in the cool evening air.

The notorious second-grader, just five at the time, ran behind the swing set for protection, calling out, "She's gonna blow!" Would that she could have. We considered a 911 call, but elected to spare the neighbors the free entertainment involved.

You may be questioning by now, "And your meaning, O Toothless Wonder, is?" it is this. One school of thought in the world of change-making is that blowing up the building and starting over - of taking in all of the cinnamon at once - is both cathartic and desirable. I think, while there might be a few exceptions, that the Big Bang approach in the Supply Chain universe involves too much risk.

That is, it is better to learn by doing, to build capability bit by bit, to begin by laying a foundation, and only then put the pedal to the metal is accelerating the pace of change. Part of the value of the admittedly slower building and growing process is that it is critical to take all the partners in the supply chain along for the ride.

Failing to do so can create dis-synchronization, or worse, and certainly jeopardizes the sustainability and long-term success of the change.

In short, once one reaches the Land of Honah Lee, the object of the journey should not be to go back to where one came from.

Note: Ingesting large quantities of cinnamon or any other powders or leaves is not recommended, condoned, or encouraged by the author. Even if the substances occur somewhat naturally in brownies or other media, including sticky buns.




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About Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven (1939 - 2017) was Managing Principal of the van Bodegraven Associates consultancy and Founding Principal of Discovery Executive Services, which develops and delivers supply chain educational programs. He was formerly Chair of the Supply Chain Group AG, Partner at The Progress Group LLC, Development Executive at CSCMP, Practice Leader with S4 Consulting, and a Managing Director in Coopers & Lybrand's consulting practice. Concentrating in supply chain management and logistics for over 20 years in his 50+ year business career, he has led ground-breaking strategic, operational, and educational projects for leading US and global clients. Art was principal co-author of DC Velocity's Basic Training monthly column for a decade, and was the principal co-author, with Ken Ackerman, of Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, the definitive primer in the field. His popular blog, The Art of Art, has been a staple of DC Velocity's web site since its inception.


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