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Now Boarding: The Last Train To Karma

By Art van Bodegraven | 03/09/2012 | 7:26 AM

Karma is widely misinterpreted to mean "what goes around, comes around" - a sort of eventual cosmic payback. In fact, karma is a deed or action, either good or not so good, and, in general, is what it is. But, at the least, karma can create either good or bad auras, although we tend to think more about the "getting even" aspects of bad karma.

SiriusXM radio's Dr. Laura Schlesinger is, for example, a big-time believer in accelerating karmic revenge, striking back in the here and now, rather than waiting for the ultimate, but unknown, inevitable. But, in reality, for significant numbers of Buddhists, karma is a momentary thing, without a cause-and-effect relatuonship with future states.

For others, there are karmic views of: 1) receiving either good news or ill fortune - getting what one deserves at some future point; and 2) progression or regression in reincarnation being based on the aggregate effects of individual good or bad deeds. In no case does genuine karma have anything much to do with the Boy george classic, Karma Chameleon.

We see a good bit of the bad karma payback in the ebbing and flowing of power in the supply chain, as shippers and carriers try to take advantage when one or the other is down, and as the formerly downtrodden try to recoup losses when they are in the ascendancy. But, there are hopeful signs as we contemplate entering an Age of Collaboration in supply chain management.

This could be as good a time as any to start building some good karma in our supply chain relationships, whether one subcribes to the "one and done" school of deeds and actions or the longer-term view of aggregating good and/or bad karma.

Hey, what's to lose?










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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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