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Signs Of Intelligent Life At Abacus House

By Art van Bodegraven | 07/24/2016 | 11:21 AM

As regular readers probably already know, I enjoy baiting the bears, tweaking the beards of the good souls who dwell among the numbers and rejoice when they find a bad one. I accuse them of terminal short-sightedness, and suspect many of them are possessed of a sadistic streak that gains in strength with the power that accrues to those who live — and die — by the numbers.

To my astonishment and unbound delight, CFO magazine has announced a webinar devoted to the wisdom — necessity, even — of investing in training, learning, and development of staff resources. This from a group that has, in recent years, been reluctant to spend any money on building up talent levels, containing runaway costs by expecting to hire people who already knew what they needed for a specific job. 

But, apparently, the talent shortage is cutting deeply, and a movement is underway to stop self-flagellation, instead investing in elevating the potential - and actual - of existing staff as an option to going out to fight the talent wars all day, day after day.

Here's my plan … Let's hope, let's encourage, CEOs (and other C-level leaders) to get aggressive about turning placeholders into assets, flunkies into ambassadors, and make the investment into the people who can make a difference in how enterprises sustain high performance. This makes lots of people nervous. The return is hard to quantify, and even harder to evaluate.

For some, whatever can't be easily measured and assessed is not real, is dismissed. That failing does not make them either evil or stupid, but is a factual human condition. But, whatever, let's do this thing.

We have nothing to really lose, and a boatload of benefits to be gained. And, let's thank the bean counters for responding to a glimmer in the distance, and are ready to act, on the theory that it is a light they are seeing.

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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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