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When Synapses Mis-Fire

By Art van Bodegraven | 05/12/2017 | 7:44 AM

I don't know if it is bad wiring, a genetic defect, or sunspots, but the ol' brainpan seems to be, without warning, thown off course by apparently random browmnouts and power surges.  The following are a few of those "who left the gate open" thoughts that wander in with neither permission nor purpose, in no particular sequence or priority, and no relationship with other blog posts.

"We are all dying."  

Of course we are, just at different rates.  To complicate the planning process, we have no clue regarding the timing of the end game - when, how long, with what accompanying features.  So, the notion that we should live each moment as if it were our last gains credence.  In the greater scheme, it seems, with all the uncertainty, that we should have and execute, as best we can, a plan to make a mark, leave an impression, elevate those around us, and contribute to organizational well-being.  Our associates deserve it, the enterprise may or may not be deserving, but its health benefits others, and we ought to enjoy - treasure - the satisfaction, the peace of mind, that comes from deliberately making a difference.  And our efforts should extend, first to family, then to random strangers.  

Life while dying can be good, if we let it be so.

"Freedom is a mental state."  

We are not truly free, whether physically constrained or not, until and unless, our minds are free to wander pristine corridors to unknown destinations.  Further, it is a decision, a position staked out by the mind, as to whether we can rise above, can remain human in the face of, any physical deprivation.

Coupled with the 1st Amendment, that means we are free to be paranoid or schizophrenic - or both.  Or neither.  Nurse Andrew reminds us that genuine and authentic people whom society deems to be "menatlly ill", can be interesting, engaging, amusing, and worthy of respect and recognition.  Of course, if that freedom creates an annoying kook, we get to make our own rules of engagement.

And, so it goes.

"Don't water the weeds."

Advice from a business guru that sounds good until examined in a strong light.  True, one does not want to lavish attention and resources on dim stars while permitting benign neglect of the super-novas that illuminate an organizations potential and performance.  But, as leaders, we most often inherit a mixed garden of roses and weeds, with the occasional hollyhock thrown in.

"Profitability first."

Cementing its position as a failed icon, whose past glories no longer justify its arrogance, struggling GM has sold its European brands.  Vauxhall and Opel have thrown a golden egg onto the profit plate.  The golden goose is not visible, and its capacity to produce more eggs that get eaten up to satisfy persistent hungers is questionable.

These latest strategic moves, generating a one-time cash infusion, cap 16 years of losses in Europe. Slow learners?  Further, the once world-leading transport corporation, already fallen to #3 globally, will fall even farther, as Peugeot goes ion the rise. Peugeot?  Really?  And no one is losing a job because of these epic failures.  So much for bringing jobs toio the US.  Meanwhile, Honda (no Toyota or Nissan, even in Japan) is investing another $149 million in US operations.  Pitiful.

Our job becomes one of getting the most and best out of what we have, including finding a place for nurtured weeds.  Waste nothing, including people with limitations.

"Which means?"

There'll be more later, as electrical disturbances roil the thinking processes.

Until then, Shalom, my friends.



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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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