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Syrian Shrine Circus

By Art van Bodegraven | 08/16/2017 | 5:54 AM

Please enjoy the thoughts and musings of our friend, supporter, and long-time contributor Art van Bodegraven Jr., who passed away on June 18, 2017. Art was a prolific writer and had amassed a collection of unpublished blog posts he had planned to run well into the future. To honor his memory, we will continue to post these remaining blogs as he had intended. If you’ve been a fan of The Art of Art blog, check out our tribute.


You're kidding, right?  How grim does the circus need to be to grab headlines?  Apparently, not very.  We're just now recovering from the news that Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey will take down its tents for the last time (after 146 years of operation) very soon.

Here in beautiful downtown Ohio, we are stuck with a traveling show, the Syrian Shrine Circus as a weak tea substitute for the "real" circus,which we had first seen in winter quarters in Sarasota, some 40 years earlier.  Cirque du Soleil is a spectacle, btw, of entertainment, but in no imagining is a circus.

The Feld's set the stage for superlative entertainment, but the pachyderm-less extravaganza created an unsustainable business model.

So, the stage is a bit bare, the varsity having gone on to an extended break, and the JV trying out its new acts.  Whether the troupe is really Syrian, and the audience is really Iranian, are debatable - and unimportant.  The audience clearly craves amusement and the Syrian Shriners lot all need jobs.

In our work, let us not be Iranians and Syrians.  Rather, let us be an appreciative audience, and a circus worthy of the name.  Let's be the best Syrians we can be, then live up to expectations.  Let's use the exposure and venue to showcase continuous improvement.

We've got a bag of lemons we can use for making lemonade; don't waste the opportunity, my Syrians.



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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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