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Gartner Reveals 4 Strategies for Developing Supply Chain Professionals

To remain competitive in an ever-changing environment, chief supply chain officers (CSCOS) must apply advanced strategies to develop and train supply chain talent, according to Gartner.

Caroline Chumakov, principal analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain Practice says “rather than fighting to compete, many CSCOs will look to make do with what they have and work to improve the digital dexterity and data literacy of their existing workforce.”

Gartner Suggests Four Strategies to develop the right skills and capabilities for their supply chain organization.

Work Design

Supply chain organizations are complex by nature, often supporting complex workflows and processes.

The most impactful work design strategies focus on simplification and elimination. Less essential workflow tasks and competency requirements are eliminated, and systems and tools should be simplified or consolidated. “When we design work to be simple and, thus, reduce complex expectations of talent, it will be easier to plug employees into work throughout the organization,”   Chumakov added.

Digital Capabilities

According to Gartner research, only 27% of supply chain leaders agree that their function has all the talent needed to meet current supply chain performance requirements.

“If CSCOs want to keep up with their companies’ digital ambitions they need to make sure that their employees are properly trained to work in a digital environment,” Ms. Chumakov said. “This includes skills in data literacy, but also general digital dexterity competencies. Employees have to be willing and comfortable to take on new roles and work iteratively with unclear requirements.”

Network-Driven Development

Gartner research has found that “connector managers” can improve their teams’ performance by up to 26% because they know one person cannot do everything. Instead, they recognize and access the wealth of knowledge that exists across their network and use it to build and foster their teams.

“Connector managers will improve connectivity both within specific teams as well as across teams — allowing for opportunities to break down silos, meaningfully develop employees and even allow for greater career visibility,” Chumakov said.

Experiential Learning

Traditional learning programs in supply chain tend to overemphasize formal training and focus heavily on functional skill development.

“For more complex capabilities, such as competencies under digital dexterity, 70% of learning should be experiential – on the job development through interventions like learning-based career paths, stretch assignments, and action learning groups. Only 10% is formal training. The remaining 20% of learning should be focused on relationship-based learning via peer interactions and coaching,” Chumakov concluded.


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