Leadership Challenge

Recently, the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, delivered a video speech to the world about COVID19 in what can be characterized as a Call to Action for the world at large. He identified three main actions that we need to take in order to combat COVID19:

  1. Attack the health emergency: calling for a coordinated global response;
  2. Focus on the social impact: recognizing that this is fundamentally a human crisis and not only an institutional crisis, and calling for the restoration of global supply chains to mitigate the impact of COVID19 on people;
  3. Be responsible for the recovery: learning the lessons that COVID19 is teaching us about our world and implement effective processes to support and sustain our global society.

As supply chain logistics practitioners and professionals, we need to think strategically and globally for Canada and the world, recognizing the integral connectedness of our supply chain driven economies and societies. The issues are bigger than competitive advantage or economic success. There are no winners or losers because success has been redefined by COVID19 in terms of mitigation of impact and resilience/recovery in the face of crisis.

Collectively and individually, as a community of certified supply chain logistics professionals, we are not the UN. The Logistics Institute is not a government organization. We are a not-for-profit professional organization. We are private and neutral. And it is that very characteristic that allows us to bring leaders together to work collectively in a space where political agendas and competitive agendas have no place.

The Logistics Institute is in a prime position to work with supply chain logistics professionals and practitioners to create a resilience strategy embedded in a sustainable development framework. It is time to take sustainability out of the tree-hugger socio-political mentality and look at it as a positive and necessary economic and social opportunity. By doing so, we can accept the fact that crisis events are actually endemic to our connected global economies.

Let’s embrace the brutal facts: well-run global supply chains can and do aid and abet the spread of crises, pandemics included. Let’s drop the narrow thinking of cause and effect that leads to accusations of blame and scapegoating. We created the global economy, so now we need to learn to live with the good, the bad and the ugly. Pandemics are not caused by global SCL but global SCL is an all-inclusive vehicle for them.

Let’s begin by admitting that we can’t eliminate risk. That is principle number one. We need a 2-fold strategic approach: handling risk as it happens (emergency response and mitigation) and recovering quickly (resilience strategy).

Let’s move on this as an opportunity in leadership for ourselves as logistics practitioners and professionals, as well as for the Institute. How do we begin? Remain committed.

Be safe. Be well. Be healthy. We value you.

Victor Deyglio, Founding President

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