What Needs To Be Done

In the face of the pandemic, 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?

First, I suggest we start at the human, every-person level. Be aware of your surroundings. Be aware of those you work with, socialize with and live with. Be human: be concerned, not just because we “need them” to be successful at work or to enjoy life together. Be concerned because they are fellow human beings, no different from you or me, no less vulnerable and no less worthy. Their health and safety are as much a concern about my health and safety. We cannot live or love or even exist, flourish and succeed without each other. Be concerned.

Second, let’s change our point of view as supply chain logistics professionals and practitioners.

While we live in hope that this pandemic will come under control within a reasonable time, it takes strong leadership to avoid panic decisions. Our goal as the Logistics Institute, and as people in general, is social inclusion with physical distancing.

We do not want to exclude the opportunity to create community, and we do not want to be excluded either. Community depends on social interactions. But we must also recognize that we live in a “new normal” and that physical distancing is a critical part of that new normal.

Our challenge: how do we balance social inclusion to build community and physical distancing to protect that community from harm?

Learning from our humanitarian logistics colleagues, we need to develop emergency response plans. For the Logistics Institute that means adapting professional development programs to virtual delivery using interactive technologies to facilitate sessions and group decision-making.

Through the effective use of technology, we will continue to build community and simultaneously protect the community from harm. Technology is not a solution; it is a “means to an end” and we embrace its value while also recognizing its limitations. In the face of this pandemic, the Logistics Institute is turning to technology to build its emergency response plan.

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

Victor Deyglio

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