•   Exclusive

Managing like “Maverick”  in today’s turbulent,  dynamic environment

Business leaders can learn a lot about problem-solving using rapid business development from the approach of fighter pilots.

Subscriber: Log Out

Sorry, but your login has failed. Please recheck your login information and resubmit. If your subscription has expired, renew here.

This is an excerpt of the original article. It was written for the July-August 2023 edition of Supply Chain Management Review. The full article is available to current subscribers.

July-August 2023

Most business people have heard the phrase “move fast and break things.” But how do you move fast, break things, and remain profitable? Inside this issue of Supply Chain Management Review are the answers—we hope. We have two articles this month that address decision-making. The articles (“Chain reaction: Isn’t it nice when your supply chain just works?” and “Managing like ‘Maverick’ in today’s turbulent, dynamic environment”) approach the topic of decision-making from decidedly different perspectives, but I believe they are more similar than they appear.
Browse this issue archive.
Already a subscriber? Access full edition now.

Need Help?
Contact customer service
847-559-7581   More options
Not a subscriber? Start your magazine subscription.

Last year saw the release of Top Gun: Maverick—an American action-drama film. This 2022 film saw the hero, Peter “Maverick” Mitchell, overcome obstacles and successfully achieve his objectives by relying on fast decision-making. For the world of combat involving jet fighters, such decision-making is necessary for survival. After all, you are operating in a world where airplanes are engaged in combat at speeds ranging between 1,000 mph to 1,600 mph (which means that they are closing with speeds double that). You must make decisions quickly; waiting to be sure often results in you being dead. These insights not only apply to the world of jet warfare; they are also relevant to the supply chain manager working in today’s highly dynamic and turbulent environment. This is a world in which data is ever increasing and pervasive; data is often incomplete and conflicting; uncertainty replaces risk. In such an environment, decision-makers, especially supply chain managers, must be prepared to act quickly and decisively. Like the jet fighter pilot, you cannot often afford to wait for things to clear up.

The return of Maverick

However, Maverick is important for other reasons. First, Maverick’s actions are not ad hoc or taken from the hip. Rather, they are the result of a well-defined process that every jet fighter uses—the OODA (observe-orientate -decide-act) loop—a process first developed by Col. John R. Boyd. This process can be recast into a supply chain specific process referred to as the strategic response cycle (SRC). As will be shown in this article, it is this process that enables effective supply chain management decisions with a high degree of confidence in the actions decided upon. Next, Maverick’s actions take place within an organizational structure and culture that recognizes the importance for risk taking, differentiates between “smart” and “dumb” failures, and that is highly robust (as opposed to being optimal).

The message communicated by this article is simple—today’s supply chain demands quick, effective decision-making; today’s supply chain manager has more in common with Maverick than they may be aware of. Furthermore, this is not a new message. In a previous article published in this journal (Melnyk, 2016), we talked about the emergence of the new strategic supply chain leader. A critical trait of this new leader was that of fast decision-making. That observation, made in 2016, has picked up more relevance and urgency in today’s dynamic, turbulent, and uncertain business climate.

However, to understand the origins of this concept and this article, it is necessary to start at the beginning with a plant visit that took place in September 2015.

This complete article is available to subscribers only. Log in now for full access or start your PLUS+ subscription for instant access.

 

SC
MR

Sorry, but your login has failed. Please recheck your login information and resubmit. If your subscription has expired, renew here.

From the July-August 2023 edition of Supply Chain Management Review.

July-August 2023

Most business people have heard the phrase “move fast and break things.” But how do you move fast, break things, and remain profitable? Inside this issue of Supply Chain Management Review are the answers—we…
Browse this issue archive.
Access your online digital edition.
Download a PDF file of the July-August 2023 issue.

Last year saw the release of Top Gun: Maverick—an American action-drama film. This 2022 film saw the hero, Peter “Maverick” Mitchell, overcome obstacles and successfully achieve his objectives by relying on fast decision-making. For the world of combat involving jet fighters, such decision-making is necessary for survival. After all, you are operating in a world where airplanes are engaged in combat at speeds ranging between 1,000 mph to 1,600 mph (which means that they are closing with speeds double that). You must make decisions quickly; waiting to be sure often results in you being dead. These insights not only apply to the world of jet warfare; they are also relevant to the supply chain manager working in today’s highly dynamic and turbulent environment. This is a world in which data is ever increasing and pervasive; data is often incomplete and conflicting; uncertainty replaces risk. In such an environment, decision-makers, especially supply chain managers, must be prepared to act quickly and decisively. Like the jet fighter pilot, you cannot often afford to wait for things to clear up.

The return of Maverick

However, Maverick is important for other reasons. First, Maverick’s actions are not ad hoc or taken from the hip. Rather, they are the result of a well-defined process that every jet fighter uses—the OODA (observe-orientate -decide-act) loop—a process first developed by Col. John R. Boyd. This process can be recast into a supply chain specific process referred to as the strategic response cycle (SRC). As will be shown in this article, it is this process that enables effective supply chain management decisions with a high degree of confidence in the actions decided upon. Next, Maverick’s actions take place within an organizational structure and culture that recognizes the importance for risk taking, differentiates between “smart” and “dumb” failures, and that is highly robust (as opposed to being optimal).

The message communicated by this article is simple—today’s supply chain demands quick, effective decision-making; today’s supply chain manager has more in common with Maverick than they may be aware of. Furthermore, this is not a new message. In a previous article published in this journal (Melnyk, 2016), we talked about the emergence of the new strategic supply chain leader. A critical trait of this new leader was that of fast decision-making. That observation, made in 2016, has picked up more relevance and urgency in today’s dynamic, turbulent, and uncertain business climate.

However, to understand the origins of this concept and this article, it is necessary to start at the beginning with a plant visit that took place in September 2015.

SC
MR

Latest Podcast
Talking Supply Chain: Lexmark’s missing piece
In need of supply chain visibility, Lexmark looked within and built a tool that is helping it identify potential issues before they occur. Billy…
Listen in

Subscribe

Supply Chain Management Review delivers the best industry content.
Subscribe today and get full access to all of Supply Chain Management Review’s exclusive content, email newsletters, premium resources and in-depth, comprehensive feature articles written by the industry's top experts on the subjects that matter most to supply chain professionals.
×

Search

Search

Sourcing & Procurement

Inventory Management Risk Management Global Trade Ports & Shipping

Business Management

Supply Chain TMS WMS 3PL Government & Regulation Sustainability Finance

Software & Technology

Artificial Intelligence Automation Cloud IoT Robotics Software

The Academy

Executive Education Associations Institutions Universities & Colleges

Resources

Podcasts Webcasts Companies Visionaries White Papers Special Reports Premiums Magazine Archive

Subscribe

SCMR Magazine Newsletters Magazine Archives Customer Service

Press Releases

Press Releases Submit Press Release