Lights, Camera, Action: How to Master Supply Chain Complexity



By ·

Hollywood is big business, and the biggest business is in action and adventure. Forty-nine of the top 50 box office hits of all time are action-adventure films. Audiences around the world, it seems, are willing to pay to see heroes like the Avengers, James Bond or Katniss Everdeen defeat the villains. Perhaps your reviewer’s eye has spotted a parallel or two between filmmaking and the world of supply chain today.

  1. SCM is a big company. Companies spent $1.56 trillion on logistics in 2020 in the United States alone.
  2. As an action hero, your job is to protect your world from the chaos caused by a cast of supply chain villains. These include bottlenecks, problems and risks. Your sworn enemy? Complexity. After all, he enables and exacerbates others.
  3. Your business pays you well when you rescue it from the chaos of complexity. Of course, your boss would prefer you do it without the endgame drama.

These are not your most valuable points of comparison, however. A closer look reveals the key to overcoming complexity. An All-Time Action Hero, a box office draw, exemplifies the process — and value — of managing complexity. His name is Jackie Chan. Jackie does not minimize the complexity; he masters it. Jackie harnesses complexity to create admiration. His goal: to elicit “oohs” and “aahs” as fans exclaim, “That’s so cool! How did he do that?”

Now, let’s explain why Jackie is the right action hero for supply chain professionals to emulate. After all, you might know Marvel’s Avengers best. Marvel, however, is all about computer-generated imagery, or CGI. The Avengers’ on-screen power comes from the green screen, and let’s face it, you can’t CGI the supply chain. Maybe you prefer Bond’s style and gadgets. But again, this is not your world. You can’t rely on technology to save the day when a supply chain issue occurs. And you can’t just fix it in post. In a Jackie Chan film, the action is real, just like yours. Jackie works with whatever is available, finding a way to make things work, just like you. Also, Jackie is not a muscular superhero. At 5’9″ and 154 pounds, Jackie is relatable – a hard working guy who has to do amazing things. Jackie’s world is your world.

So if you want to learn how to harness complexity to activate skills your rivals can’t touch, join us as we take a guided tour of a Jackie Chan production.

By ·

Hollywood is big business, and the biggest business is in action and adventure. Forty-nine of the top 50 box office hits of all time are action-adventure films. Audiences around the world, it seems, are willing to pay to see heroes like the Avengers, James Bond or Katniss Everdeen defeat the villains. Perhaps your reviewer’s eye has spotted a parallel or two between filmmaking and the world of supply chain today.

  1. SCM is a big company. Companies spent $1.56 trillion on logistics in 2020 in the United States alone.
  2. As an action hero, your job is to protect your world from the chaos caused by a cast of supply chain villains. These include bottlenecks, problems and risks. Your sworn enemy? Complexity. After all, he enables and exacerbates others.
  3. Your business pays you well when you rescue it from the chaos of complexity. Of course, your boss would prefer you do it without the endgame drama.

These are not your most valuable points of comparison, however. A closer look reveals the key to overcoming complexity. An All-Time Action Hero, a box office draw, exemplifies the process — and value — of managing complexity. His name is Jackie Chan. Jackie does not minimize the complexity; he masters it. Jackie harnesses complexity to create admiration. His goal: to elicit “oohs” and “aahs” as fans exclaim, “That’s so cool! How did he do that?”

Now, let’s explain why Jackie is the right action hero for supply chain professionals to emulate. After all, you might know Marvel’s Avengers best. Marvel, however, is all about computer-generated imagery, or CGI. The Avengers’ on-screen power comes from the green screen, and let’s face it, you can’t CGI the supply chain. Maybe you prefer Bond’s style and gadgets. But again, this is not your world. You can’t rely on technology to save the day when a supply chain issue occurs. And you can’t just fix it in post. In a Jackie Chan film, the action is real, just like yours. Jackie works with whatever is available, finding a way to make things work, just like you. Also, Jackie is not a muscular superhero. At 5’9″ and 154 pounds, Jackie is relatable – a hard working guy who has to do amazing things. Jackie’s world is your world.

So if you want to learn how to harness complexity to activate skills your rivals can’t touch, join us as we take a guided tour of a Jackie Chan production.







February 28, 2022


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Article topics

Disruption strategy & middot & middot
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Sharon D. Cole