Exploring the New (Ab) Normal in COVID and Beyond, the Future of Supply Chains, Sustainability, and Climate Change- Part 1 with Dr. Yossi Sheffi (MIT)

Excellence does not happen by accident. Supply chains are answering the call during COVID and will continue to do so as a new vaccine comes to market. But how do we keep the momentum of speed, flexibility, without cutting corners?

In a 2-part series, Sheri Hinish (SupplyChainQueen) chats with a thought leader and supply chain advocate, Dr. Yossi Sheffi from MIT who has been teaching, learning, building, authoring many publications, including a new book 'the New (Ab) Normal' in a conversation that pushes boundaries highlighting areas that many in supply chain and technology shy away from discussing...getting real on transformation, innovation, and disruption.

In his new book, the New (Ab) Normal, Dr. Sheffi describes how supply chains - by and large- responded to the challenges during the COVID pandemic. Civilization depends on supply chains to convert the planet’s bounty into products and deliver those products affordably to 7.8 billion human beings. Sheffi exposes the critical role supply chains play in helping people, governments, and companies to manage that bounty. The book draws on executive interviews, pandemic media coverage, historical analyses, and themes from his books, "The Resilient Enterprise" (2005) and "The Power of Resilience" (2015) to suggest how companies become more resilient facing uncertainty. This must-read book helps companies and entrepreneurs adjust to a fast-evolving economic landscape.

We dig into the concept of resilience, but more importantly what should we expect in 2021? What's in store for retail, omni channel and ecommerce?

Fundamentally, The New (Ab)Normal is about businesses trying to create a better future in a time of extreme uncertainty. We explore incrementalism which is stifling supply chain innovation and perpetuating the 'we've always done it this way' paradigm. The problem is we iterate in a linear, bad system. And there are no good choices in a bad system, only choosing between less bad.

When we think about extending traditional planning boundaries and the buffet of 2020 supply chain buzzwords, are businesses missing an opportunity to be truly disruptive, to embrace circularity, new business models, and innovation? Why does the incremental approach, even when gaps are highlighted by COVID and climate change seem to persist? From non-linear thinking, to sustainability, producer responsibility, and the value action gap in consumption, we unpack the opportunity in building back better. What will it take to build the supply chains of 2030? *Hint: science is the connector and technology is the accelerator.

In part 2, Episode 47, we'll explore doubling down on technology for transformative change. From AI, digital twins, and a deeper dive in human behavior, Dr. Sheffi gives you the steps to risk management and recovery in COVID and beyond when designing for resilience.

To learn more, visit https://sheffi.mit.edu/ and https://www.amazon.com/New-Ab-Normal-Reshaping-Business-ebook/dp/B08JHXQG1L/

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About The Author

Sheri R. Hinish
Sheri R. Hinish
SupplyChainQueen ® | Executive Advisor and Change Leader | EY Principal and Senior Leader | Passionate about Supply Chain, Sustainability, Innovation, and Inclusion|

To read more about Sheri R. Hinish, check out her full bio here.