Train-the-Trainer Session for Council's Recruitment and Retention Toolkit
The Council recently launched its Recruitment and Retention Toolkit
for the supply chain. The Toolkit is replete with tools and resources to help employers meet their labour demand by improving their hire and retention rates and productivity levels.
To ensure that the Toolkit is used by supply chain stakeholders, the Council is developing a team of trained industry facilitators to show HR practitioners and others how to make good use of its resources. Training these trainers is the goal of a session taking place on February 7, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm at Manitoulin Global Forwarding in Mississauga, Ont.
To participate in this training session – either in person or through web conferencing – please register with either Margie Stefanich or Beverly Myers, at 905-897-6700 or 1-866-616-3468.
Have Input in Development of Occupational Standards for Supply Chain Roles
Through its Occupational Standards Phase II Project, the Council is developing 13 new national occupational standards for supply chain roles. The drafts available on the Council's website, at www.supplychaincanada.org/en/NOS
, incorporate feedback provided to the Council through focus-group sessions held across Canada in the fall of 2010. These versions will be available for further feedback until February 21.
Your feedback will help us create accurate and useful standards for use by employers, educators and job seekers. In particular, we're looking for input on the standards related to these roles:
- Customs Broker
- Postal & Courier Service Manager
- Route and Crew Scheduler
- Supervisor, Mail and Message Distribution
If you have questions about providing feedback or about using the Council's occupational standards, contact Beverly Myers, at email@example.com
Career Focus Program: Wage Subsidies for New Hires
The Council continues to offer funds to Canadian employers for new hires in supply chain roles. Up to $12,750 could be yours to supplement the wages of a new employee, a post-secondary graduate (of a university, college, association or private-sector program) aged 30 or under. Post-secondary education includes any training that is required for the intern to fulfill the requirements of the position (subject to approval).
The process to apply for funding is simple, approvals are quickly decided and ongoing requirements are minimal, making the Council's Career Focus Program surely one of the easiest subsidy programs you're ever likely to encounter. The most-important condition of the program to note is that an application must be submitted for consideration before an employee is hired.
Aaron Lalvani, president of Lalvani Logistics Inc., has benefited from the CFP, and has this to say about it:
For a small firm specializing in supply chain consulting, as we are, finding labour to fit our needs is always challenging and expensive. When I heard about the intern program offered by the CSCSC with a subsidy component covering a number of job classifications within our field, I immediately called Sheryl Keenan to find out if our company could qualify. The process from there was remarkably simple and quick. Once we had a candidate in mind and the criteria were in line with CSCSC guidelines, it took less than 36 hours to receive approval for the funding. We have hired two individuals using this program and it has allowed our company to expand our services and grow our business. I recommend that anyone in the supply chain sector looking to hire individuals consider the Career Focus Program to assist with the cost of hire and, more importantly, to build the right people into your organization.
A Win-Win for Employers and Students
If your business is located in or near Etobicoke, Ont., you might want to attend an employer breakfast being held at Lakeshore Collegiate on February 9. Employers in the school's vicinity are invited to a breakfast presentation on experiential-learning opportunities for students. Presenters will talk about the benefits to be had through opening the workplace to co-op placements, job shadowing and site visits and providing speakers for classroom events.
Certainly among the foremost of the benefits for employers is a building of awareness of career opportunities in the supply chain, notably in an area close to the students' homes. Employer participants in the program just may find that their involvement creates a pool of local candidates interested in the jobs they offer. They may even be able to hire new workers that have been tested through co-op placements, employees that would come on board without the company incurring recruitment- and orientation-related expenses.
The Canadian Professional Sustainability Institute and the Logistics Institute Forge Strategic Partnership
The CPSI and the Logistics Institute have established a partnership focused on sustainable supply chains. “There is a natural fit for both institutes collaborating for the benefit of their respective members, employers and, most importantly, the planet," says Roderick DM Stewart, Executive Director of the CPSI. “With this partnership, organizations and their people will be able to install sustainable supply chain practices, which represent a competitive advantage for Canadian industry and a brighter future for our planet.”
Purchasing Management Association of Canada: Call for Papers
PMAC is seeking leading researchers and supply chain professionals to present at its 2011 International Symposium on Supply Chain Management, "Exploring the Leading Edge in SCM."
The deadline to submit a maximum-500-word proposal is March 30. Submissions and questions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
. More information is available on the PMAC website
Understanding and Affecting the Narrative
By Chris Irwin, MBA
A colleague of mine at Schulich School of Business shared a story of a guru’s career unraveling because he let himself get too caught up in the wrong analogy. Once the process starts, it can be hard to curtail: “Don't you see? It’s like we are in a big dishwasher. Dave’s team is the cutlery; Mary’s group are the wine glasses on the upper rack; and you, my friend, you are the detergent.”
I am going to relate the idea of narrative to leadership and change. The idea of narrative is not new, and is frequently referenced in political discussions. Recently, Robert Fulford described the competing narratives of Canadian politics that the major parties are attempting to further. The ruling conservatives like the narrative that, without Stephen Harper at the helm, things would have gotten much worse. Opposition parties have frequently returned to the “hidden agenda” narrative. Both can be supported; neither can be proven. Such is the power of the narrative.
Understanding the current and various narratives is vital. The real power lies with those who can shape the narrative, which could be one manner of defining leadership (e.g., “the ability to affect the narrative”).
Donna leads my Saturday-morning spinning class, and her presence provides a small example of what I mean by shaping the narrative. I am fairly new to such classes and had previously exercised alone. I thought of swimming or running (always on my own) as a time to let my thoughts wander. I realize how having a “leader” and a peer group forces me to work much harder. My thoughts (especially my internal pleas to “Stop doing this to me!”) are now things to dismiss and “break through.”
In a recent class, our first “stage” involved a standing sprint and seated recovery. I realized a bit into the second “stage” that what had been the dreaded “interval” under stage 1 had become my longed-for “recovery” as we climbed our imagined hill. A big part of the context was the music and the backbeat, which Donna controlled. I was impressed at how she was able to reverse my perceptions of the type of cycling… and trick me into working hard during my “recovery.” A change is as good as a rest!
To fit this into the world of work, sometimes those in obvious positions of leadership (e.g., Donna) have the means to shape the narrative by controlling some of the external environment (e.g., music) and internal behaviours (e.g., when and how we work and recover). The instances where these characteristics prevail are, I fear, quite rare.
I will suggest that understanding the narrative or narratives that are transpiring is the best first step to effecting change. The number of places that supply chain touches increases the potential number of storylines. What are we saying about the company? Other groups and departments? What are others saying? Awareness of these storylines (or narratives) lets you know what you are up against.
Are you trying to show that there is no hidden conservative agenda? Are you trying to frame the current state as a “good thing” rather than some failure?
Some stories have to run their own course.
Chris Irwin is the Managing Partner for the Canadian practice of Creative Connection Consultants, who work with companies to release superior performance by understanding the organizational narrative. He is on faculty at the Schulich School of Business, and in Humber’s Supply Chain program. He also teaches in PMAC’s Strategic Supply Chain Management Leadership Program. He can be reached through website www.creativeconnection.ca.
Event in the Spotlight
The Conference Board of Canada
March 29 – Toronto, Ontario
This event will examine the challenges and opportunities in optimizing supply chain risk management throughout the supplier/customer network, making it of particular value to public- and private-sector supply chain, finance and risk-management leaders.
Best-practice supply chain risk management requires a complete understanding of critical supply lines and business vulnerabilities, and collaboration across functions internally and throughout the supply chain. It’s also essential to go beyond reactive contingency plans to take proactive action on the common supply chain risk issues, including:
- supplier default due to financial or operational failings, or insufficient business-continuity plans;
- financial and cash-flow risk from your own complex supply chain activities;
- failing to meet commitments and losing revenue and reputation by being out of stock;
- product recalls and related reverse logistics, and crises and recall systems management; and,
- a supplier’s lack of product quality assurance.
The Conference Board of Canada
February 15 to 17 – Toronto, Ontario
Attendance at this conference will provide an opportunity to hear about issues relating to career development and workforce learning, including labour-market information, mentoring, career-path choices, skilled trades, workplace learning, recruitment, retaining talent and leadership development.
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, Air Dangerous Goods Training
: February 8 to 10
: February 9 and 10
: February 10
Vancouver: February 28
Calgary: March 1
Toronto: March 2
Montreal: March 10