#133: The Making of “From Source to Sold”

Knut Alicke and Radu Palamariu are both very high profile, highly respected figures in the world of supply chain and were interviewed by Tom Raftery on  The Digital Supply Chain podcast.

Listen to the full discussion here:

  • Stream by clicking here.
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Connect with the Guest:

Radu Palamariu: LinkedIn
Knut Alicke: LinkedIn

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • What was the genesis of the book?
  • 26 supply chain leaders and mixed recipes to success
  • The journey of publishing a book in just one year
  • Best stories and hiccups along the way
  • CHAIN Model 

Show notes:

  • [2:28] What was the genesis of the book? Where did it come from? Why did you decide to write this book?
  • [2:38] It was sometime about a year ago. So, me and Knut we’re sharing how can we get some of these great stories of leaders in supply chain out there and how can we try to inspire more people to join the supply chain as well as make sure that people know some of these great examples that are out there.
  • [4:06] It started as a joke with Radu and then it led to the first interview. We had this great 26 interviews of our contributors from different industries, and different regions, telling their stories of how they became successful supply chain professionals going into the board of their companies and there was very inspiring to listen to these stories.
  • [4:44] The book is based on a series of 26 interviews with Supply Chain Leaders. Is that the whole story behind the book?
  • [8:30] You said you wrote the book in one year, that’s an amazingly short time to go from start to finish and have a book out in the wild available on Amazon. Can you talk a little bit about how that works?
  • [8:43] In supply chain, people make things work. So that’s the secret. It was a lot of work from our side, but we had clearly very, very smart people to help us to deliver on time.
  • [10:50] Across the interviews, what kind of themes emerged? What kind of learnings can you say come out of the book?
  • [11:12] There’s a lot of humbleness, they all feel very humble, very, very down to earth, very pragmatic. They all felt very analytical. So that is kind of what you would expect from a supply chain person and this really proved to be the case. 
  • [14:02] We specifically chose also the word “CHAIN” to stand for it. Basically, in short, C stands for collaboration, H stands for holistic, A for adaptable, I for influential, and N for narrative. So is the innovation of these five plates then make that came across in each of the interviews and then in the book, we also give some examples of behaviors. 
  • [14:40] When you say this CHAIN Model refers to attributes of Supply Chain Leaders, and then you’re talking about a follow-on that you’re coming up with, is this some kind of workshop that people can attend? Is it some kind of course that people can take? Is it another book? Where is it on that kind of scale?
  • [15:01] A little bit of everything. So I mean, we have started to discuss the next book with Knut, but it’s in the wraps. But the first step, there is an elegant global academy that we have launched with a combination of other courses, there is a specific online course on these five elements of the chain model with practical exercises that anybody can do at their own pace. 
  • [17:27] I have not found any problem finding supply chain professionals who are good communicators, it’s been amazing how phenomenally good, the supply chain professionals are at communicating. So have I just been lucky? Or am I missing something? Or Am I misinterpreting what you’re saying? Or where are we there?
  • [18:52] So there are people out there who can communicate very, very clearly. If I look into my client work on a day-to-day basis, I still see that there is the majority of people know a lot. They have a hard time if they need to explain to their COO or CEO, what they’re doing and why this is super, super important.
  • [20:45] The key is whether can you communicate to whom you’re sitting in front, and if you’re standing in front of the supply chain is one thing.
  • [22:16] By and large, the general population of supply chain practitioners, because they’re pragmatic, they get stuff done, they are focused on results, they fail at, or they failed to allocate enough resources or attention to speak the language of the different stakeholders they are faced with.
  • [22:34] So is that why we don’t have as many supply chain people on the boards of companies?
  • [22:40] That’s one of the reasons. Another reason that I found interesting when I talked to a big company, is that they even don’t open up so to say, the channel to the board for supply chain people.
  • [23:38] The target reader for this book does not necessarily supply chain professionals, it’s people outside the profession to show how important the supply chain is.
  • [23:51] I would say it is both. People remember stories, they don’t remember data. So we hope that by having 26 stories, they will remember 123 that will stick in their minds, and maybe they read the book again, and depending on the stage that they read in their career, or questions or development, some other stories will stick with them. And that will provide them with inspiration to move forward.
  • [28:30] Why is now a good time for this book?
  • [29:09] We should leverage this hot topic idea that improves the maturity and understanding of the supply chain. And this is where the book clearly contributes.
  • [29:20] I think that the beauty of it, Tom, is that it’s extremely diverse. We again made it on purpose that we intervene, with very diverse people from all industries, and all backgrounds. You will find leaders from really not only gender but reading backgrounds and race that also makes gives a pretty broad palette.

Related Episodes:

#130: Supply Chain as Promoter of E2E Business Transformation

#131: Leading Transformation and Redefining the Logistics Sector

#132: Building and Empowering a Resilient Team

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