While people typically get into management positions because of their technical ability, interpersonal soft skills are far more relevant than technical know-how in most manager positions.
With technology changing rapidly the way we do our jobs, technical abilities can get outdated quickly. It’s so hard to predict what the most important future technical abilities will be. This means the best strategy for managers is to be well-positioned to develop them. To that end, businesses are now more focused on finding managers who can think critically, communicate effectively and build consensus.
These abilities are more vital than ever. The mercurial nature of 2020 might have been a class in crisis management, but for businesses to grow in the coming year and beyond, managers should consider future-proofing their careers by focusing on soft skills.
Four Soft Skills Supply Chain Managers Need To Be Successful in the Future
1) Critical Thinking
Quite a few markets that had been strictly local or regional have become international, as have the supply chains that provide for them. As a supply chain manager, you ought to concentrate on what is coming up next and, to some degree, predict it. This is only possible by thinking critically about dynamics at both the industry and the company scales.
Of course, each industry and the niche markets within them are governed by unique and particular market mechanics. Supply chain managers should work in a range of sectors, provided they know their stuff. However, a change of employer often requires some in-depth research, particularly if the market is an unfamiliar one.
2) Mental Flexibility
In a supply chain manager position, you don’t need to innovate, but you should support and push for innovation.
Mental flexibility provides you with the capacity to let creative thinkers around you to present good ideas. Being open to these insights builds trust as they understand that you are open to adopting them. Because of this, mental flexibility is one soft skill that can truly differentiate good supply chain managers, given the ever-changing nature of supply chain operations and regular disruptions.
3) Strong Communication
Communication has always been important, and in 2020, the ability to communicate digitally became more important than ever, as many companies scrambled to set up remote work systems.
Supply chain managers must be able to articulate complex concepts in plain English. In some roles, a supply chain manager might need communication skills that go beyond their native language.
4) Ability to Build Consensus
If you don’t like building consensus and professional partnership with many other people, you may have trouble in supply chain management.
Supply chain operations require collaboration on a daily basis. Fostering teamwork and building consensus isn’t always be easy because there are often competing priorities and clashing expectations.
Let Us Support the Success of Your Supply Chain Team
At ZDA, we help our clients enjoy successful supply chain operations by providing top talent for a range of positions. Please contact us today to find out how we can help your company.