Why the supply chain needs mental toughness

Olympic

Mental toughness will be a common topic at the Olympic Games this week.

Mental toughness is a personality trait which is emerging as the key to understanding how people respond to and perform under stress, pressure and challenge. Mental toughness explains up to 25% in the variation of an individual’s performance.  It is also a significant factor in individual and team well-being.

In our volatile uncertain complex and ambiguous world of supply chain management, mental toughness is becoming a key requirement and competitive advantage to effectively handle the pressures of:

  • Customer demands, in Australia major retailers require up to 98.5% service
  • Supply chain complexity through outsourcing, mergers and acquisitions
  • Industry consolidation and dealing with multiple cultures and behaviours
  • Shortening life cycles as innovation is needed to make a point of difference
  • Growing product portfolio’s, with a growing almost unmanageable tail
  • Cross functional communication and issue resolution

Mentally tough individuals and teams look forward to challenges, stay confident and focused on their tasks and deal positively with setbacks to deliver on their commitments, whilst keeping their emotions in check. Mentally tough individuals bring their ‘A’ game to work every day and learn from their mistakes.

Mental toughness can now be measured on individual and team level. Professor Peter Clough developed the MTQ48, the world’s first valid and reliable psychometric questionnaire for mental toughness. Clough is chair in Applied Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University and a world-leading academic in applied psychology. The on-line 48 question survey is easy and take less than 10 minutes to complete.

Mental toughness in your supply chain team

Can mental toughness be developed in your supply chain team? You need four steps:

  1. Increase your understanding of the concept of mental toughness. Learn the definition, its history and its application
  2. Understand your mental toughness and your individual strengths and team improvement opportunities
  3. Understand tools and techniques to improve mental toughness and learn what the mentally tough do in real life situation
  4. Aspire to become more mentally tough, set goals to improve, use the tools and techniques, change your habits and hold yourself accountable, or use a coach to do so

Niels Van Hove

Niels Van Hove is a guest blogger for apicsAU and is founder of Truebridges. Niels has 18 years’ international supply chain experience and is an AQR accredited master trainer in Mental Toughness. He is presenting at apicsAU’s Regional Symposium “Navigating your supply chain into the future” in Melbourne on 19 October 2016. This is a unique opportunity for supply chain leaders to address seven key elements affecting their supply chains: strategy; standards; technology, leadership, workplace culture; HR legislation; and careers. Group discounts available and early bird discounts available until 30 September, 2016. Register now.

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