Arena Prevents a Culture of Mistrust, Blame and Scapegoating

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ScapegoatI work alongside someone who loves Olive Garden. And it’s not been easy for me.

It’s not that he’s a bad guy at all. It’s just that — if I let down my guard — I’ll get trapped in an empty conference room or cornered in the cafeteria where he’ll cause me gastrointestinal agony with his endless waves of raves about Olive Garden’s chicken and shrimp carbonara or steak gorgonzola Alfredo.

It’s hard to write about Olive Garden’s menu. For you, I know it’s hard to read about Olive Garden’s menu.

Working at a corporation is inherently strange as you are crammed together with people whose friendship you would never seek outside of the work environment. It can lead to awkwardly close relationships as well as potentially volatile situations and misunderstandings. The truth is you can’t fire someone for loving Olive Garden — I asked HR already and they said no. All I can do is make the best of it and keep my professional distance when this “exotic personality” starts gushing about the buttery flavor of Olive Garden’s bread sticks.

Jean-Paul Sartre, the 20th century French existentialist philosopher and playwright, in his play No Exit wrote “hell is other people”— a famous existential phrase that philosophers debate the meaning of to this day.

What does “other people” mean to me? A dangerous interpretation is that an employee who loves dining at Olive Garden, for example, could be quickly scapegoated as the person likely to make a critical mistake in a manufacturer’s globally dispersed supply chain.

And everyone knows that in the manufacturing world when something goes wrong and team members can’t be collaborative or don’t have visibility into product processes or transparency into their colleague’s work, you can bet that a culture of blame and mistrust will follow. And who gets unfairly scapegoated when quality failure occurs, product errors happen, or shipments are delayed? That’s right — Olive Garden guy.

To defuse potentially volatile situations, smart product development companies know that critical conversations must be principled, revolving around facts and data instead of assumptions and accusations. When supply chains are globally dispersed, the potential for problems is heightened when visibility is murky. Why? Because visibility allows everybody to stay on the same page — and that “same page” can often simply be the most recent version of the bill of materials (BOM).

That’s why companies — frustrated with a lack of supply chain wide visibility — are driving demand for more modern product development platforms.

Many of the most successful product development companies realized long ago that without a product development platform in place, cross-functional cooperation and communication would remain opaque, exacerbating a culture of distrust and fostering the product error blame game among operations, executives and engineering managers.

Arena’s all-in-one product development platform gives operations managers at companies greater visibility for collaboration with multiple users at different supplier levels throughout their global supply chain. Product companies can innovate confidently knowing everyone has the right version of the BOM. Arena’s platform allows for “visibility,” “synchronization” and “collaboration” among various types of corporate personalities.

With Arena, you can predict pitfalls, better ensure product quality and keep everyone on the same page. Arena enables supply chain wide visibility to prevent horrible cultural mistrust, blame and scapegoating from occurring. This allows everyone to collaborate more efficiently and clears the name of innocent supply chain team members whose suspicious tastes might make them the unfair target of others’ derision.

Olive Garden lovers, Arena has your back.

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About the Author

John Papageorge
John Papageorge has worked at some of the biggest names in the high tech industry, launching products and programs for companies, such as Oracle, HP, Cisco, and Microsoft. John's passion ... Read More 

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