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WOMEN IN THE BOARDROOM - PART 2

  In the last blog I talked about “Women in the Boardroom -- the Truth”, and the response was amazing. It ranged from, “Hey, that was great information. I like the fact that you kept the three major points simple around being the best, be yourself and deliver, deliver, deliver”; to “You are a guy, you don't know what you are talking about. You have no idea what it is like for women in the boardroom“ (I knew that one was going to come). The most interesting one was “well, yeah, the three points you raised, those are so obvious. I didn't get anything out of it”.   Let's go back and take each one of those three points individually and give some backdrop to them. The first thing is we know there is a huge effort to create opportunity for everyone regardless of gender, age, race, creed, academic background, religious background, sexual orientation, etc. Businesses are trying to say, “look, we are a gender-blind, colorblind, religion-blind place where we embrace diversity and i
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WOMEN IN THE BOARDROOM -- THE TRUTH

We are going to jump into a bit of a controversial topic: Women in the Board Room - the Truth. We have written previously about the need for diversity and how large corporations are making the turn to be more diverse and inclusive - and they are doing it out of necessity, out of their need for strategic survival and competitive advantage. This has impacted women in a positive way, but we are still stuck with the age-old question: is it really different for women in the boardroom? Now, obviously I am talking to you about this from what I have observed as a man, so I can say with some certainty that locker room talk does occur. I can tell you for a fact that there are men who do not believe women can do certain jobs. There are some men that really and truly believe women should not be in the workplace. Some believe women should not actually be preachers or pastors in the pulpit, so a number of issues that women have come across are very real. Let's make sure we level set on this re

BUSINESS BIAS IN TODAY'S ENVIRONMENT

I want to talk with you about business bias: what today means for the future of your business. This is not going to be one of those “today is the first day of the rest of your life” discourses. It's going to have a little more impact. I'm going to ask you to check yourself. Now, you may not know, I was born in the 60s in Alabama, so I’m among the first of Dr. King’s children - arguably second generation, most likely first generation since he was assassinated shortly after I was born. Thus, I tend to have a slightly different view of racism during that time. For me, racism meant you couldn't go to an all-white school. My brother and I, along with another person, were the first three black kids to integrate the all-white school where I grew up in Alabama. All black people lived on the other side of the railroad tracks. My grandfather and I actually used to step off the sidewalk to let white women pass. I actually did sit in the back of the bus. I have a whole host of experien

Strategic Alliances

News headlines are dominated by events related to social justice, social equity, and diversity & inclusion gaps in the workplace and in the supply base.  In response, member companies of the Billion Dollar Roundtable are committing additional billions of dollars toward creating more opportunities to support small and diverse-owned businesses.  Corporations that are not members of the Billion Dollar roundtable are stepping up their commitment to small business and diverse-owned business spending as well.   H owever, up to 40% of small and diverse-owned businesses no longer exist due to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.   This stark reality raises 2 concerns.   The first is why weren’t more of these companies better prepared to withstand this downturn.   The second is what new opportunities does this reduced number of competitors create for those of us still in business.     We will address the 2 nd concern here. As a consequence of the downturn, there are now grea
  MARRY THE PROBLEM -- NOT THE SOLUTION Imagine that you haven't been feeling well for a while and you've tried a number of different things, but nothing's worked. Finally you say, you know what, I'm going to have to go to the doctor, so you pick up the phone and schedule an appointment. Sure enough, during the time you're waiting for your scheduled appointment, your problem gets worse. By the time you actually get to the doctor's office, the problem still has not subsided, so thank goodness you scheduled that doctor's appointment. Upon your arrival at the doctor’s office, you sign in and they tell you it's going to be a few minutes before the doctor can see you. When the assistant calls you in, she takes your weight and your vitals, asks you what's going on and so forth. This all seems kind of normal, right? Now I want you to imagine that the doctor walks in and says, “here's your prescription. You can go”. You ask, “what do you mean here'

The Failure Opportunity

  You can’t have success without having known failure. If you haven’t failed at anything, how can you really know when you have achieved success?   I am very well-versed in business practices and protocol. I am privileged to have been exposed to material that was good whether you were just starting your business or had been in business for a long time. It grounded me in the basics of what I really need to do for sustained, continued success: be prepared; set up meetings beforehand; target a few companies on which I’ve done my homework, read their press releases, studied their current priorities, and for whom I believe I can make a difference right now based on what I understand their priorities to be. Additionally, seek to understand rather than be understood. It really is more about them sharing their needs with me; my recapping that I understood; and then asking them for an opportunity to share with them how I think I can support and help them.   Even though knowledgeable and exp

FROM STRATEGIC ALLIANCES TO DOBBINS INTERNATIONAL

  I am often asked after lectures, PodCasts and/or seminars on Strategic Alliances, “Randall, how did you get into this?” Let me start at the beginning. I believe you are already familiar with the fact that I’ve had a great professional career. I started at Shell Oil Company without a college degree. I attended college at night and worked a full-time day job. After earning my degree, I was promoted from support staff to staff at Shell. This meant at that time, I had a career path to the very top of Shell.   I had numerous assignments in supply chain and purchasing. I then left Shell and went to Wesco Distribution (formerly Westinghouse Electric Supply Company). Eventually, I landed at a company called Pantellos, which was a “dot.com”. After Pantellos, I started Dobbins International. By that time, I had amassed skills in forming strategic alliances - as they are known in the supply chain world. Strategic alliances are the most intimate of buyer-seller relationships that really drive, a