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A Game of Supply Chain Risk

By Susan Lacefield

Mars Inc. has found that games are an effective way to teach supply chain risk management and resiliency.

When the pet food, candy, and drink company Mars Inc. wants to start a discussion with internal or external supply chain partners about supply chain risk management and resiliency, it basically holds a game night.

Chris de Wolfe, director of risk management, admits that initially he was skeptical that card and board games could help launch a supply chain risk management program. But he has since found that simulation activities are the best way to identify pain points and open people’s eyes to the risks around them.

De Wolfe and Sean S. Murphy, CEO of the business continuity consulting company Lootok Ltd., described two of the games that they use during a breakout session at the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) 2018 Annual Conference. These games have been used both at local Mars sites as well as with the companies’ key vendors.

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Bringing play into the business world

Despite the occasional stuffed-shirt boss looking over my shoulder and saying “This isn’t playtime!” some of the best jobs I’ve ever had incorporate a level of playfulness, and the results have always proven to be effective.

A favorite exhortation among fast-food bosses is, “If you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean!” But a little leaning now and then, and even a little guided playfulness, can go a lot further towards getting employees actively engaged in a corporate goal than will any angry mandate.

Where employers and employees alike go wrong is falling into the trap of believing that work isn’t supposed to be fun. Sean Murphy, CEO and founder of Lootok, a crisis management and business continuity consulting and technology company, went into this business – which is normally as dry as a Prohibition-era liquor cabinet – with the idea of actually transforming it into something people actually want to do.

HUFFPOST

Read the full article with commentary from Sean Murphy on HUFFPOST.

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Fresh perspectives: insights

What happens when we’re in a crisis we haven’t seen before, and our experience is insufficient? Such a situation requires us to gain “insight,” or develop new patterns that change the way we understand things and consequently, change the actions we consider. Research psychologist Gary Klein investigated the different ways that people form insights, and the factors that prevent us from having them.

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Fresh perspectives: crisis management team

There are certain challenges that face a crisis management team in the “Golden Hour,” the moment when team members convene to make critical decisions. Research psychologist Gary Klein discusses the need for team members to size up not only the situation, but also each other’s capabilities, roles, and responsibilities at time of event. That’s why it’s key for a crisis management team to regularly practice and train together.

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Fresh perspectives: uncertainty metaphors

How do most organizations handle uncertainty? They gather more information. Research psychologist Gary Klein explains why this isn’t always the best course of action. After all, it’s easy to gather information and sit on it; it’s harder to know how to make sense of events, and make a coherent story based on the data we have.

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Fresh perspectives: recognition-primed decision model

How can leaders make good decisions under the extreme time constraints of a crisis? To find out, research psychologist Gary Klein studied fire fighters to understand their approach to making crucial, complex decisions so quickly. The recognition-primed decision (RPD) process, as he explains, reveals how these professionals assess the situation: they compare familiar patterns and cues to past experiences to know which actions to take.

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Serious business play: Lootok to collaborate with Highline Games

Lootok stands apart from other consulting firms—not only in the depth of our experience, but also in our willingness to challenge conventional thinking about business continuity and crisis management practices. This has never been more true than today. We are proud to announce that Lootok is collaborating with Highline Games to explore how games and “gamification” can breathe new life into risk management programs and practices. Highline Games, co-founded by Eli Weissman and Anthony Litton of Grand Theft Auto and W.E.L.D.E.R. fame, will work with Lootok’s consulting and creative teams to bring gaming methodologies to such topics as BIAs, plan data entry, and program engagement.

Lootok | Highline Games | Logos
Lootok & Highline Games

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Understanding the risk environment: Sean Murphy discusses nonlinear environment with Gary Klein

I had the pleasure to interview Gary Klein the author of “Seeing What Others Don’t,” “Streetlights and Shadows,” “Working Minds,” and “Sources of Power.” His research and experience is invaluable to anyone in the field of risk management. In this interview, Gary talks about the difference between a well-ordered domain (i.e., normal business environment) and complex domain (i.e., crisis environment). Understanding the characteristics and attributes of each environment is critical to understanding what tools, processes, and capabilities needed to be successful in each environment.

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