Anyone following the news can hardly avoid headlines about the US/China trade wars. Given the volatile conditions in the industry, one thought keeps occurring to me: I don’t envy leaders in manufacturing right now. The world of manufacturing has grown increasingly complex in recent years, and the recent escalation in tensions – along with the intense scrutiny manufacturers face when they choose to move operations in a highly charged political atmosphere – would be difficult for even the most competent and experienced leaders to navigate.
So what can MRG’s research tell us about what behaviors these leaders might rely on to manage amid the chaos? One behavior that manufacturing leaders use more than their peers in other industries: Control. These leaders are relying upon their deep industry knowledge to keep track of anything within their scope of responsibility. In other words, they utilize their understanding of how their goods are produced, realize the potential for missteps, and ensure they stay on top of the process. Further, they are keen to monitor the quantity and quality of work completed. As organizations potentially start thinking about shifting operations due to trade disputes, or for any other reason, it’s reasonable to expect that these behaviors will become increasingly important.
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