Playing The Long Game: Lessons For The Next Big One

( 51:39 )

Playing The Long Game: Lessons For The Next Big One
Schneller, Eugene
Professor of Supply Chain Management
W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University


Health care executives, managers, boards, supply intermediaries, and suppliers themselves have had great competencies and capabilities supporting the provision of health care under times of stability and certainty (the short game). They have not been trained nor have had reason to develop a perspective for uncertainty of the level experienced in the era of COVID-19. Not knowing the depth, breadth nor shape of recovery for COVID-19 has required great agility – and many have responded quite well (mid-range game). But few, including the government, were prepared to support the delivery of products or services. And few have given thought to another disruption with an uncertainty level experienced over the last year (the long game). What is clear is that it is too important to leave to the system “as it was.” The contours of the new normal are similarly vague.

This talk will assess the conditions leading to failures and provide a set of perspectives and recommendations for preparing for the next (yes it Is inevitable) long, deep and uncertain disruption. The talk has been developed as the result of scrutiny of responses to COVID-19 by senior managers, supply chain executives, and policymakers.

The goal is to stimulate discussion of strategies, to provide a foundation for discussion by managers, boards, and policymakers as they engage in strategic thinking, and to argue for the inclusion of training for uncertainty and disruption scenario planning in management education.