At Supply Chain Game Changer we believe in sharing experiences and expertise from people in every industry and from across the globe. As such we have introduced our “Seasoned Leadership in Action™” Interview series here at Supply Chain Game Changer. This interview is with Sheri Hinish, the World renowned Supply Chain Queen®!
I started hearing about Sheri several years ago as I started Supply Chain Game Changer. Her name would appear across Social Media quite frequently.
And in 2019 I noted that Sheri and I were both selected as Supply & Demand Chain Executive Pros To Know! I was certainly in exclusive company.
More recently I was honoured to be asked by Supply Chain Brief to be a judge for their 2019 annual MVP awards. And I soon found out that honour extended to sharing the judge’s panel with Sheri.
Given her tremendous global leadership, experience and influence I took the opportunity to ask Sheri if she would participate in our Interview series. She graciously accepted and has taken the time to answer our questions which provide fantastic insights for those at any stage of their career path and personal lives.
Sheri thank you so much for your generosity and kindness and support.
Here’s our interview with The Supply Chain Queen®, Sheri Hinish!
What are some of the lessons you learned in your career that you would like to share for others to learn from?
It took me a long time to find my voice and have confidence. When I was younger, I listened too much to others, their limitations on what they thought I could or couldn’t do, and as a result I lived for many years – boxed in.
As a 1st generation college student, I didn’t have the same support network or access. Grit, determination, and a passion for supply chain helped motivate me, but success should not come at the cost of balance. I had to learn this, particularly with three kids in diapers. I always pause and take time to decompress now.
One thing that has helped me in my career is I’m obsessively curious and always challenge myself to learn by expanding my comfort zone. You must take chances on yourself, in your ability to demonstrate leadership and competency, and in learning new things every day.
I am far bolder now and don’t take anything for granted. I remember distinct moments in my career when I thought it couldn’t possibly be any harder or how could I possibly deliver a huge project. Bottom line, the sun rises each morning.
You do your best, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Your response to adversity and how you learn and recover is what will define your future successes.
What challenges facing the world are important to you?
Sustainability is impacting global supply chains.
When you think about e2e orchestration across planning through execution, supply chains feel the pressure of balancing risk, effectiveness, customer expectations, and profitability. Supply chains also add tremendous value in mitigating environmental impacts e2e by influencing product design, sourcing responsibly in supplier networks, rethinking how we make products, how we share information with trading partners, network optimization in transportation, etc.
I know that I’ve said that supply chains own the responsibility of product stewardship, how natural and human resources are used across processes, whether in the supply chain or in direct operations.
I’ve changed my mind.
I’d argue that sustainability is a “human issue”… it’s a global issue in the world we share. It’s deeper than supply chains.
My PoV is corporate sustainability isn’t a department. If a company has a commitment to sustainability, it’s intrinsically a part of every person’s purpose. And sustainability should be as much of an individual commitment as a top-leader’s commitment.
The tension is between Values, Policy, and Access. It’s easier to have blinders on. It’s easier to, well be lazy, and do nothing, and throw it over the wall.
I think we need insights so we can understand the impacts of consumption in decision making. Understanding total costs of ownership means companies must also consider a wide range of environmental, social, and economic issues.
What are you working on these days?
I’m in my last year at Harvard Grad School, so finishing my thesis is front of mind. I’ll be in Tuscany in a few months working on a sustainable farm and biodynamic winery. Life has come full circle with my Wine & Spirits background and my sustainability passion.
I’m also launching a new digital platform called ‘Supply Chain Revolution”, including a podcast and other niche services. I have an executive advisory practice and would like to focus more executive branding and wellness in 2020.
Folks can visit supplychainrevolution.com to learn more.
What advice would you give people who have a career in, or who are considering joining, Business and/or Supply Chain?
Never stop learning new things and honing your craft. Take on the challenging projects, but also allow space in your career for your mental and physical health.
When I speak to top CEOs or CSCOs, they want two things: an edge, whether in prioritizing strategy in talent, tech, and transformation or branding themselves for the future of work. The second thing they want is vitality…more energy, nutritional blueprint, and feeling their best.
You can’t sacrifice your health for success. It will catch up to you in the end. Take the time now to build a solid foundation.
Lastly, help others. Giving back is the most rewarding feeling in the world. The ability to have an impact in someone’s life is a blessing.
Never forget it.
How can people contact you?
Sheri Hinish can be reached at: