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Building a World-Class Sustainability Program

By Colleen Douglas The world is changing. Sustainability is quickly becoming a major topic among stakeholders, and it’s up to organizations to create and implement practices that satisfy the needs of the future.  In 2021, Chris Raymond shared his experience as the first Chief Sustainability Officer for Boeing at the North American Sustainability & Responsibility Summit. Boeing connects the world through aviation – but its industry can also be attributed to 3% of global carbon emissions. In his position, Raymond oversees the company’s approach on sustainable development and ESG priorities.  As the world continues to grow and shift, industries have…

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Meeting Pharma’s Need for Talent

By Colleen Douglas Jack Garvey, founder and CEO of Compliance Architects, is a frequent co-chair for Quality and Risk event content at Executive Platforms’ pharmaceutical manufacturing series. During the 2022 edition of the Pharma Manufacturing World Summit, Jack spoke about the talent crisis facing the industry and the tools needed for organizations to develop and nurture the next generation of professionals.  The talent crisis is not new —and it will probably never disappear— but there are steps that can be taken to offset its effects. Here are some of Jack’s thoughts:  Understanding the Role  The extent of the work a…

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Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security: It’s Already Serious. When Are We Going to Get Serious About It?

A common theme you will find in almost every Executive Platforms-organized industry event is about moving from reactive to proactive, about identifying and mitigating risks before things go wrong. From Food Safety to Biopharmaceuticals, and from Sustainability to Human Resources, people in leadership roles always want to be out in front of their organization’s challenges. Foresight beats hindsight in just about every business decision you can imagine. For some reason, cybersecurity does not get the same treatment as everything else. People like to turn a blind eye to the software, hardware, and infrastructure the world runs on when looking for…

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Semiconductors: How They Are Made, Where They Are Made, and Why It Matters

For this week’s blog we are going to begin with an unusual declaration before asking you to read what we have to say: We do not really know much about semiconductors; in fact, the vast majority of people have very little understanding about semiconductors despite the enormous impact they have on all of our daily lives. The late British science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke proposed a few adages that have come to be known as Clarke’s Three Laws: When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, they are almost certainly right. When they state that something…

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A World Without Plastic Pollution?

Mostly crowded out of recent news cycles dominated by more turbulent news, 175 nations from around the world have passed a landmark resolution that the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA) expects will do for plastic pollution what the Paris Agreement is doing to organize global efforts to address climate change. By 2024, the UNEA will create a legally binding international treaty that addresses the full lifecycle of plastics, promote reusable and recyclable products and materials to replace current plastic usage, and enhance international collaboration and access to technologies that will level the playing field and created a united front in…

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Onboarding in the New Normal of Work

While the wave of workplace turnover popularly called “The Great Resignation” still rolls on with no sign of cresting, it is important to remember that most of those people submitting their notices are also starting new jobs somewhere too. What does onboarding look like in the “New Normal” of work, particularly at the kind of forward-thinking employer who is attracting new employees who have decided to leave their old positions and applied for something more aligned with what is important to them? As you might imagine, onboarding involves a little more than introducing the new team member around the office…

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The Evolving Role of the CFO

Once upon a time —probably around when most of today’s senior finance executives were starting their careers— the role of a CFO was pretty clear cut: The Chief Financial Officer was responsible for managing the financial actions, cashflow, and taxation issues of an organization, as well as reporting on those matters to the relevant government agencies, the board of directors, and other stakeholders and shareholders; a CFO could be equated with a treasurer or controller; they were bound by financial standards, and their academic and professional background and associations revolved around accounting, finance, economics, and statistical analysis. All of that…

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Talking About Talking: Improving Meetings by Asking Important Questions

“This meeting could have been an email.” Who has not had that thought at least once in their working lives? For many people it is a regular sentiment. A general disdain for business meetings is something everyone understands even if they are lucky enough not to experience it often themselves. “This could have been an email,” is printed on sassy coffee cups, captions popular internet memes, and is often fodder for business-related blogs like this one. Rather than linger on the popular distaste for meetings and the longing for the email alternative —well-trodden ground without much new to say— let’s…

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Will Automation Cost Me My Job?

A Luddite is someone who is opposed to new technologies and technological change. Admit it. You thought of someone just now, didn’t you? While many people resist change, this is a blog that explores business issues and ideas, so let’s talk about our coworkers, our colleagues, and our network of professional connections. Think about what some of those people say when their familiar piece of software or favourite equipment is replaced by something new. “If it’s not broke, why fix it? I don’t want to learn the ‘new way’ of doing things. There was nothing wrong with the way they…

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Reforming Pharmaceutical Regulations: A Complicated Conversation Worth Having

The expression, “A camel is a horse designed by committee” is used to express criticism of group decision-making and bureaucracy, and it certainly paints a convincing picture. Imagine yourself describing all the features you wanted in a horse-like animal to an organization responsible for creating creatures only to be presented with a camel on the far side of a lengthy and opaque drafting and manufacturing process. You would be right to be unhappy. “What’s that?” You might ask, pointing at the unsightly thing on its back. “It’s a hump!” The committee’s appointed external communications coordinator would enthuse. “What’s it for?”…

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Inventory During Disruption: Striking the Balance Between Efficiency and Risk Management

There are many ways of thinking about inventory. For sales and operational planners and demand forecasters, inventory prompts the eternal ongoing questions: How much do we need? Where do we need it? When will it be needed there? For supply chain executives, the questions are often broader: Where is it coming from? Where is it right now, and in what condition? How is it getting from point of origin, through our distribution network, to its destination? What plans do I have in place if the answer to any of those questions change? For manufacturers, inventory is usually thought of in…

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Rethinking Procurement is Long Overdue

When you talk about procurement with supply chain professionals, three common themes often emerge: First, procurement is fundamental and foundational to how businesses operate, even if it is usually the unsung hero in the larger metaphorical cast of characters. Second, procurement should be talked about more often by more people throughout the supply chain organization. Many senior leaders see it as a specialized discipline where subject matter experts can build their whole careers away from the other aspects of supply chain operations, but that can lead to division, departmentalization, and a breakdown of communications. Third, procurement planning and processes are…

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The Great Resignation is Both a Crisis and an Opportunity

We were talking about the trend that has come to be called ‘The Great Resignation’ before the term entered the popular imagination, and for the last seven months through our events and our network of senior leaders Executive Platforms has been part of every stage of the ongoing conversation as it grew to its present near-ubiquitous status. First, people debated whether it was even real. (It was and is.) Then they wondered whether it would impact all industries, or just a vulnerable few. (It hit the vulnerable ones hardest first —which to be fair is why we are identifying them…

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Digital Transformation: Looking Back, Looking Forward

“It doesn’t matter what you make. The technology has changed.” That’s what Brian Krinock, Toyota’s SVP, Vehicle Manufacturing & Production Engineering, said last spring at NAMES21. He was speaking virtually to an audience of manufacturing executives, but the sentiment carries across almost every profession you can imagine. Keeping up with that change —leveraging technology to do more faster and better for less time, money, and manpower— is one of the dominant forces in business today. While technological progress takes many forms, probably the largest category is Digital Transformation. In reviewing our records in preparation for today’s blog post we compiled…

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