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This past week the mighty LA Lakers, were swept by the Dallas Mavericks in four games. The Lakers had won two straight NBA titles and were favorites of many to three-peat. Immediately after the 4th loss, which turned out to be one of the five worst losses of series deciding games in the history of the NBA, rumors began to circulate about conflicts within the organization.
Several experts said that fans should expect to see many changes within the Lakers Organization coming soon that would affect members from top to bottom. They commented that LA had not reached a consensus in regards to what is the best strategy or the best way to approach the execution of that strategy. . There appeared to be disconnects between upper management and the coach as well as between the coach and the players.
The LA Lakers example exemplifies the fact that it might be easy to bring a group of professionals together and say they are a team but achieving teamwork that leads to overall organizational success is much more difficult. This also makes it clear that spending money and throwing resources at a process does not guarantee success. Quite often in sports when the under-dog wins you hear folks say, they may not have the best resources but they had the better team.
The same principles apply to businesses and the S&OP process. A strong S&OP Team can be the difference between winning and losing. Conflict among team members and lack of consensus on the game plan can lead to disaster. Failure to gain commitment from all key stake holders can derail the process. LA's bench (reserves) were totally outplayed by the Dallas reserves. We must always remember that operational excellence is driven by People-Process-Technology but only one has the ability to think and act accordingly.
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