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croissants and strawberriesIf you’ve been here for a while you know that I help with an Executive Education course that’s put on by INSEAD at their campuses in Fontainebleau, France, and Singapore. The pandemic shut down both classes in 2020 and we did an online version in October 2021.  We were back in person last week though and it had some similarities and some differences to past sessions.

The class is quite different from my typical work with small, local businesses- but there are often some learnings that are useful.  “Leading the Effective Sales Force” is a sales force management course and the sessions I support have to do with proper sizing, allocation, and evaluation of sales forces/people (based in part on my dissertation research). The biggest difference I noticed was in our sizing and allocation sessions. In the past, we might have had one or two participants who had a capacity constraint around producing enough products to keep up with the sales force. This year, it was several who were concerned about growing their sales force both due to capacity constraints on production (think supply chain issues) and on the ability to find and hire new sales reps (think the great resignation).  I know some of my small business clients have been impacted by both of these bigger issues.

Has your business seen the impact of the supply chain or staffing challenges recently? How are you managing these challenges?  I know one of the recommendations I give to both small local clients and to a few of the course participants is to ‘always be hiring.’  If your business is constrained by your staffing capabilities, then you need to be on the lookout for good staff all the time (pandemic or not).

If you want to talk through some of your business challenges, feel free to schedule a free consultation.

p.s. Spring in Fontainebleau was really lovely. I got lucky with the weather and of course, the food is always great. I went to the outdoor marche on Sunday and found the most amazing strawberries to go with my quiche and apple pastry.