“Your body is telling you something!”

21. June 2023

Last week, I presented at the CParity “Supply Chain Innovation Summit” in Hoofddorp, a place of great significance to me. I discussed the transition from “Shadow Behaviours” to “Best Self Behaviours,” which holds deep meaning in my professional journey.

In Hoofddorp, eight years ago, as a Supply Chain leader, I had a wake-up call during back-to-back meetings. My right arm lost coordination, my speech became slurred, and I struggled with vision and balance. It was a frightening experience, but the initial diagnosis assured me that everything was fine with my body. However, the doctor candidly emphasized, “Your body is telling you something!”

At that time, I was handling multiple responsibilities, overseeing E2E planning and execution for a multi-billion-dollar business. Achieving targeted results and navigating a digital transformation project and post-merger organizational change consumed my energy. The extensive responsibilities, frequent travel, and long hours unknowingly pushed me to my limits.

Realizing the need for change, I embarked on a journey of self-discovery. Through mindfulness practices, Non-Violent Communication, and the motivational model PRINT, I became acutely aware of the signals my body had been sending. Heightening my consciousness allowed me to recognize triggers early on and respond effectively.

I also discovered that everyone within organizations experiences similar bodily sensations. Observing colleagues’ body language provides valuable insights into organizational functioning. Our collective awareness acts as a human sensor network. Surprisingly, the first indication of a major supply chain issue may come from the gut feeling of an experienced employee, rather than an IT system alert. Unfortunately, we often overlook these invaluable signals.

Drawing from my experiences, I developed the framework of Integrated Business Sensing (iBsing) as a complement to Integrated Business Planning (IBP). Engaging discussions with professionals, including those at the CParity event, reinforced the significance of this work.

Let’s continue to listen to our bodies, embrace self-awareness, and foster a healthier, more conscious work environment. Together, we can create a space where well-being and collective intuition are valued, ultimately driving greater organizational success.

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