TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

To Outsource, or Not to Outsource?

Fact or fiction? Third-party manufacturing services can make supply chains more efficient. The answer varies from company to company and product to product, but many leadership teams will never know because they assume outsourcing is more expensive and overlook its strategic potential. Most companies use third-party manufacturers only to solve short-term capacity constraints.

That’s a missed opportunity. Best-in-class manufacturers are discovering that a thoughtful approach to outsourcing can help increase their competitive edge. In fact, buying a product instead of making it may prove more efficient once leadership teams add up all the costs of in-house production, many of which are hidden. One example is the added organizational complexity that comes with building and managing production lines as part of a broader network. Leaders also know that outsourcing can improve quality and reduce time to market. To get to the correct answer for each product, executive teams need to analyze all of these factors.

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TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

Sorry Not Sorry

Lots of us have heard the advice that we should stop apologizing so much, especially at work. But do women really say "sorry" too often? And will it actually help our careers if we stop? We turn to two experts for insight.

Karina Schumann, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, summarizes the findings from her study "Why Women Apologize More Than Men." Then we talk with Sally Helgesen, an executive coach and a coauthor of the book How Women Rise. She explains that saying "sorry" is only one form of the minimizing language women use at the office and shares advice on how to break the habit.

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TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

Resonance: How to Open Doors For Other People

It's only polite.

Hold the door open for others, and they will open doors for you.

We biologically need to connect: limbic resonance is a term used by Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini, and Richard Lannon in their book A General Theory of Love, to express the ability to share deep emotional states. The limbic lobe of the brain is what make a mammalian brain what it is. Without it, a mammal would be reduced to a reptilian brain with the similarly cold, unblinking attitude of a snake or lizard. This is why reptiles are often felt to be scary - unreachable and heartless. They do not care for even their own young.

Resonance is not only a mammalian ability but an outright necessity. Our infants will die if not provided with the warmth of connection with another being, despite being provided with all their physiological needs: shelter, food, and water. This has been illustrated in somewhat inhumane 13th-century human ‘experiments’ by Frederick the Great depriving babies of human connection and more recently by Harry Harlow in rhesus monkeys. Baby monkeys choose to spend 17 hours a day with a soft, cloth mother that does not provide food compared to only one hour a day with a wire mother that actually provides milk. Connection is a far superior sustenance.

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