William Pettway, VP Executive Global Process Owner at ADM, has carved a remarkable path in the dynamic world of business leadership. His journey stands out as a testament to the enduring values instilled in him during his upbringing. Born a teacher and a member of the automotive industry, Pettway learned the importance of education; hard work and honesty are urgently needed. These foundational lessons have been central to his path to becoming an outstanding business leader.
Pettway’s formative years he included observing and imitating leaders in his community and church settings, from school to home. His academic programs at Florida A&M University School of Business and Administration laid the foundation for valuable lessons that would transcend his career and academic endeavors. Early in his career, Pettway honed his skills at prestigious companies such as Johnson & Johnson and M&M Mars.
These experiences provided him with different tools and techniques and exposure to the leadership challenges that drove his development. While holding director-level positions at HH Foods, Kraft/Heinz, CTI Foods, and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Pettway faced significant challenges that became important lessons for aspiring leaders.
One of Pettway’s most important insights revolves around the delicate balance between meeting employees’ immediate needs and promoting career growth. He emphasizes the importance of acknowledging the rapid changes in today’s business environment and convincing leaders to invest in future opportunities rather than just focusing on short-term changes.
Navigating through acquisitions, layoffs and changes was another part of Pettway’s journey. While he acknowledges new opportunities and challenges with each transition, he emphasizes the importance of a quick learning curve, situational awareness and relationship management to succeed.
Maintaining authenticity in leadership is a cornerstone of Pettway’s philosophy. Emphasizes the value of investing in learning for own and team members, approaching leadership as a collaborative project, and encouraging open and transparent communication. Despite initial misunderstandings, these principles have consistently fostered strong bonds among team members, laying the foundation for organizational power and excellence.
Pettway’s expertise in supply chain and business transformation is notable for his contributions to developing supply chain strategies for companies that have faced External challenges, such as implementing or delivering the Year 2000 Panic, the use of sophisticated technologies such as AI-enabled web optimization, and the ability to connect design, practical applications and leading practices Abandoned is in assessing successful organizations, Pettway identifies key factors:
- Do the right things for the right reasons: Integrity is the cornerstone of decision-making, where ethical, legal and moral considerations are important.
- Investing in people: Identifying people as key drivers of happiness, results and innovation.
- Establishing scalable/repeatable materials and systems: Balancing consistency and simplicity through improved design and organization.
- Functional expertise + collaboration: The relationship between role depth and collaborative efforts to find innovative solutions.
- Change, transformation, transformation, and innovation: Understanding the micro continuum from change to innovation and its impact on organizational success.
William Pettway’s insights into the rapidly evolving landscape of business leadership extend beyond his incredible journey; with ever-accelerating technological advances, Pettway takes on the challenge of being current in years embracing technological innovation driven by technological development.
Recognizing the valuable role of vendors/partners, Pettway emphasizes the importance of spending time exploring new products introduced through counsel, conference engagement, and global technology partnerships. Using online training programs, he emphasizes the importance of constantly developing new skills and staying abreast of emerging technologies, which he views as a quick and cost-effective way to gain insight regarding usable information.
Pettway emphasizes that the key to using technology is clarity of purpose, utility and readiness. In a world where not every organization is ready for the latest technology, he emphasizes the importance of ensuring that the tool matches the specific needs and goals of the business.
Focusing on the supply chain area, Pettway aims to advance the understanding of the capabilities, roles and value of supply chain “planning and analysis.” His vision includes bringing innovation to training supply chain management and analytics professionals with tools to accelerate their impact on integrated business processes (IBP) and operations.
During a rapidly changing landscape, Pettway believes in returning to the fundamentals of design and execution. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed weaknesses in the global supply chain, underscoring the need for visibility, predictability, flexibility and speed. He recommends a renewed focus on team education, skills development, demand balancing, capacity assessment, and effective integrated business planning as key elements in unlocking the true potential of the supply chain.
Looking ahead, Pettway sees artificial intelligence (AI) exploding as a driving force in supply chains and logistics. While he acknowledges the transformative potential of AI, he warns against its indiscriminate use. Pettway emphasized the importance of understanding that AI tools may not initially reflect the various inputs and human-based decisions of supply chain challenges. In preparing for this transformative change, he learned about AI technologies, killed pilots, saw successful test cases, and was inspired.