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Chris Lynch: Big Ideas on inspiring a new generation of business intrapreneurs

Rio Tinto’s CFO, Chris Lynch wants to generate an ongoing conversation that inspires a new generation of business intrapreneurs – people who can think outside the box – to drive innovation and lead change in large organisations.

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I believe we need to foster a culture of “intrapreneurship” within large organisations.

Business is evolving at such a pace, we have the capacity to reinvent our companies from the inside.

Never underestimate the value that you or a new idea can contribute.

The faster you innovate, the more intellectual property you create to steal a march on your competition, and create your own future.

So let’s support the intrapreneurs: the people who can drive innovation and lead change.

They’re the creative, cost-conscious leaders who can influence entire organisations to spend every dollar as if it were their own, and develop breakthrough solutions for reducing costs.

People at the top of an organisation usually have the strategy, a direction, and the outcomes they want to achieve, but sometimes don’t always know how to get it all done.

Success requires people with ideas on the best ways to execute a strategy, the energy to challenge, the persistence to see it through.

Procurement teams understand what makes a business tick, and this intelligence can help create new enterprises from the inside, by looking outside.

Compared to the sales teams and the accountants, who focus on the top and bottom line of the business, the procurement team knows the importance of all those middle lines.

Look to the Big Ideas that can come from new industries, new venture capital concepts, and indeed anything that will unlock or create value.

It is what retailing has been doing for many years with, say, “home” brands and what airlines have been doing with re-branded low cost carriers.

At Rio Tinto we have $13.4 billion contestable group spend with 62,000 suppliers, and 4,000 contracts, so clearly a lot of opportunity to reinvent parts of business, and act like intrapreneurs.

So clearly there is plenty of scope for reinvention, improvement and Big Ideas.

At Rio Tinto we don’t restrict ourselves to the mining industry to find BIG IDEAS, adapting or adopting new concepts.

Some of our ideas have come from sectors as diverse as the car industry (the world beating logistics of our Western Australia iron ore operations and food processing (improved sorting of ore).

Even military intelligence systems, where our Mine Automation System allows us to manage and monitor our mines from thousands of kilometres away.

Procurement doesn’t need to be necessarily locked into an engineering or risk-averse management paradigm…

Most of the world’s leading companies have “squeezed the lemon” on costs very tightly. Thus far procurement as a discipline has done a great job in leveraging spend and working with suppliers in a very constructive way.

But now we need to break through the next layer of cost paradigms.

To develop and foster a culture of intrapreneurship within our larger companies will require extraordinary people, bringing extraordinary and fresh ideas to the table.

People inside who can think outside existing limits.

Like entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship is not easy.

It will require skills, tact, diplomacy and a plan and passion.

It is important you have a concurrent plan, especially if your big idea is going to take time to come to fruition.

Never dismiss your own idea. Don’t kill it off just because it’s challenged the first time.

Make sure you have options and alternatives for when you get the call, or wish to reframe the idea for a new environment.

Now is the time to create a groundswell; for corporations and governments to develop creative, cost-conscious leaders who can develop breakthrough solutions, reducing costs and influencing whole organisations.

Spending every dollar as if it were their own but looking to new ways to reinvent supply chains and whole businesses to unlock or create value.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a disruptive technology, just disruptive thinking with the plan that goes with it.

Chris was speaking at Procurious’ inaugural Big Ideas Summit as one of 40 most influential commercial thought-leaders. Learn more about the Big Ideas Summit and how to access exclusive content from the event.

World’s brightest procurement minds collaborate at Procurious Big Ideas Summit 2015

World-first digital think tank for the procurement profession reaches millions through social media

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London, 30th April 2015: Creating a Wikipedia of global suppliers to help manage risk, engaging the millennials to win the war on talent were two of the innovative ideas pitched by 40 thought leaders at the world’s first digitally led think-tank for the procurement and supply chain profession, Procurious Big Ideas Summit 2015.

The event, a giant global brainstorm for digital delegates, sparked vigorous debate across social media with posts and discussions under the #BigIdeas2015 hashtag reaching over a million on Twitter, Facebook and over 5,000 members on the profession’s niche social network Procurious.

Thought leaders from around the world including CIPS Group CEO David Noble, Rio Tinto CFO Chris Lynch, Hackett Group Principal Chris Sawchuk and Burberry Group Procurement Manager Stuart Pemble, came together to discuss their outside-of-the-box ideas under the themes: risk, people and technology.

London Business School Fellow Jules Goddard’s big idea was to stop the pursuit of ‘best practice’ because it breads sameness, stifles innovation and limits the opportunities to grow wealth.

“The challenge for business and procurement is not to pursue best practice, it is to pursue unique-practice – our own definition of what’s right for us,” Goddard said.

Keynote Chris Lynch, said the profession needed to foster a culture of ‘intrapreneurship’.

“Intrapreneurs are the people who can drive innovation and lead change,” Lynch said. “They’re the creative, cost-conscious leaders who can influence entire organisations to spend every dollar as if it were their own and develop breakthrough solutions for reducing costs and adding value.”

Procurious Founder Tania Seary said the inaugural Big Ideas Summit highlighted the wealth of creativity within the profession and the value of sharing and collaboration to drive innovation.

“Through the ideas that have been generated today, we’ve hopefully inspired a new generation of business intrapreneurs to get their creative juices flowing, to start collaborating through networks like Procurious and then start implementing those ideas to achieve change within their organisations and the entire profession,” Seary said.

Some of the many big ideas shared by thought leaders at the summit included:

  • The procurement function might not exist in 20 years. Instead it will become the role of every employee to achieve value from third party suppliers. (Peter Smith, Spend Matters Founder and Editor)
  • Don’t wait for your CPO to manage you, take the initiative to understand what your personal values and drivers are and align them with your career as motivation. (Sigi Osagie, Author)
  • Procurement needs to transition from the clunky old manual transmission that doesn’t know what gear to be in, into a modern automatic that predicts where it needs to be, learns and grows. (Jason Busch, Spend Matters, USA Managing Director)
  • Businesses need to measure themselves on their social values driven by procurement. While previously intangible, social values can now be measured through big data, sentiment analysis and social media. (Olinga Ta’eed, CCEG Chairman)
  • Procurement needs to add market intelligence as one of its services. We need to create services that are based on our customers and become more of a pull model rather than a push model. (Chris Sawcuck, The Hackett Group Principal)
  • Procurement professionals need to sell themselves as trusted advisors with unrivaled relationships both internally and with their customers and suppliers. (Stuart Pemble, Burberry Group Procurement Manager)
  • The profession must adopt Intelligent Collaborative Ecosystems (ICE) – procurement isn’t about a transaction anymore, it’s about long term valuable relationships, ICE encourages collaboration to solve shared global problems. (Lance Younger, CEO Statess)
  • Twenty-five per cent of sales roles won’t exist in 2020 because buyers are now empowered to make informed purchasing decisions on their own through the internet. (Tim Hughes, Oracle)
  • Leveraging real-time supplier feedback and data from sources like social media can allow us to analyze and predict supply chain issues and crises before they happen, (Paul Rakovich, BP)
  • Why don’t we flip the procurement recruitment process on its head? Start with reference checks and psychometric testing to find out if the candidate matches the skills and experience needed for the role before investing in an interview. (Andrew MacAskill, EO)
  • Using Procurious to share detailed information on global suppliers we could create an online global supply chain tree, a self-governed platform like Wikipedia, freely available to the benefit of the entire profession. (Gordon Donovan, The Faculty )

If you missed the event live, it’s not too late to take part in Big Ideas 2015. Digital delegates can access exclusive speaker and panel discussions, videos, blogs and interviews and join in trending discussions for free by joining the Procurious community.

What happened at The Big Ideas Summit?

While we eagerly await the first videos from the Big Ideas Summit to appear, we recap on a jam-packed day. How much of it did you catch?

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Our man Jordan Early set the scene for all of our ‘Digital Delegates’ who followed along on Twitter, Facebook, and Procurious.

The Big Ideas Summit 2015 is live!

Sarah Trota, 2013 Personnel Today HR director of the year, talked us through creating ‘alchemy’ using people in organisations.

We captured some of her other ‘Big Ideas’

Sigi Osagie got us all thinking about changing our perspective.

Have you got a business card? Is it a business card or a blank card? Change your perspective and get thinking about the other side of things…

Click to read more of Sigi’s insights.

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Rio Tinto’s CFO, Chris Lynch took to the floor to discuss Big Ideas in Big Companies, crucially – where do Big Ideas come from?

Chris taught us not to treat your suppliers as a resource to cut costs, but someone that you can work with to generate Big Ideas… Old St Labs Mark Perera also streamed the session live on Periscope for ardent social media fans.

Keep your eyes peeled for a blog series from Chris on Procurious soon.

In the first of our ‘Big Ideas’ panel discussions Sigi Osagie, Helen MacKenzie, Andrew MacAskill and Sarah Trota took to the stage to provide their perspectives on authentic leadership, and the challenges of trekking through the procurement jungle.

This is what they said.

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Ahead of Big Ideas 2015, we ran a competition to win an iPad mini for our community to invite 10 members to join the site. The winners were announced at the Summit and they are:

Helen Rees
Natalia Urazova
Sergio Giordano
Bertrand Maltaverne
James Bush

(And there is Sergio collecting his prize in person!)

Chris Sawchuk from The Hackett Group thinks procurement can learn from UBER

Here are a few top insights from his session:

– Innovation should be seen as a top priority in the organisation
– How do we build agility into our procurement organisations?
– If we can’t predict what’s going to happen, we need to be more agile to respond
– Be responsive and put the customer at the centre of everything we do

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Jordan Early reckoned the ‘Where are our blind spots?’ panel discussion that featured Tim Hughes, Olinga Ta’eed, Giles Breault, Jason Busch, Nic Walden and Lance Younger was the best procurement panel he’d ever heard.

Read his thoughts on it

It was certainly a heated affair… the reverberations of which were felt on Twitter!

A fight erupted on Twitter around social good

Tania Seary rounded off our keynotes with a call to action to the profession to set their egos aside, collaborate, share ideas and pull together for the betterment of procurement. Procurement needs to be “ego-less, collaborative and full of T-shaped people”…

Why procurement should flex its muscle

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The day itself may now be over, but the debate and discussions are still being amplified online. Here’s a teardown we’ve done of #BigIdeas2015 reach on social thus far… What Twitter was saying about Big Ideas 

And if that’s not enough reading material for you, here’s a handy list of related stories you might have missed on ‘Big Ideas’:

Sigi Osagie`s Big Ideas On Bringing The Real You To Work

6 Big Ideas To Join Procurious By Thursday

CIPS David Noble: Big Ideas On How Procurement Will Seize The Day

Thinking the Unthinkable – Big Ideas on Supply Chain Risk

Mark Perera’s Big Ideas on startups, technology & disruptive procurement

Samantha Coombs on the challenges facing Millennials going into procurement

Is ethical fast fashion an oxymoron?

Professor Olinga Ta’eed on Turning Procurement Professionals into Agents of Change

Professor Olinga Ta’eed: Big Ideas For Helping Your CEO Understand Social Value

Winning the War for Procurement Talent with Social Media

4 Big Ideas That Transformed Procurement Technology

Help us to help you (and win 1 of 5 iPad minis)

Social influencer Tim Hughes: Big Ideas for the next Industrial Revolution

David Berry on Fixing the Innovation Supply Chain

5 of the deadliest risks facing your supply chain in 2015

`Our People Are Our Greatest Asset.` Erm… Really?!

Behind the supply chain curtain: 5 questions procurement needs to ask

Slavery in Supply Chains – A Modern Day Risk

Big Ideas 2015: How to be a Digital Delegate and get involved

What are the innovations transforming supply chains & biggest trends right now?

4 technology trends we’ll tackle at Big Ideas 2015

Big Ideas that changed the world: Communication

Why we’re talking managing talent at Big Ideas 2015

Who are procurement‘s most influential thinkers?

The digital delegate and rise of the virtual summit

Join the world‘s first digitally-led event for procurement professionals

How can we make progress through the jungle of procurement?

Big Ideas panel session

In the first of our ‘Big Ideas’ panel discussions Sigi Osagie, Helen MacKenzie, Andrew MacAskill and Sarah Trota took to the stage to provide their perspectives on authentic leadership, and the challenges of trekking through the procurement jungle.

The panel are asked: What is the role of the leader in reengaging the humanity?

Helen starts things off by offering a personal story taken from her experience of working as Head of Exchequer Services in local (Scottish) government.

We’ve been on a significant journey of change in the way we do procurement. To have a vision of where you’re going, and to get the passion into the vision.

Helen likens it to adventuring through a jungle, machete in hand, clearing the way for the team in tow. There are always blockers in business, so you must find a way for your team to make things happen.

It’s also important to act as the cheerleader – she gives the great example of winning awards, and the rallying effect this has on the team. Recognition shining through.

Andrew says that it’s always about setting the belief. When you meet C-Suite people from other organisations they are more excited about the potential.

Sarah reckons it’s more of a brand challenge. How is this achieved? By working collaboratively and changing perceptions (for instance, HR is notorious for having a bad image).

Jules: There’s a belief in the IT industry that they are under-valued.

So why is it so hard to get collaboration across the board?

According to Sigi, the one industry that never has this victimhood mindset is Finance. Dollars is the value of business – even if you’re in the charity or public sector we still measure in dollars.

This opinion proves controversial: should Finance be the poster-child, and is it not the one business function that’s first to fail? (Indeed it is usually the first function to be held accountable).

Sigi says procurement has always faced an uphill struggle. There’s legacy challenges. However it has come a long way – but progress tends to be seen first in large businesses.

In a parting statement Sigi ends on a philosophical note, claiming we’re not here to do procurement, we’re here to do business.

Sarah Trota`s Big Ideas on Bringing Your Whole Self to Work

sarah-trota at Big Ideas Summit

Sarah has over 20 years experience in the commercial sector, latterly as Employee Relations Manager for Sainsbury’s. She then joined the Board at a large not for profit Housing Group, where she spent seven successful years, enjoying broadening her areas of responsibility. Today she is sharing her insights on ‘Bringing your whole self to work’ at the Big Ideas Summit. Find out more about the Summit and gain access to exclusive videos, interviews, articles, discussions and more.

Procurious asks: Sarah, you’ve been the employee relations manager at Sainsbury’s, the HR director at Waterstones and have held a board position with the NGO Circle Homes, it’s an impressive CV, tell us a little bit about what you’re working on now.

Sarah: I have set up my own offering, sarahtrotaalchemy, which offers organisation level consultancy, executive coaching and leadership intervention. My experience enables me to quickly spot the ‘word from the trees’ which enables acceleration of positive outcomes. I have a unique approach which is commercially driven, with people as the focus of positive outcomes.

Procurious: At the Big Ideas Summit you’ll be part of a panel discussing ‘bringing your whole self to work’. Do you feel like some businesses have created a organisational culture where people are not able to be themselves at work?

Sarah: For sure. Culture is simply the collective ‘way we do things around here’. Organisations need to stay tuned in (through employee surveys and discussion) on the reality of how things are. It’s a real challenge for senior leaders, who in their very senior roles can become isolated to ‘how it really is’, and often can be surrounded by leaders who maintain the status quo. Over time this can become quite damaging when culture becomes institutionalised.

Procurious: One of the things we’ve spoken about a lot at Procurious is the need for procurement professionals to develop their own personal brand. Have you got any insights around this you’d like to share with us?

Sarah: Brand is important. Brand is the external (and internal) perception of you, your organisation and your profession. Perception is a vehicle for ‘setting your stall out’ and as we now know authenticity is really important, commercially and to drive employee engagement. Shifting perception (Brand) is the work to be done, and needs to start with a reality check of measurement. The measurement can then helpfully target and prioritise what needs doing, and also help to keep track of progress.

Procurious: You won the the HR Director of the Year at the Personnel Today awards for you role at Circle Housing. We read that one of the main projects you oversaw in your time there delivered more that 1.5 million pounds in savings through HR efficiency improvements. Can you tell us a little about that project?

Sarah: I was really fortunate last year to be a judge for the annual awards for the UK overall HR Director of the year, and the finalists had delivered some really significant outcomes across different sectors. However, most organisations are commercially driven (even in not for profit organisations that measure SROI) and HR Directors are part of an executive team that are jointly responsible for delivering commercial success. I think the award that I won, recognised the commercial benefit that had been delivered from the transformation outcomes, which in the social housing sector were leading edge at that time. The 1.5m you mention was a smaller HR project that involved a complete overhaul of the recruitment process and shifting some mandatory training to an e-learning platform.

Procurious: We’re reading a lot about more flexibility in the workplace. People are working from home more and we’re starting to see firms implement innovative HR policies like unlimited leave programs. Are these sorts of changes something that you think will become business as usual in the HR space?

Sarah: I think that as human beings we broadly do what we think is right, and what will deliver positive outcomes. Engaged people deliver successful outcomes, and organisations need to measure levels of engagement and critically, identify the levers for engagement. Most organisations have big challenges and identify what they believe will deliver positive outcomes. People are key to that agenda, and in order to tap innovation and engage the whole workforce, then different ways of working will emerge and deliver successful outcomes. The successful outcomes will then deliver change in working practices. 

Andrew MacAskill`s Big Ideas on Dinosaurs In The Boardroom

Dinosaurs in the boardroom

Andrew MacAskill was once Managing Director at The Source, a sister company to Procurious and The Faculty. Andrew built the organisation from scratch into a leading procurement and supply chain industry search practice. A move to London saw him take the helm at Executives Online, the aim? To Transform Executive Recruitment.

Andrew will be attending the Big Ideas Summit on 30 April, to hear his Big Ideas on attracting and retaining talent join the Group!

Procurious asks: We particularly liked your post [on Procurious] about dinosaurs in the boardroom – could you talk about what needs to be done, the profession’s inability to change etc? 

Andrew: Firstly, business leaders need to confront the brutal facts and have acceptance that the world of work has changed for good.  This can be hard when your previous successes were built on previously considered solid and proven foundations that no longer exist.  However, to avoid the fate of the dinosaurs it is entirely necessary for the progression of yourself, your team and your organisation that you are agile and adapting to change constantly.

Procurious: At Executives Online (your Executive Recruitment & Interim Management Company) you are using science, craft and technology to de-risk critical hires, and to attract top talent. Those are some suitably Big Ideas! Can you tell us more? 

Andrew: Executive Search is a classic example of an industry that is rife with dinosaurs!  In essence at EO we believe that the traditional search model is broken and have spent the last 18 months disrupting the industry with a fresh approach that de-risks our clients critical leadership hires through the use of our executive-intro™  platform.  The platform is accessible via an app that allows you to review a shortlist confidentially from anywhere in the world and provides candidate insight through the use of video’s, role specific behavioural testing, benchmarking and competency testing. 

Procurious: How does social media and networking play a role in today’s hiring procedures/and then retaining said talent?

Andrew: Social media now plays a vital part on both sides of the hiring equation.  When we are headhunting top leadership talent for our clients the first thing that the potential candidate does (often whilst we are still on the phone call) is to start researching the hiring client and leadership team online.  This means that everyone should invest in social media all of the time to build strong personal and company brands – it is far more than just a job hunting channel for candidates and can help you establish your group as an employer of choice that holds on to their superstars.

Procurious: How is people management and culture changing? We’re hearing more and more about changing attitudes to flexible working, charity work, other incentives etc.

Andrew: People management is becoming more transparent, less autocratic and more authentic.  The changing world requires a collegiate bond and trust across the workforce to gather together and succeed in the challenges and opportunities ahead.  Culture is becoming an ever more important factor in how candidates select employers – generation Y in particular also favour those organisastions who they view as good “corporate citizens”.

Procurious: What value can truly strategic procurement bring to organisations? 

Andrew: A huge amount – procurement leaders are uniquely placed to take a view and add value across the full value chain.  Having a CPO at the table during risk management strategy discussions, mergers and acquisition events and strategic alliance engagements is vital to commercial success. 

Procurious: Which companies are innovating right now? (Whether that be in procurement technology, people management etc.)

Andrew: Inspired by the likes of Basecamp and WhatsApp the tech start-ups in London across areas such as Old Street and Shoreditch are throwing out the traditional people management rule book and work completely against outcomes.  They are flat in structure, have no dresscode, no fixed hours, no fixed holiday allowance and minimal internal meetings.  The approach is obviously working as tech start-ups in London are receiving more funding than ever and attracting top talent from the larger players. 

Procurious: Why should other professionals make time in their diaries to participate in the Big Ideas Summit?

Andrew: The Big Ideas Summit is an industry first that will benefit all involved.  Dedicating time to explore ideas with peers and dream a little is healthy and allows you time to reflect on the industry, your career and the future.  I have known the team behind the Big Ideas Summit for many years and can recommend the investment of time for any serious procurement professional with absolute confidence.

Procurious: And finally, gaze into the crystal ball. What’s your Big Idea for 2030? What can be achieved, what has the potential to be a true game-changer?

Andrew: My big idea for 2030 is to turn the talent acquisition industry on its head through focussing primarily on behaviours over technical skills.

Hear from 40 of the world’s biggest influencers and thought-leaders. Join the Big Ideas Group to access exclusive content from the event. 

Procurious Big Ideas Summit FAQ

Big Ideas Summit FAQ

What is it?

The Big Ideas Summit is the world’s first digitally-led think-tank for procurement and supply chain professionals. It is powered by Procurious.

When is it?

30 April 2015. Expect to see most of the action between 09.30 – 17.00 (GMT) However the thought-provoking discussions and lively debate will continue long after, and we’ll also share video footage throughout the month of May on Procurious.

Where is it?

Although the event itself will be held in at a central location in London, due to its digital nature Procurious members will still be able to get involved.

How can I join in?

You’ll need to be a registered member of Procurious – join here for free if you haven’t already. Then simply access the Big Ideas Summit Group page (which can be found here) to soak-up thoughtful opinions, participate in insightful discussion, and share your own Big Ideas with the Procurious community.

We’ll also be live tweeting throughout the day, so make sure you’re following @procurious_ to share and respond to our tweets.

Will it be live-streamed?

Procurious boasts a global audience of 5000+ procurement professionals from more than 100 countries. If we were to cater to all of these timezones, it would be a tough job – so rather than live-streaming (and making you keep awkward hours) we’ll instead share video with those who’ve registered.

I’m on the fence – why should I take part?

We’ve listed 6 of the most-compelling reasons here.

Who are the ‘Influencers’?

The term ‘influencers’ refers to the specially-invited thought-leaders who will be sharing their Big Ideas with the room and you – the Procurious community.

Our experts span the worlds of procurement, technology and social media. There will be CPOs from organisations including:  Burberry, NHS, AstraZeneca, Hovis Ltd, and Exchequer Services, media from Spend Matters and Redactive, and experts  representing the bleeding-edge of tech. As well as CIPS, McKinsey & Co, The Hackett Group, Jules Goddard from London Business School, and Rio Tinto’s CFO, Chris Lynch.

The full list is available to view at bigideassummit.com.

I’ve got a Big Idea of my own…

Great to hear! You can Tweet us your Big Ideas @procurious_ remembering to use the hashtag #BigIdeas2015.

Leave your Big Idea on Facebook – you can find us at www.facebook.com/procurious

And of course you can tell the Procurious community all about it by joining the Big Ideas Group page and posting it to the community feed.

Who is behind Procurious?

You can read all about us in Our Story. 

Where can I learn more?

We’ve created a special website to promote the Big Ideas event, visit it at bigideassummit.com

Plus you might be interested in the following stories:

Sigi Osagie`s Big Ideas On Bringing The Real You To Work

6 Big Ideas To Join Procurious By Thursday

CIPS David Noble: Big Ideas On How Procurement Will Seize The Day

Thinking the Unthinkable – Big Ideas on Supply Chain Risk

Mark Perera’s Big Ideas on startups, technology & disruptive procurement

Samantha Coombs on the challenges facing Millennials going into procurement

Is ethical fast fashion an oxymoron?

Professor Olinga Ta’eed on Turning Procurement Professionals into Agents of Change

Professor Olinga Ta’eed: Big Ideas For Helping Your CEO Understand Social Value

Winning the War for Procurement Talent with Social Media

4 Big Ideas That Transformed Procurement Technology

Help us to help you (and win 1 of 5 iPad minis)

Social influencer Tim Hughes: Big Ideas for the next Industrial Revolution

David Berry on Fixing the Innovation Supply Chain

5 of the deadliest risks facing your supply chain in 2015

`Our People Are Our Greatest Asset.` Erm… Really?!

Behind the supply chain curtain: 5 questions procurement needs to ask

Slavery in Supply Chains – A Modern Day Risk

Big Ideas 2015: How to be a Digital Delegate and get involved

What are the innovations transforming supply chains & biggest trends right now?

4 technology trends we’ll tackle at Big Ideas 2015

Big Ideas that changed the world: Communication

Why we’re talking managing talent at Big Ideas 2015

Who are procurement‘s most influential thinkers?

The digital delegate and rise of the virtual summit

Join the world‘s first digitally-led event for procurement professionals

The Big Ideas Summit Infographic

Want to sum up the Big Ideas Summit in one neat, easy-to-digest page? We’ve created this infographic especially for you.

View the infographic below, or click here to see it as a full-size PDF. Know someone who would be interested? Why not share the infographic to whet their appetite?

Big Ideas Summit 2015 infographic

Join the Big Ideas Group page on Procurious to participate on the day, and gain access to exclusive content. Want more reasons to join? Here’s 6 of the best!

Sigi Osagie`s Big Ideas On Bringing The Real You To Work

Sigi Osagie, author of Procurement Mojo

Sigi Osagie arrived in the UK as an African immigrant with holes in his shoes, penniless and no address book. Fourteen years later, he was a global director in a FTSE250 blue-chip multinational. Today he works as a writer, speaker, business adviser and coach, drawing on insights from his atypical life journey and career success to inform and inspire others.

Ahead of Procurious’ Big Ideas Summit on 30 April, we caught up with Sigi to get his opinions on the development of a procurement brand, to discuss his thoughts on bringing the ‘real you’ to work and find out more about his new book, Procurement Mojo – Strengthening the Function and Raising Its Profile. An excerpt of said book is available to read here.

Procurious asks: You’ve just released a new book titled Procurement Mojo. Tell us about the title of the book. What exactly is Procurement Mojo?

Sigi: “Mojo” is about our ability to be the best we can be and attain success. And we should all be aiming for that; because we only get one life to live, and life is not a dress rehearsal – we won’t get the opportunity to live life again.

Most of us will spend most of that lifetime at work. So bringing out our best selves in the work we do is part of our personal success.

For Procurement folks in particular, it’s vital; because purchasing is a people-centric activity – our ability to manage ourselves effectively and nurture productive relationships with others is a critical component of our work success.

The title “Procurement Mojo” brings those two things together – finding our mojo in the Procurement work we do. That’s exactly what the book does: it shows readers how to up their game and get the Procurement function firing on all cylinders.

Procurious: In your book, you discuss ‘procurement effectiveness’ as one of the key tenants to procurement success. Can you provide us with some background to this concept?

Sigi: In Procurement Mojo I explain that ‘Procurement effectiveness’ is the route-path to sustainable functional success. Effectiveness is central to success in any realm of life. It means doing the right things to achieve our desired outcomes.

In some senses, it’s quite a simple notion to grasp: if your desired outcome is to head off to your right, then you take a step in that direction; if you want a clean car, you wash it yourself or take it to the carwash; if you want some dangerous excitement in your marital life, you get a lover.

The outcomes most Procurement functions want are not as simplistic as having a clean car or marital excitement. But the same basic tenet applies – do the right things, or take the right actions, to achieve what you want.

Procurement wants more relevance and recognition in the enterprise. Many Procurement functions still focus their actions entirely, or principally, on “cost savings” and other rudimentary elements of purchasing. Or they invest significant resources on “transformations” centred on process or systems enhancements. But they pay scant attention to what matters most: people.

The challenges that hold most Procurement functions back tend to be people-related or ‘soft’ issues – organisational cultures that don’t adequately recognise Procurement’s value; egotistical or ineffective executives who make short-sighted decisions; talent gaps inside Procurement; territorial stakeholders outside the function; and so on.

If the actions we’re taking in our Procurement approach don’t address these root-cause issues robustly, then they are not the right actions to focus on!

This is one of the simplest indicators of the inherent level of Procurement effectiveness.

Procurious: One of the issues that really jumped out at us from your book was the discussion around developing a procurement brand. Can you provide some insight into the importance of developing a procurement brand both within a business and externally with suppliers? 

Sigi: A superb Procurement brand is the pinnacle of functional success. Nurturing a credible Procurement brand requires an integrated approach internally and externally, which is part and parcel of improving effectiveness.

Everything we do properly in the first 4 steps to enhance Procurement effectiveness – the organisation; the enablers; the supply base; and the performance framework – helps nourish the Procurement brand, within the enterprise and with suppliers. Additionally, it is necessary to be organisationally savvy and apply some marketing approaches, like incorporating customer-centricity to Procurement’s ethos and leveraging effective PR.

It is important for Procurement people to grasp this, because perceptions can often be more important than reality. And it is the perceptions people have of Procurement that shape Procurement’s brand image.

Procurious: Some of our member have suggested that the ‘pay to stay’ scandals at Premier Foods and the ongoing saga with Tesco’s supply chain has damaged the procurement brand across the board, do you feel this way?

Sigi: I understand those sentiments. And I agree with the requirement for ethical practices. However, I’m not sure how damaging it’s been for Procurement as a profession; because the average man on the street knows “Tesco” but doesn’t have a clue what “Procurement” is.

I think some people in the professional class might have raised an eyebrow, but I imagine many of them are mature enough to recognise that such ethical issues are likely to stem from, or be sanctioned by, the top team, not just the department functionally responsible. A fish rots from the head down; and I think most people know this.

It’s more likely that Premier Foods and Tesco have suffered much greater corporate reputational damage than any damage the Procurement brand might have sustained. 

procurement-mojo-by-sigi-osagie-og

Procurious: At the Big Ideas Summit you’ll be discussing “Authentic Leadership and the Importance of Bringing the Real you to Work”. Can you provide us some background on this concept and why you believe that encouraging people to be themselves at work will facilitate a more effective work place? 

Sigi: I’ll be talking about the importance of ‘people’ issues to Procurement success, under the summit theme you mention. I’ve somewhat indicated why this is important in my response to your first question.

I should add that when we manage organisations in ways that don’t release people’s enthusiasm, energy, excitement, emotion, effort and expertise – what Charles Handy called the ‘E’ factors – it’s a ‘lose-lose-lose’ situation.

It’s a loss for the individual who gives us more of their lifetime than they spend with their family, because we don’t help them expose their true potential and abilities to excel. It’s a loss for the organisation, because we miss out on the opportunity to leverage those abilities for enterprise success. And it’s a loss for society at large, because, in the end, societal development is dependent on our collective abilities and efforts.

We can certainly do more in this regard, and attain greater success for more organisations by helping more people find their mojo.

Sigi will join 40 influencers and thought-leaders at the Big Ideas Summit on 30 April. You can attend ‘digitally’ by registering on our Group page. Stay tuned for exclusive video interviews, articles, discussions and more.

6 Big Ideas To Join Procurious By Thursday

6 Reasons To Join Procurious Before Thursday

Have you registered for our digitally-led Big Ideas Summit on 30 April? No? Then read on…

If you’re still on the sidelines we’ve listed six compelling reasons to join your fellow Procurians and stake your claim to the wealth of knowledge on offer.

1. A Private Audience With 40 Influencers

If you’re scratching your head at the mere mention of ‘Big Ideas’, then the following primer should get you up to speed: Procurious to host world’s first digitally-led  event for procurement professionals.

Join our ‘Big Ideas Summit’ Group and become a “fly on the wall” – by doing this you’re being granted money-can’t-buy access to a diverse collection of some of the most influential thought-leaders in procurement, technology and people management. Want to know who’s coming? We’ve got CPOs from organisations including:  Burberry, NHS, AstraZeneca, Hovis Ltd, and Exchequer Services, media from Spend Matters and Redactive, technology experts  representing the bleeding-edge of tech, and authorities in social media. As well as CIPS, McKinsey & Co, The Hackett Group, Jules Goddard from London Business School, and Rio Tinto’s CFO, Chris Lynch.

2. Get Your Questions Answered By World-Class Experts

Take advantage of the unique opportunity to submit your questions via Procurious’ Big Ideas Summit Group to our influencers and see how they tackle your toughest challenges on the spot. Want to quiz CIPS Chairman David Noble on the challenges facing accreditation bodies in the future? Hear what Chris Lynch has to say about cost consciousness? Or Professor Olinga Ta’eed on social good? Click to view the full lineup of Big Ideas influencers.

3. Make Powerful New Contacts Around The Globe

This might sound obvious, but don’t overlook the value of networking with your global peers. Someone out there knows the answer to your most pressing procurement questions. They’ve walked in your shoes… So why not tap into their experience, for free?

The Big Ideas Summit is as much about championing the use of social media as it is the big issues. Maybe you’re new to the community and just joined Procurious, or you might be a long-time member and (until now) been content with standing at the back. It’s not too much of a leap to suggest that by being a ‘Digital Delegate’ you want to be on the top of your game. Whether that be by keeping up with the latest trends, issues, or innovations – chances are your fellow delegates will be hungry to devour and analyse the ideas presented through the day. Procurious will also be on the lookout for those ‘Digital Delegates’ with the biggest, best ideas – and by leveraging our network of thought-leaders we can work together to develop these ideas, introduce influential contacts to your network and help make them a reality.

4. Share Your Own Big Idea

In the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes – Andy Warhol

As well as hearing our influencers’ Big Ideas, by registering you’ll be able to submit your own. We believe everyone has a unique vantage point in the industries, communities and businesses they work in. So here is an opportunity to get your Big Idea across, and boost your own personal brand. How? Join our Big Ideas Summit Group and make a post to the community feed. We’ll also be keeping a careful eye on Twitter for your Big Ideas, just Tweet us @procurious_ using the hashtag #BigIdeas2015.

5. Access Exclusive Content & Learnings

Expand your knowledge, stay informed, and be inspired through swathes of exclusive content only available to Procurious members. On the day we’ll be updating the Group page with photos from the event, highlights from our sessions,  and updates on the discussions. In the days following you’ll be able to watch full videos from our think-tanks, as well as hear all of our influencers’ Big Ideas, digest articles and interviews from those who were in attendance.

6. Win An iPad mini

We’ll be announcing the winners of our iPad mini competition. If you haven’t already, don’t panic as there’s still time to enter! Simply invite 10 of your peers to join Procurious before 11.59PM (GMT) on 29 April to be in with a chance of winning 1 of 5 iPad minis. Full terms and conditions can be viewed on this page.