Category Archives: Career Management

Get in the Best Career Shape of Your Life – Here’s How

Are you stuck in a career rut? Need to give your procurement skills a boost to grab your dream job? Then pay attention!

career boot camp

The research is in, and the procurement leaders and CPOs have spoken. Nearly 80 per cent of supply chain executives believe it is critical for new hires to have leadership and professional competencies.

But how can procurement professionals achieve this? And how can they fit professional development into already busy lives? This is where the Procurious Career Boot Camp comes in.

If you missed our launch last week, or are bursting with questions about it, read on. We have all the information you need!

What is the Procurious Career Boot Camp?

The Procurious Career Boot Camp “Get in the Best Career Shape of Your Life” is a global professional development event for procurement and supply chain professionals hosted on procurious.com. It is designed to help you build vital skills, networking and advancement opportunities for your career.

How does it work?

The series will feature daily podcasts with tips and insights from some of the leading experts and influencers in the procurement space – our “Career Coaches” – to help you flex your career muscle (see more below on who some of these influencers are!). We’ll accompany these podcasts with daily blogs from our “Career Coaches” and vibrant group discussions on Procurious.

Why this topic?

Procurement is the fastest growing profession in the world, with more than four million practitioners worldwide. It’s also a profession that offers tremendous growth and advancement opportunities over the long term. However, not all professionals have access to formal, targeted training or mentoring.

This first of its kind Career Boot Camp aims to support this by helping our members to improve their career fitness! There is a wealth of research that shows the benefits of professional development.

APICS, a professional association for supply chain management, has highlighted just a few, including allowing procurement and supply chain professionals to expand their outlook on the field, foster new ideas for the workplace, set them apart from other candidates, demonstrate their commitment to the industry, and increase their confidence.

Are the podcasts available to everyone? 

We will let you sample one episode for free via email, but you do need to be a member of Procurious to take part in the full Boot Camp.

For non-members, this is a great time to sign up for Procurious. The skills you learn during the Boot Camp will help your next discussion with your boss on that raise or promotion you’re looking for. It’s very easy to register – just click here and sign up!

Is it really free?

Yes! Once you sign up to become a member of Procurious, you’ll have access to all of the content around the Boot Camp, as well as all of the resources on Procurious, including featured classes, e-learning videos, podcasts and much more.

How long does it last?

Boot Camp is 15 days. Each of the podcasts is available for one day only. The podcasts will be accompanied by daily blogs from your “Career Coaches” and group discussions on Procurious.

Why do Boot Camp every day?

Just a few minutes a day can make the difference between standing still, or moving quickly into more impactful roles. Studies have found that a majority of business leaders said hiring people with both technical and leadership skills was important to their companies.

Toning up on your career fitness a few minutes a day will help you get in the rhythm of this important, daily habit of investing in your career advancement, skill development and professional networking.

Who are some of the “Career Coaches” taking part?

We’ve brought together a unique and interesting group of “Career Coaches” who are experts in their fields to help you flex that career muscle! Don’t miss this opportunity to tap into the insights from these leading influencers around the world, including:

  • Jon Hansen, Host, PI Window on the World Show and Writer and Speaker, Procurement Insights
  • Charlie Wigglesworth, Director of Business & Enterprise, Social Enterprise UK
  • Chris Sawchuk, Principal and Global Procurement Advisory Practice Leader, The Hackett Group
  • Carin Warner, President and Founder, Warner Communications
  • Tom Verghese, Consultant, Presenter, Executive cultural coach, Author and Founder of Cultural Synergies
  • Tom Derry, CEO, Institute for Supply Management
  • Gabe Perez, Vice President, Strategy & Market Development, Coupa Software
  • … and many others!

I’m on the fence – why should I sign up?

An increasing number of CPOs at leading companies have direct access, and a strategic input into, the CEO. Procurement is a profession where you can make a business-critical impact, from addressing supplier disruptions to improving innovation.

But, with globalisation and technological change disrupting every aspect of the profession, making time for career development, training and up-skilling is critical if you want to get ahead!

With Boot Camp, you can soak up the insights from the global community that will help you develop those skills and advance your career.

I’ve got some career ideas of my own – how can I get more involved?

Great to hear! You can Tweet us @procurious_ or reach us on Facebook. Or you can share your own ideas with the Procurious community by joining the Boot Camp Group page and posting to the community feed.

If I’m not a member of Procurious already, how can I sign up?

Just click here to sign up to become a member of Procurious!

How do I access the podcasts?

If you’re a member of Procurious already, you can visit our dedicated Career Boot Camp page to sign up for daily delivery of the podcasts to your email inbox.

Have You Got The X-Factor To Be A World-Class CPO?

Are you part of the herd, or are you leading the pack? Have you got the X-Factor to be a world-class CPO of the future?

x-factor-cpos

Getting to the top of the procurement profession is not about just about doing your job really well. It’s also about having a very specific set of competencies that set you apart from your peers.

Gravitas, creativity, community are probably not on your professional development list today – but they need to be!

We know that remarkable CPOs can get their team to achieve the almost impossible, and deliver measurable competitive advantage to a business. But the ‘must have’ competencies which mark a CPO as best-in-class have never been clearly defined.

However, according to the X-Factor research conducted by The Faculty, there are several areas, other than just functional excellence, in which a great CPO needs to excel.

Beyond the Fundamentals

It goes without saying that you have to get the fundamentals right.  Running a best-in-class procurement operation – or functional excellence – in areas such as your core processes, risk management and compliance is obviously an entry-level requirement and, as they say, “gets you a ticket to the dance”. That is a baseline requirement for being considered a leading CPO.

This may seem fairly self-evident. Let’s look at bit deeper and expose some of the tricker competencies you will need to finesse in order to get to the top.

Gravitas is both one of the most difficult leadership traits to define and to develop! But it would seem one of the most important attributes to realise your CPO aspirations. The X-Factor research showed that high levels of influence, presence and insight, enabled leading CPOs to drive strategy, not just respond to it.

Distinguishing the Best from the Rest

Other leadership attributes which distinguish the best CPOs from the rest were integrity, professional advocacy, innovation, creativity, relationships. You either have integrity or you don’t, so that’s easy.

Building productive working relationships and becoming an advocate for your team, their function and the profession are skills that can be improved over time if you focus on their development.

Innovation and creativity are less straightforward. It’s important to understand that these don’t mean you can paint or create something. It’s more that you are able to “think outside the box” about commercial issues and develop solutions that satisfy a number of different stakeholders’ needs.

Developing your strategic thinking capability will take a concerted effort. It’s not a skill that can be learned overnight. One of the best ways to do this is to learn from others who already have developed this.

As you build more experience in procurement, you’ll start to develop the ability to think strategically automatically. And you’ll also be able to translate this strategic thinking for other business stakeholders.

Commercial Leadership

This leads us to commercial leadership, one of the other X-Factor elements The Faculty identified that sets remarkable CPOs apart from their peers.

We all understand that CPOs need to have commercial acumen and deliver strategic value through great strategy using best practices.  But leading CPOs also have a strong sense of community. They understand the importance of maintaining strong, positive relationships with external audiences.

Suppliers are obviously a key stakeholder. However, increasingly important is the need for procurement to protect and promote their company’s brand reputation in the broader community through responsible sourcing and other initiatives.

The ability to lead a team, adapt to the changing business environment and influence all those you touch are, of course, critical people leadership skills required of a CPO.

But perhaps what will define exceptional CPOs in the future is their ability to actually identify and nurture future X-Factor talent.

CPOs Need to Nurture X-Factor Talent

“In effect, we have profiled the face of the modern CPO,” says Keith Bird, Managing Director of The Faculty. “Fostering procurement talent – equipped with the X-Factor – must surely be a goal for CPOs, the profession and managers alike.”

Keith stresses that the importance of investing in capability and training to increase the prevalence of the X Factor cannot be overstated. “The most effective CPOs are on a never-ending development journey. Self-study, training, experience, coaching and mentoring are all vital components in the creation of remarkable procurement leaders.”

An important insight to come out of the research is that CPOs equipped with the X-Factor not only successfully combine technical and leadership skills, but actively seek to share their passion with others.

“Top-performing CPOs mentor rising stars because they love and believe in what they do”, says Keith. “And that passion compels them to share their learnings with others.”

Professional Advocacy

The key is to find the time to look beyond the day-to-day challenges of your own organisation, and connect with peers and future leaders in the wider profession.

Besides mentoring, X-Factor CPOs share their knowledge and enthusiasm through attending industry networking events, conferences, leadership forums and (most importantly) they promote their passion for procurement through social media.

“The importance of spreading a positive message about procurement can’t be understated”, says Keith. “It’s the responsibility of leading CPOs to get online and share collaborative learnings that will help other functions understand the significant value that procurement can bring to any organisation.”

Are You CPO ‘Fit’?

Having seen the attributes of a world-class CPO, are you able to say that you have the X-Factor? Beyond a passion for procurement, are you sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm for our profession with peers, colleagues, and stakeholders?

If you aren’t currently an X-Factor CPO, then don’t worry. There aren’t currently many CPOs around the world who tick all the attribute boxes. And there are fewer still when you’re looking for a sprinkling of social media magic.

As you grow and develop in your career, great procurement leaders will see potential, and bring high-potential superstars into their teams, providing fantastic opportunities for mentoring.

There’s still time for you to develop these skills. If you want to get started straight away, then look no further than Procurious’ Career Boot Camp.

Over 15 days, we’ll have 15 experts discuss insights aimed at getting you in the best career shape of your life. Don’t miss out – register now, and get on your journey to become an X-Factor CPO.

Request a copy of The X Factor – A Procurement Leadership Whitepaper here

It’s Not About The Money, It’s About the Meaning

Fancy titles, and a big pay cheque isn’t where the action is. You’re going to have to offer something with more meaning if you want to get Millennial superstars on your team.

Meaning Not Money

Kenny Cheung, Chief of Procurement at The World Bank Group, talks about his early career, the importance of setting boundaries, and the skills procurement professionals will require in the future.

Kenny also draws on his experience working for some of the biggest names in Finance, across two continents, about why Millennials care more for the deeper meaning in their job, rather than the big salary or fancy title.

1. What were your first 3 jobs?

  • Retail Project Engineer at ExxonMobil;
  • Strategic Sourcing Consultant at ExxonMobil; and
  • Senior Category Manager at National Australia Bank.

2. What’s one thing you know now, that you wish you’d known at the start of your career?

The importance of setting boundaries personally and professionally. Boundaries are important for getting your priorities right, help manage expectations of others whilst ensuring you don’t get yourselves (and your teams) burned out.

In my pursuit of achievements, I realised I could accomplish more “quality” goals than “quantity” goals, if boundaries were set earlier in my career.

3. How can CPOs attract and retain Millennials?

CPOs ought to understand how to build broader purpose into their team’s mission, as well as the design of individual roles within their teams.

Millennials look for more than a famous brand, an impressive title or a good salary. They look for meaning in their roles, far deeper and holistic than previous generations. 

4. What key skills are critical for procurement in the next 5 years?

Emotional Intelligence, Energy Management, Influencing, Networking, and Innovation.

5. How valuable have mentors been in your career?

Extremely. They provide me with some invaluable golden rules of career management as well as work-life integration fundamentals.

Build your personal workout plan, and get fit to meet procurement leaders’ needs! Take a step toward your next promotion by registering for Career Boot Camp today.

Give Your Career a Cardio Boost With Procurious’ Boot Camp

Do you want to add more value to your organisation? Do you dream of being a CPO? Then Procurious’ Career Boot Camp is for you!

Calling all procurement and supply chain professionals! Are you impatient to add more value to your organisation? Do you dream of becoming a Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) in the future?

With globalisation and technological change disrupting every aspect of our profession, making time to update your skills can catapult you up the ladder.

Get Your Career in Shape

According to Deloitte’s third annual Global Supply Chain Survey, individuals with leadership acumen are in especially high demand.

79 per cent of supply chain executives surveyed by Deloitte said it was very important or extremely important for new hires to have leadership and professional competencies (to help with change management, problem solving, etc.).

In response to this need, Procurious is launching a free, exclusive 15-day Career Boot Camp programme to help high-achieving professionals around the world get in the best career shape of their lives, and upgrade their skills while on the go.

Starting the 19th of September, Boot Camp will feature a short, daily podcast, from a selection of top procurement leaders and business influencers.

But, individuals who wait will lose out! Each podcast will be available for just one day before being replaced by the next one in the series.

Listen, Learn, Discuss – and Advance!

The podcasts will showcase a variety of topics, from being your team’s MVP and networking your way to the top, to incubating your big ideas, all designed to give participants a career cardio boost.

Coaches include:

  • Tom Derry, CEO of the Institute for Supply Management
  • Chris Sawchuk, Principal & Global Advisory Practice Leader, The Hackett Group
  • Dr. Tom Verghese, Principal and Consultant, Cultural Synergies
  • Stuart Brocklehurst, Chief Executive, Applegate Marketplace Ltd
  • Gabe Perez, Vice President, Strategy & Market Development, Coupa Software
  • Sigi Osagie, author, ‘Procurement Mojo’
  • Jon Hansen, co-author, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’

And that’s not all! Each podcast will be accompanied by a blog article, and vibrant group discussions on the Procurious website.

We’ll also be hosting other articles and thought leadership pieces on every aspect of your career. Plus, we’ll be asking our senior procurement leaders to share the benefits of their career experience in our ’60 Seconds With…’ article series.

Build Your Workout Plan

The key thing to remember is that you can make Boot Camp fit to your schedule, and work for you. The beauty of Boot Camp is that it’s an entirely digital experience, which adds to Procurious’ current eLearning and skills development opportunities.

“The next generation in procurement needs to take the responsibility for their professional development into their own hands,” said Tania Seary, Founding Chairman of Procurious.

“Online learning is the fastest and easiest way to give yourself the skills you need. Just a few minutes a day can make the difference between standing still, or moving quickly into more impactful roles.”

So come on, don’t get left behind by your peers and colleagues. Build your personal workout plan, and get fit to meet these leaders’ needs! If you’re new to Procurious, try one podcast. If you’re a Procurious member, sign up for the whole programme!

Take a step toward your next promotion by registering for Career Boot Camp today.