In procurement, as in many other functions, you are only as good as your last value creation activity, and stakeholders want to know what will be in the next act. As promised in my first blog post, here is what I have planned for my new tenure at Spend Matters:
- Provide daily blogging to provide insight (and maybe even entertainment) to both practitioners and providers
- Write research of varying formats. I look forward to writing much shorter and punchier research than my last employer, where I just wrapped up a report on SRM that was 60 pages (with 50 figures).
- Conduct quick-hit polls to support the above. No 50-question surveys here: 3-5 max. You're welcome.
- Share the best insights from over a decade of interactions with CPOs, heads of 'Procurement Excellence' groups, colleagues, providers, etc.... in a manner that of course does not violate the NDA in force from my previous employer!
- Create a research calendar to provide guidance on what we intend to cover (Sheena is ecstatic about this one). There will still be opportunistic research, but it starts with the plan. Of course, this'll require me to be a "process person", and will help me focus on one of my, ahem, 'opportunities' to improve. Still, I'm better than Jason on this – trust me (and trust him!)
- Develop, with the support of my colleagues, especially our (full time!) CTO Scott Slone, a knowledge management system to support the formal capture of various core IP around processes, metrics, providers, solutions, markets, Q&A/FAQs, etc. Yes, I know, when I hear KM, I also hear 'Danger Will Robinson', but it'll be very important to help us scale the business and not re-invent the wheel.
- Build a sense of professional community and related online capabilities. Yes, it'll be 'social', but it will also be professionally value-added. Peter Smith at Spend Matters UK has a built a fantastic community of interest, and I hope to support this and replicate it on many dimensions.
- Most of all, make it fun. Life is short and we need to enjoy the ride. Whether it's Spend Talk (our new procurement talk show format which will launch very soon) procurement pecha kucha events, videos, or whatever else we come up with, we hope to have a little merriment, and hope you'll both appreciate it and also pitch in.
Voyeurs are expected, but it's more fun if you join us on stage, even if you have to wear a mask. Sorry, procurement, as it's typically done today, is not inherently sexy, although Bill Shatner in the Priceline commercials is certainly very Rico Suave – in a Mel Torme sort of way, but we can still make it fun. One of my old professors and mentors Dick Greene once said that if something is dead to you (e.g., your job, your ERP system), you have to use it as a fertilizer to feed the things that ARE important/strategic to you. Bottom line, I plan to bring a lot of fertilizer to the table (yes, the puns are always intended), and hope it helps in some way.
In a later post, I'll share a little bit about my research/writing goals, and a little about myself personally. And then I'll try to shut up about me and start talking about YOU. If there's something you want from us in the next year, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Pierre Mitchell