What You Will NOT See From Spend Matters in the Future

In procurement, as in other areas, sometimes it's as important to talk about what you don't do (e.g., being a personal buying concierge of tactical stuff) as what you do. So, here are some things that you should expect NOT to see on Spend Matters:

Boring and non-value added reading. The biggest cost for busy professionals is the opportunity cost of time wasted on something that doesn't stick. We'll strive not to put out the usual yada yada yada. To quote Shrek, "ogres have layers.” So should good writing. I'll personally strive to offer a little something for everyone. If you don't get something, don't worry, our humor can be "elusive." Obviously, much of our deepest IP will not be 'freemium,' but we'll try to strike a good balance.

Siloed thinking. The best insights come from diverse viewpoints. Some of the best procurement people I know did not come up through the procurement ranks. N-step sourcing methodologies are a perfect example of siloed approach, but I'll save that for another post. Cross-functional / diverse individuals working cross-functionally produce the best results.

Mean-spirited diatribe. This isn't because of fear of retribution (e.g., like when I got a cease-and-desist order the day before Christmas from an eSourcing vendor CEO who didn't dig what I had to say), but because it's the right thing to do. The corollary here is respect. We will respect others, but we reserve the right to call out ideas we think are dumb. And we certainly won't agree here internally. I'm sure we'll also have some fun political discussions, but it'll never turn personal.

Illegal or unethical sharing of insights. We won’t be a trusted partner if we can't be trusted. I remember vividly a call years ago with the CPO for a major CPG firm who basically said he wanted a Procurement benchmark report with his direct competitors' data highlighted by name. I was amazed he even asked. Obviously we said no.

Arrogance. There's no such thing as 100% independence because we all bring certain biases in forming our conclusions and recommendations. Procurement folks should definitely read up on behavioral economics (I'm currently THINKING, FAST AND SLOW by Daniel Kahneman and it's a great read). Being "tough but fair" is foundational to an analyst, and it needs to go both ways. We expect you to call bullshit on us and express YOUR opinions so we can try to reach consensus sometimes– but generate insight always.

Closed virtual doors (e.g., no approvals by 'moderators' for comments). There is a procurement site that pre-approves comments in order to remove dissenting views (and preserve their commercial interests I guess) where I had posted a few decent comments that never got posted because they perhaps view me as a competitor. That won't happen here. All voices are welcome without pre-approval and we expect the community to self-police.

Close-mindedness. Real value creation and insight is destroyed when you stop listening. We don't have all the answers and I will continually ask you for your opinion and insight when it is not clear to me. One thing I DID learn in kindergarten was to ask questions that I KNEW everyone else was thinking.

Gimmicky-ness. There will be no inspiring stock art graphic icons (go do an image web search on 'motivational posters' if you want to kill an hour and laugh out loud) with our blog posts. Yes, I'm very visual, but if I see another stock photo in an ERP vendor brochure showing beautiful young Euro executives seductively nibbling on pens and looking thoughtfully into the air, I just might kill myself.  Similarly, there will be no use of little graphical avatars to depict online community status from voyeur to dabbler to supply shaman or whatever.

There's more: We won't overly dumb things down. We won't be elitist and do me-too CPO executive retreats (but we'll be happy to attend!). We won't do excessively long blog posts.... oops, fail.

Anything else you DON'T want from us? Let us know. We would love to hear from you publicly or one-on-one.

Voices (3)

  1. Jason Busch:

    Philip,

    Thanks for the kind words and recommendations on the cross-site navigation. It is a work in progress and we’ll see what we can do here sooner rather than later. Look for much greater “PRO” integration in the coming months, though … we promise a much more streamlined integration between content on the two sites.

  2. Philip:

    One thing I would like to see change – and this is a small website layout issue – is having login fields to PRO on the main Spend Matters homepage. I know you don’t want to give a negative perception of your Freemium model, but it’s awkward getting from SM-Free to SM-PRO content without multiple homepage tabs.

  3. Philip:

    I work long hours and sometimes wonder if my near-sole-sourcing most of procurement-reading is hurting my professional development, then I read posts like this and know that for now, your team will take good care of me.

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