Down the Procurement Pub with Jason Busch, performance enhancing drugs, Gartner and Nadine Shah

So the Procurement Pub today is the highly historic Eagle in Cambridge, where Mr Jason Busch and I sampled a fine pint of specially brewed Eagle DNA Bitter, named after Professors Watson and Crick who frequented that pub when they were engaged in the work that led to the discovery of DNA. Jason is over for a flying visit although he will be heading off to Edinburgh by the time you read this.

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks with various speaking engagements, training sessions, my lecturing at Birmingham MBA course, as well as the usual writing and then Jason’s visit. So looking forward to having a little more time in the next few weeks to do some more serious thinking about procurement stuff – real “meaning of life” issues.  Does procurement have a future - a great one, an OK one, or none at all? What on earth does “transformation” really mean? How can we show our stakeholders what we can contribute to wider business value, not just our cost reduction skills?  Will the new Lady Gaga album be brilliant or rubbish?

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Meanwhile, the sad events in the Athletics world with two of the greatest current sprinters caught out by drugs tests raises some interesting questions for everyone. Should we allow or even encourage students or indeed anyone who has a job that requires energy, stamina or concentration to take performance enhancing drugs? Would you load up your category manager with pills before she takes on that key supplier negotiation if you knew it would improve her performance? It’s a very interesting moral and philosophical question actually – and I’ve just remembered that my daughter wrote an article about it for the Naked Scientists. Here it is if you’re interested.

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 We mentioned the Gartner Magic quadrant recently, and I had an illuminating chat the other day with a firm who aren’t in the “top” quadrant but still think it is worthwhile – more on that next week. And in the meantime, don’t forget you can get a free download of the Gartner report on sourcing suites via BravoSolution here.

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We always wonder - where do all these great new artists come from? In this case, the answer this young lady gives is my homeland, the North-east coast of England, but with the added interest of a Norwegian sea-captain daughter for a mother and a Pakistani father. Very unusual! Nadine Shah is not exactly easy listening, think Nick Cave, P.J. Harvey, Morrissey. But she looks like an engrossing performer and we'll look forward to a lot more from her. Here's her latest, with a video that is somewhat depressing to men of a certain age...

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