Procurement Provocateurs – our new series starts tomorrow

We've run various interviews here over the last three years or so and had the chance to speak to some fascinating people. But we want to try and make interviews a more regular occurrence, with a little more  structure, but without getting boring. Becoming boring is a particular fear of mine in personal and business life by the way, and maybe that explains the desire to find the new band that will revolutionise the entire history of popular music, the restaurant with the most amazing new Gambian-Thai-Latvian finger food, or the latest Ecuadorian wine that tastes great, gets you mildly drunk after one glass, and has no hangover after your first bottle...

Sorry, digressing there. Anyway, an informal and short-notice get together with an old friend the other week led to an idea, and he kindly volunteered to be the subject of the first in our new series.  So what we're going to do is run a series of interviews with interesting people in procurement - no, not merely interesting, but people who have a particular viewpoint, probably a little provoking or controversial. Not just another CPO telling us what a great job he or she is doing (we're happy to have some of those discussions too - but not for this series).

We're calling it "Procurement Provocateurs" because, well, that's what the  people we will interview are. We're going to ask them a set of questions which we hope will get at this aspect of provocation, innovation or challenge, but will also help us get to know them as people a little better. Certainly, based on our first example, that worked a treat.

The set of questions is based on a variation of the old who, what, where, when, why, how methodology loved by interviewers, writers, detectives in TV series. Here are our procurement-related questions anyway.

When did you decide procurement was for you?

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?

How did you become a successful procurement professional?

What advice would you give a young procurement professional?

Why should organisations care about procurement?

Where is procurement going?

Exciting, yes? it took me hours to think of those questions, as you can probably tell. OK, that's a lie. I wrote them down while my first victim was in the Gents in the pub. But, with a couple of tweaks, from the first draft they seemed a good balance of the personal and the professional.

Anyway, having now got our readers to the peak of anticipation, we'll announce that our first interviewee is David Atkinson. David was a CPO-level practitioner at firms such as Lucas and Rolls-Royce, he’s a CIPS Fellow and has an MBA in Procurement, but for the last few years he has been a thoughtful and provoking writer, educator, adviser, coach and strategist in our sector and beyond - his work goes beyond just the procurement discipline these days. So look out for our first Procurement Provocateur, David Atkinson, tomorrow.

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