Gearing Up for SIG

Sourcing Interests Group (SIG) is an organization attempting to preserve the best of its past while transforming itself from within. In 2007, Dawn Tiura Evans (formerly of Denali), bought the organization from its founders. I've spoken and traded emails with Dawn a number of times since the transfer of ownership and it would appear that there are a lot of things going on within the organization. Shortly after acquiring the company, Dawn wrote to me that they planned to "enhance all of the offerings, expand internationally, add a robust webinar series, and plan up to 12 regional meetings per year". While I've not been a part of these new programs, I can say that I was more than happy to accept an invitation to speak at their global conference, which is taking place later in the week.

In the past, SIG was both praised and criticized for being a somewhat small, clubish organization that dangled a pot of gold in front of vendors and services providers -- while charging them significantly more than other members -- to participate in the group's activities. But at the same time, the organization was known for enforcing a strict code of "non-selling" to its members, insuring that conference and other activities did not devolve into little more than pay for PowerPoint time. I know that SIG is continuing this approach even as its new leadership explores all of the options it might take to increase its membership base while continuing to serve its existing community. Stay tuned for more thoughts on SIG after the event.

Incidentally, if you're curious, my speech topic is titled "Mapping the Future of Procurement and Global Sourcing -- Applying Expert and Scenario Approaches". In it, one of my goals is to show that even the best pundits are rarely correct at predicting the timing and course of trends in the market. Instead, there are ways to apply a rigorous, highly-prepared workshop approach which uses a wisdom-of-crowds philosophy to help organizations not only glean what might be coming down the pike, but most important, how to identify sign-posts and markers along the way that can signal the timing and path of potential futures. In addition to throwing out my own ideas about the future of procurement and sourcing, the scenario planning example I'll plan to walk through is a framework and approach that was used to chart the future of China in the 1990s (which seems all the more appropriate as a topic given the great uncertainty surrounding US/China trade and relations today).

- Jason Busch

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