Supplier Diversity — Creating Shared Value for the Future of the Nation (Part 1) [PRO]

In November last year, we wrote about Buying Locally – a great segue story into a broad topic commonly rolled into a convenient bundle called supplier diversity and also a corporate activity that stirs up all sorts of emotions. Jason stoked the diversity fire with A Critical Topic for Black History Month: How Far Should Supplier Diversity Programs Go? in February this year. I think much of the controversy around this topic is based on lack of information and not enough perspective on the underlying drivers. Let me expand on that by quoting the famed Michael Porter – this is from Competitive Strategy, his legendary 1980 piece on the nature of competition: “Where experience cannot be kept proprietary, new entrants may actually have an advantage if they can buy the latest equipment or adapt to new methods unencumbered by having operated the old way in the past. A crucial strategic choice for competing in emerging industries is the appropriate timing of entry. Customer loyalty will be great, so that benefits will accrue to the firm that sells to the customer first.”

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