If it ain’t broke – FIX IT! Challenging the procurement status quo (part 2)

We featured our new "comment" paper, titled "it if ain't broke, fix it!" last week and said we would come back to it. We described the sigmoid curve last time and how organisations and individuals needed to embrace change even when (in fact particularly when) things are going well, not wait for failure to push us into change - because it's probably too late at that point..

But that's easier said than done. So how do we try and ensure that we can do that?

The first key point is to make some time to do this sort of thinking. Easier said than done, but find something that works for you. I think well when I’m walking – even if it just to the shops to pick up the newspaper. Others can do it in a crowded office, while I struggle with that.

But where do you get the ideas from for change? We give a few ideas to answer that question in the paper. One route is to seek out mavericks – as we say, it’s worth seeking out the

slightly odd category manager who doesn’t quite fit the mould but occasionally comes up with a left-field but brilliant idea, that supplier who wants to talk about the apparently stupid way of delivering the service, the academic who can stand up at a conference and argue against every accepted tenet of procurement thinking… they are people to cultivate.

More conventionally, you can benchmark with like-minded people and organisations. And there has never been as much easy access to really good an original thinking as there is now thanks to the Web, Twitter (a great source of links to useful material) and so on. I suspect some people just ignore it simply because there is so much out there. But you shouldn’t – it’s an easy way of getting that flash of inspiration.

Finally, our paper concludes with this, just in case you need more encouragement.

There are few senior executives in any field of endeavor, including procurement, who have made their names by sticking with the status quo. The people who are successful are people who change things – not in a thoughtless or ill-considered manner, but people who are not afraid to say, “I think we can do this better”.  So take a look around you area of responsibility and ask that question.  And that applies whatever the current status of that activity, process or approach….

You can download the paper, free of charge, here.


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