Building procurement capability – GEP webinar next week

Capability is more often than not identified by procurement leaders as the number-one issue or problem holding back their organisational success.  Pretty much every CPO Survey I’ve seen over the past year or so – and we see quite a few – has that right at the top of the CPO’s wish-list.  IF only I had better, more capable staff, everything would be great ...

So we hear senior people complaining about how some professional procurement training doesn’t really equip people for the real-life commercial situations they find themselves in, or commenting that practitioners know the technical stuff but are ‘weak on behavioural skills.’ Indeed, that has probably been the big trend over the past few years -- a greater focus on that issue rather than purely on technical skills. (Which doesn’t mean of course that technical skills aren’t still vital.)

Whilst I have some sympathies, it is beginning to become a bit of a cliché. and we might turn it round and ask – so, Mr or Ms Procurement Director, CPO or whatever – what exactly are you doing about addressing this issue?  In too many cases, the answer is no more than the most basic training and development programmes, or giving up any attempt at growing their own talent and simply looking to recruit. In effect, that means hoping that someone else has done the hard work for you (and the profession)!

Even where some effort is being made, there is often a narrowness in terms of how capability building is pursued. It isn’t just about getting people through ISM, CIPS or similar qualifications – those can be appropriate and useful of course. But there are a whole range of other routes and options through which capability can be developed. So I’m pleased to be participating next week (Friday 11th April, 4pm UK time, 5pm most of Western Europe) in a Spend Matters hosted webinar, sponsored by GEP, the procurement solutions firm.

It’s titled Sustaining Value: 4 Ways to Build Capability in Your Procurement Team.  And... guess what? I’ll be talking about a number of ways, probably four in fact, to build and improve that capability. That will include some thoughts on how to make skills transfer really stick – something few organisations manage, in my experience.  There’ll also be contributions from a couple of senior GEP executives, who have varied careers themselves in procurement delivery and consultancy.

The webinar is free on registration for practitioners, and you can sign up here. So I look forward to joining some of you for the session next week.


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