Procurement Transformation – An Interview with CPO George Owens

Procurement transformation continues to be a hot topic, and we’ve debated it over the years, including asking what exactly it means, as well as providing some thoughts on how to achieve it.

We featured recently the Manchester Airports Group award-winning experience, and as part of our discussions with the team at MAG we got into the whole nature of transformation with George Owens, who led that team. (We also featured some thoughts on Owens himself here and here). George and I recorded some of our discussion, and it’s available now if you’d like to hear it.

We touch on what transformation is and the critical success factors. Having a clarity of purpose is key; everyone in the team must know the “elevator pitch” and be focused on the aims and objectives of the programme. But then you have to empower people to take the initiative too, to deliver the change that is needed. It can’t all be delivered from the top. And as Owens says, “people want appreciation and acknowledgement, to be recognised for doing a good job – that’s just as important as money”.

The importance of senior stakeholder engagement and support is of course critical for transformation programmes. But that element of taking your own staff with you is at least as important, and if you are serious about transformation, you must get the right people in the right roles. “Performance issues have to be dealt with. If not, it impacts the whole team and often stakeholders too”.

As Owens says, if you don’t provide feedback regularly, then people will “self-assess” as he puts it. And a final word; transformation is “never about savings first. Business value has to be the driver”.  And there’s more in our interview – you can listen below, just click to download. And once we’ve sorted out the technology, we will try and make this available as a downloadable podcast too!

George Owens interview


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First Voice

  1. Carson:

    Excellent overview and well worth listening to – this is what procurement is about. Congratulations again George – best regards.

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