The Entrepreneurial Procurement Revolution

October 5th, 2016

Last week, I got to be one of 40 ‘Procurement Revolutionaries’ or thought leaders asked to share their unique point of view for the good of the profession. You can view my contribution on demand here.

While I have over 15 years’ experience working to help companies and suppliers find each other – running 500 supplier searches for over 50 companies – I’ve also founded two companies in the last 9 years. That journey has taught me quite a bit about what is required to solve problems and build something new from the ground up.

In my Procurement Revolution session, I shared a few tips, advice that absolutely anyone – entrepreneur or otherwise – can use to improve their impact and increase their influence:

1.    Talk to as many people as you can. People tend to be very generous with their time if you ask for their insights and perspective. You will learn so much and quickly extend your network!

2.    Don’t accept or work around inefficiencies. Challenge them wherever you find them and look for better solutions.

3.    Innovation doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and hard work but the impact on yourself and others is worthwhile.

4.    Break long ‘journeys’ down into manageable steps or phases. Make the best decision you can in the moment with the information you have at hand. You will always learn something.

5.    Do whatever it takes to build your vision so you don’t look back and think you could have done more. If you succeed you will have earned it, and you will have few regrets if you fail.

The fact of the matter is that you don’t have to start a new company to bring out your inner entrepreneurial spirit. Anyone that looks at a problem and sees an opportunity to set themselves apart is capable to taking the lead and making an impact. Everyone has the luxury to create an opportunity for themselves.

Of all of the advice I shared, talking to other people is both the most important and the most relevant to procurement professionals. Joe Agresta from Johnson & Johnson said, “We are so lucky to be in procurement, because we have a window into the world”. It is so true, as I strongly believe procurement has the unique opportunity to connect, find, and enable partnerships that positively impact all areas of their organization.

Like anything else, if you don’t take the reigns and act on your ideas, no one else will do it for you.  You have the ability to turn yourself into a powerful source of information and become a trusted and valuable enabler. Go for it!

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