Rising Trust in “A Person Like Me”

February 8th, 2017

“In our everyday lives, we are moving from a system based around vertical axes of trust, where we trust people who seem to have more authority than we do, to one predicated on horizontal axes of trust: we take advice from our peer group.”

— Gillian Tett , “Why we no longer trust the experts,” FT Magazine, July 1, 2016.


The whole world is undergoing a paradigm shift in trust, as described by Gillian Tett in the article quoted above.  From simple personal examples like hotel and restaurant reservations to professional networking and thought leadership, the Internet has completely democratized the exchange of information.

This has two primary effects:

  1. It diminishes the influence of traditional ‘authority figure’ individuals and organizations.
  2. It increases the influence of everyday experienced professionals working in the field that have valuable knowledge and information to share with their peers.


This shift comes at a particularly critical time for procurement. Most procurement teams are expanding from their traditional savings-driven approach to one that emphasizes value creation and relationship building. Procurement has always looked at the world from a unique point of view, and that provides an incentive to get feedback and suggestions from someone with a similar set of experiences and objectives.

We hear about the preference for peer information all the time in our conversations about supplier discovery and knowledge. In fact, at a conference last year, we conducted a study about the exchange of supplier intelligence and discovered that 82% of procurement professionals trust peer recommendations the most. At the same time, we learned that this preference hasn’t made the supplier discovery process easy in the past: it has been time consuming, inefficient, and has left very little trail for future company needs. But procurement professionals are dedicating to find the information they need to do the job right.

Fortunately, the same technology that makes it possible for every professional to have both a voice and a platform through which to share their knowledge, also makes it very easy to share information globally. The digital revolution has brought professionals that are industries or worlds apart into the same circle, where everyone can benefit from the peer exchange.

Our modern circles of trust are no longer limited by the range of people we can sit across a table from. Today we can build trust with peers we may never meet, but whom we have much in common. And with the tealbook platform, not only can you scale the amount of supplier intelligence procurement has access to instantly, you also build a legacy of information available for future colleagues.

The rise of digital alternatives to traditional methods of working and communicating has changed many of the ways we interact with the world around us. Anyone can be a restaurant critic, or a source or breaking news, or a specialist. And now, procurement can have instant access to trusted supplier intelligence from ‘a person like me’.

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