Buyers Meeting Point procurement by Kelly Barner

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The Importance of Vision, Messaging, and Alignment

The Importance of Vision, Messaging, and Alignment

Editor’s note: Scott Jancy is a multi-faceted professional, with experience as a historian, an architect, a Naval Officer, a planner, and a consultant. He blogs often on innovation, leadership, and design thinking. In his first guest post for Buyers Meeting Point, Scott takes on the topic of leadership through times of change. For procurement teams this might mean greater contact with procurement, a new organizational mandate, or the role out of different technology. Regardless of the source of the change, procurement must have a vision for the desired outcome and the messaging to build support and spread understanding.

Change of state is the physical process where matter moves from one state to another. Examples of such changes are melting, freezing, evaporation/boiling, condensation, sublimation, and deposition. Shifting temperatures and increased pressure are the usual causes of this kind of phase change in matter.

People and organizations can also change their state when subjected to stress. Typical causes include, but are not limited to, poor leadership, low employee morale, an ineffective or excessive office management, and possible job uncertainty. A team of people can either break apart or fuse together depending on how they react to the stress.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for Jan 16 -20: Transformational Leadership, Global Contracts, and Supplier Risk

Recommended Procurement Webinars for Jan 16 -20: Transformational Leadership, Global Contracts, and Supplier Risk

If last week was the official start to a new year of webinars, this week the industry hits its stride! All three of the events listed below are well worth your time – and if you register and attend, be sure to let me know what you thought! Click on the title of each webinar below to view the full description and register.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for Dec 5 – 9: Thinking Big for the Path Ahead

Recommended Procurement Webinars for Dec 5 – 9: Thinking Big for the Path Ahead

This is the perfect time of year for thinking big. 2017 stretches before us, completely open and full of promise. It’s also far enough away (and on the other side of the holidays) to be more of a theory than a reality. Click on the title of each webinar below to view the full description and register or visit the BMP events calendar to see what’s on tap for the rest of the month.

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Capt. Sully Sullenberger on Crisis Leadership (Revisited)

Capt. Sully Sullenberger on Crisis Leadership (Revisited)

“There’s a false dichotomy between cost and safety. Are we willing and able to account for the many costs of not having a quality operation: lack of cooperation, poor leadership, waste, and incidents and accidents? If we really and truly account for them, then safety can pay for itself. Getting it wrong is more expensive than doing it right the first time.” – Capt. ‘Sully’ Sullenberger

 

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Five Signs of a Logistics Leader

Five Signs of a Logistics Leader

Leadership is a rare and valuable attribute that will separate a good professional from a great one. A leader will possess a unique vision and the ability to transform this into a tangible reality. Most importantly, a leader should inspire others to do the same.

A united, forward-looking outlook is the best way to continue to propel the logistics industry forward. As a fast-growing sector affected by globalisation and advancements in technology, innovators must be a driving force. Having access to new ideas will play a fundamental role in building each leader’s influence and unique impact on the organization.

Check out these five key signs of a logistics leaders to enhance your own professional standing.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 9/7–11: Can the CEO be a Contract Management Champion?

Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 9/7–11: Can the CEO be a Contract Management Champion?

Webinars are back with a vengeance now that the summer vacation season has officially ended. There are over thirty events already listed on the calendar for this month, which has just barely begun. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in the events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

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No Decision is a Decision

No Decision is a Decision

The Northeastern area of the United States has had a very harsh winter with heavy snow and very cold temperatures. Buildings and homes have been in danger of roof collapses due to the weight of the snow. There was a lot of communication about the issue for over a week about protecting your property and prevention activities.

Two schools about 100 miles apart were in danger of the roof collapsing. The official policy is to get three bids to select a contractor. One school followed that procedure and by the time that happened, another storm had occurred and the roof collapsed. The second school knew they did not have time to waste on the bidding process and used volunteers to get the job done.

Obviously no decision became decision. Now there is a much larger, more complex and expensive problem to solve in renovating the school.

In our professions we are often required to make difficult decisions, sometimes stretching the rules for the better good of the company. This article from Great Leadership, 8 Ways to Decisively End Indecision, gives great suggestions.

One that I have used before is “Step back and evaluate the impact of a wrong decision”. In this case, the impact was severe with damage to a public school. Other times, it won’t really matter so that is a good barometer to use.

A second pointer is “Set time bound parameters for making the call”. If you know another storm is coming, make a decision in time to get some of that snow off the roof!!

A great piece of advice I once received was “If you don’t know what to do, do something “. You can always make a course correction but you can’t do anything if you are stuck in park.

What do you utilize to make decisions? Have you found some things more effective than others?

Share your thoughts by commenting below or tweeting us @BuyersMeetPoint.

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Frequently asked questions for Procurement Leaders

Frequently asked questions for Procurement Leaders

Most organizations review their associates every year. Formal feedback is given to the associate and often tied to a merit increase of some kind. Good managers are giving feedback throughout the year so there really should not be any surprises at the annual review time.

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Webinar Notes: The Leading Influence

Webinar Notes: The Leading Influence

This week’s webinar notes are from an August 27th webinar hosted by the Next Level Purchasing Association and featuring Steve Burns from the Maxwell Team. Although only premium members of the NLPA have access to the event on demand, you can hear an exclusive audio excerpt in my September 8th weekly update on Blog Talk Radio.

The focus of the webinar was how to build influence for the purpose of becoming a more effective leader. Since leadership affects so many people, you might expect it to be a collective sort of topic, but it was the exact opposite.

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What type of leader are you?

What type of leader are you?

In Massachusetts there is a small supermarket chain known as Market Basket. They are currently in a dispute over the leadership. The employees are so loyal to the ex-CEO (Arthur T) that they have walked off the job at the warehouse, at the office and at the stores. The customers are also boycotting the stores. Without deliveries, the shelves are empty. This has been going on for several weeks. It is amazing that employees are giving up their livelihood and their paychecks for this executive. Clearly he is adored by the associates.

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First Impressions are Important and Lasting

First Impressions are Important and Lasting

I recently attended a supplier presentation that was horrendous. Their product was amazing but they really blew it. The team interrupted and contradicted each other. They were unable to get their technology and projector to work. They were not prepared for Plan B. It was a terrible first impression.

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Blog Pick of the Week: The Olympics and you

Blog Pick of the Week: The Olympics and you

We are about to have two weeks of winter Olympic Games. This is a rare opportunity to see the world’s elite athletes compete and understand the sacrifice and work it took them to get there.

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Blog Pick of the Week: Be the best YOU that you can be

Blog Pick of the Week: Be the best YOU that you can be

I was at a leadership conference and heard some very motivational speakers. The main message throughout the day was to be the best YOU that you can be.

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Blog Pick of the Week: 8 simple ways to inspire yourself at work

Blog Pick of the Week: 8 simple ways to inspire yourself at work

I know when I get back to work after a vacation, I have a tough time getting up and running again. There is a backlog of work to catch up on. I miss the carefree schedule of the vacation and being with friends and family.

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Some Sourcing Experience Required

Some Sourcing Experience Required

 

Leadership that has “been there done that” and has earned their stripes can make a big impact.

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Blog Pick of the Week: Leadership Pointers from Nelson Mandela

Blog Pick of the Week: Leadership Pointers from Nelson Mandela

As the world is watching and praying for the health of Nelson Mandela, there is no question he has inspired many and has demonstrated significant leadership qualities.

This week’s blog is from the Washington Post. It is a thought-provoking summary of the leadership examples of Mandela. The eight lessons that have been widely shared are:

  1. Courage is not the absence of fear — it’s inspiring others to move beyond it.
  2. Lead from the front — but don’t leave your base behind.
  3. Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.
  4. Know your enemy — and learn about his favorite sport.
  5. Keep your friends close — and your rivals even closer.
  6. Appearances matter — and remember to smile.
  7. Nothing is black or white.
  8. Quitting is leading too.

A few years ago, the movie Invictus was released, sharing a true story of Mandela’s leadership utilizing the World Cup Rugby Competition to unite his country. I was interested in why that title? Mandela frequently read the Invictus poem by William Earnest Henry to maintain his determination while in prison and after. It is an inspiring poem, ending with:

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.       

What an inspiration and example of what is possible. It makes you pause to reflect and ask what would you have done in similar circumstances.

Clearly Mandela has mastered change management (quite an understatement). As we work through various professional challenges, some of these lessons can be very helpful. We often get stuck on the same track that is comfortable for us. If we take the time to step back and review some of the approaches Mandela used, we might find that a better, stronger solution evolves.

Have you had any examples of using one of the leadership lessons noted above? Were you surprised at the outcome?

 

 

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Blog Pick of the Week: Life's lessons from Mom

Blog Pick of the Week: Life's lessons from Mom

As we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, there are many learnings that are gained in childhood that carry us through to our adult lives – both personal and professional.

This book is Life’s Lessons from Mom by Patrick Flaherty. Looking at this through the eyes of a career for procurement, there are several that hit home for sure.

You’re never too busy or too old to have fun.

  • We spend a great deal of time at the office. Are you too busy or do you see humor and laugh? How do you enjoy those you work with?

Never fear your competition.

  • Your competition makes you stronger and better. Playing against someone faster or better than you makes you improve your skills too. Also, there will always be someone better, faster, richer than you. The competition is against yourself and to improve YOU.

Take care of your equipment.

  • As a child, we were told to put our bikes in the garage at the end of the day. So easy to just leave them out on the grass or in the driveway. Well, we did put them away and they lasted longer and had a better resale value as we outgrew them. Same thing applies with your equipment and tools at the office. It will make a big difference with your effectiveness.

Make your bed and clean your room

  • Everyone has heard this one many, many times. Perhaps you have now had the opportunity to use it on YOUR children. It is amazing that we can hear our parent’s words coming out of our mouths about very similar issues. Well, this one is for order and discipline. As you learn those skills, it helps with application in your professional life as well. So much time can be lost looking for the appropriate document or misplacing that phone number. So go ahead and “make your bed and clean your room”!!

There are so many other good reflections. What did you learned that has helped you going forward? Any words of wisdom from Mom to share on this special weekend? If not, how about:

Thanks Mom!

 

 

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Fail Successfully, But Choose Your Battles Wisely

Fail Successfully, But Choose Your Battles Wisely

Last Saturday, Cindy highlighted a blog post by John Maxwell, a leadership coach, on how to fail successfully. There is much to be learned from our failures, and in many cases they are the price of admission to the victory celebration at the end of the journey. Thomas Edison is a fantastic, if complicated, example of success despite setbacks. We all know how many tries to took to make the light bulb a reality, especially because of the quote Cindy used to open her post:

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Blog Pick of the Week: Do you want to fail like Thomas Edison?

Blog Pick of the Week: Do you want to fail like Thomas Edison?

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” - Thomas A. Edison

Notice I did not title this as do you want to SUCCEED like Thomas Edison. Of course we would like to get to the answer on round 1. Most time that does not happen - ever is more like it. If Edison had not taken a chance, and kept at it , would we still be reading by candlelight?

When I read this blog by John Maxwell, Traits of a Successful Failure, I got thinking about procurement applications. How can I take more risks, fail, learn from it and eventually succeed. Perhaps with a different spec, supplier or process.

Maxwell talks about the four traits of a successful failure. I think we can agree that Edison certainly has those characteristics.

1. Optimism. Find the benefit in every bad experience.

2. Responsibility. Change your response to failure by accepting responsibility.

3. Resilience. Say goodbye to yesterday.

4. Initiative. Take action and face your fear.

We do often fall into patterns of work and comfort with various suppliers. However, taking a chance to try something different or offer a new idea is an opportunity to fail like Thomas Edison. And when you succeed, the value and results to you and your organization can be quite significant.

What have you tried differently this month? Did it work? Have you tried a revision and a new approach? Can you describe what your learned?

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Blog Pick of the Week: Too Many Meetings

Blog Pick of the Week: Too Many Meetings

One or two days a month I have a day that has 9 meetings. Seriously? How am I supposed to be productive on a day like that? Or even if it is just a few meetings a day, when do we get to do REAL work?

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