Author: Nigel Wardropper
The need to collaborate keeps coming up in conversation. It’s been the buzz word in almost all discussions I have had in recent times. I have therefore decided that it would make an excellent ‘Theme for 2017’.
By ‘Theme’, I mean it will be our focal point for the year. We will be running content, exploring all facets of collaboration, throughout the year, leading to The 5th Annual PASA Premier Confex in October, where it will be the main theme of the conference programme.
As the world of business becomes more complex and with traditional ways of doing business rapidly evolving, having the ability to collaborate with all of our stakeholders, customers, suppliers and colleagues is essential.
We will explore how collaboration can unlock value through areas such as collaboration with:
- Internal stakeholders/business units/project teams
- Other members of our procurement team
- External procurement professionals
- Our suppliers
- Our competitors
- Extended ‘Value Networks’
- Our peer groups for education purposes
I have become acutely conscious of the value that collaboration can bring through the work we have been doing in the last six months with our membership network – PASA CONNECT. Members of the network are coming together to learn collaboratively by sharing their knowledge, experience and ideas in role-specific, category or topic based groups. This type of collaborative learning drives real, immediate benefits in terms of enhanced productivity and capability. Increasingly I believe that you will see the concept of ‘shared or collaborative learning’ replacing more traditional teacher – student relationship.
Ultimately, effective collaboration drives better business performance resulting in productivity gains, greater effectiveness and superior outcomes. In the past we may have seen the ability work collaboratively as a desirable attribute. Increasingly I am now hearing that it is essential if an individual is to be a success in procurement.
Some of the questions I envisage us exploring this year (and this is only a very small sample) are:
- What attributes and behaviours do we need to be effective collaborators?
- Are there things we can do to improve our ability to collaborate?
- What role does collaboration play in managing our supplier relationships?
- How much time and effort could we save by collaborating effectively with our peers in the procurement profession to share such things as market intelligence, research, tactics, strategies, tools and templates?
- How might we collaborate with our peers to enhance our capability?
- What other sources of value can be unlocked through greater collaboration?
Following the success of the inaugural Entrepreneurial Procurement Awards in 2016, we will be continuing with the Awards programme in 2017. However, we will be adding an additional Award for the “Best Collaboration Initiative”.
These are our initial thoughts on collaboration. What are yours? We look forward to hearing from you – and working closely with you for a productive, successful 2017.