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Managing UPWARDS – how can we quickly improve perceptions of procurement throughout the echelons of our organisation

 A PASA Connect online Roundtable presented and facilitated by procurement expert Paul Rogers FCIPS

How can we plan and execute engagement with our bosses, our senior stakeholders (often many grades above us) and the C Suite leadership team in our organisation so that we manage expectations and gain (or retain) support for procurement and proactive supply side management? In other words, how well do we manage them?

The key is to develop good influencing skills – partly the ability to shift perceptions and shape decisions. Yet the starting point for building personal power with senior managers is often the ‘procurement stereotype’ … not a great starting place for procurement. Corporate cultures also inhibit our ability to influence up – Paul used the Charles Handy model of 4 cultural influences to illustrate this point.

Paul also identified 8 practical tips, almost chronologically of the journey we take in trying to communicate/influence (or just get access) with top managers – each with ‘Dos and DONTs’ listed in the slide deck presented. Paul use his own anacronym of ‘PROPOSAL’ to tour participants through the communication journey with your target senior manager, and explained each step in turn and in outline. P-R-O-P-O-S-A-L

Along the way, the discussion covered a wide range of answers to typical managing up queries – how to be always ON, passing the elevator test with the C suite, tricks to communicating upstairs effectively, how to trial-close your argument as well as many others. Also discussed were the typical traps of ‘chinese whispers’, over-promising and using jargon – with antidotes for each. Tips for good communication including stakeholder group management techniques, using C suite slide packs, telling the story backwards, solutions not problems, using the SPIN selling process, utilising NLP theory, striking at the right moment with RELEVANCE, working from the procurement stereotype and the ever present importance of how to make a good first impression … ending with a one-line way to explain everything procurement does to a C suiter who doesn’t know procurement.

Quite a lot covered in just a healthy 70 minutes – tune in to the repeat session in July

…. Or attend the PASA Influencing Skills online training programme

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