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062: The 10 Traits of Procurement Business Acumen, w/ Jim Barnes, ISM Services

Business acumen is an often cited skill needed to be successful in the “new” procurement.  But what exactly is it, and how does it apply to procurement?

This was the topic of conversation in today’s interview with Jim Barnes, the Managing Director of ISM Services.  Jim highlights 10 different traits that he sees – in his experience helping procurement leaders increase the capabilities of their teams – that collectively make up the concept of business acumen.  Jim also shares which he believes are the most important skills, and how leaders can begin to develop these capabilities in their teams.

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“What we sometimes see is an overemphasis on supplier collaboration in that procurement organizations are taking a supplier who really isn’t strategic and calling it strategic because everybody wants to be strategic.”

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Details behind the 10 traits of procurement business acumen:
    • building relationships
    • business intelligence
    • change management
    • communication
    • decision making
    • leadership
    • people development
    • results focused
    • stakeholder engagement
    • strategy development
  • Which Jim considers to be the most important trait and why
  • How procurement leaders can begin to assess the levels of procurement business acumen on their teams
  • What is the one skill that Jim hears from CPO’s are lacking more than any other right now

Episode Transcript (PDF):

  • Click here to download a copy of today’s episode transcript (PDF).

Links and Resources:

Thanks for Listening!

About the author

Philip Ideson

Philip Ideson is passionate about the role that procurement professionals and leaders can plan in creating competitive advantage for their organizations in ways that go beyond the traditional value proposition.

Philip founded Art of Procurement as a way for the procurement community to learn from each other, increasing the impact they have on their organizations. In 2017, he co-founded Palambridge, a virtual platform of procurement experts, technology, and intelligence. Palambridge provides a broad range of flexible procurement solutions, available on-demand.

Prior to Art of Procurement and Palambridge, Philip enjoyed a career that spanned the procurement value chain, working across three continents for organizations such as Accenture, Procurian, Ally Financial, Pfizer and Ford Motor Company.