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CPOs Unscripted: Advice on Talent and Transformation

By June 20, 2019March 21st, 2024No Comments

If procurement’s journey to this point has demonstrated anything, it is the importance of people and talent. A high-performing, cohesive procurement team can deliver unexpected results just as easily as an unmotivated, aloof one can do irreparable harm.

At AOP, we believe in people above all other assets – that’s why we continue to innovate and push boundaries in this area.  We’ve interviewed a lot of CPOs on the podcast, and they have offered up frank insights and advice about how to build, leverage, and sustain an amazing team…

Jill Robbins, Senior Director of Global Procurement – Indirect Goods & Services, Elanco. AOP Episode 249

“People sometimes get intimidated by C-level staff. You have to build a rapport and build trust. Be confident in what you’re doing because procurement has a powerful lens into the entire value chain and not very many people do.”


Greg Tennyson, Head of Global Corporate Services, VSP Global. AOP Episode 60

“The whole conversation around talent shortage within the procurement space – I’ve heard it now probably for the last five, maybe ten years. I think what is missing is people need to get creative in how they go after it.”


David Hearn, Head of Indirect Procurement, SunPower, Juniper, Kaiser Permanente, and Sun Microsystems. AOP Episode 68

“Transformation is hard. It is not for the weak at heart, because you get told no a zillion times, and you have to not translate that to an emotional failure, because it will eat you alive. You have to just believe, okay, I have to keep talking about it. They will come around, it’s just natural.”


Nancy Nicoll, Vice President of Not for Resale (NFR) / Indirect Strategic Sourcing, Retail Business Services. AOP Episode 247

“Invest in your team. Make sure the team is curious, with a diverse skill set. This is different than what we had 10-15 years ago. Within our organization, we don’t really have many traditional sourcing professionals. We have a diverse population of people that have come from marketing who have come from business services, from finance. We really leverage those skills.”


Mark Pollack, Managing Partner, Art of Procurement. AOP Episode 72

“People have to be inspired by a vision of their future. I believe companies should help employees answer a few questions. Why is this training available to me? Why is the company investing in me? Where is the company headed, and where do I play a role in its future? Inspiration and motivation come from educating employees on the whys and what’s in it for me, right? That helps employees rally themselves around ideas.”


Walt Charles, Chief Procurement Officer, Allergan. AOP Episode 177

“My model for transformation is how do I take the people I’ve got, show them a different set of processes and a different set of approaches and tools and have them use those to deliver fundamentally different increases in savings and outcomes for the business.”


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