Saying that someone has or embodies the ‘spirit of entrepreneurship’ implies a lot of different drives and qualities. There is the willingness to take calculated risks, the need for self-accountability, contagious levels of energy and creativity, and a true understanding of the top to bottom impact of business decisions. Procurement can absolutely benefit from professionals with an entrepreneurial background – the question is how we can add them to our ranks.
I interviewed Jill Robbins, Senior Director of Global Procurement – Indirect Goods & Services for Elanco, a global animal health company. She is the perfect example of both an entrepreneurial spirit and a non-linear career path. In addition to working in procurement, she is the author of a children’s book, co-owns a small business with her husband, and has worked as a consultant.
Empowering procurement to make the maximum contribution to the business requires a combination of analytical and broader business skills. Starting with a solid foundation in data, the most valuable professionals add to their experience over time without worrying whether they are following the fastest route to the top, but rather doing the most important, and the most interesting, work.
In this conversation, Jill shares her perspective on:
- The importance of finding a mentor that you connect with, regardless of the company they work for, the function they work in or their gender.
- Whether certifications really matter, either in career investment or in hiring/recruiting.
- The time and place for rules and norms, and when decision makers should push boundaries for the sake of creating an advantage.