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OpinionThis Week in Procurement

TWIP: One Man’s Ceiling is Another Man’s Floor

By June 3, 2018February 23rd, 2020No Comments

Palambridge, our on-demand, strategic procurement consulting offer, draws on the expertise of an ecosystem of about 1,000 pre-vetted Subject Matter Experts. SourceOne, a member of Palambridge’s ecosystem, began publishing a new whitepaper series last month: Procurement Transformation: Industry Perspectives(full disclosure: I contributed to the series).

As I reflect on what I and the others shared, it occurred to me that a proximate cause of the challenges we face as procurement professionals is of our own making and sources from a lack of effective communication. SourceOne argues (and I agree) that any successful effort to enhance procurement’s impact must start, not just with a fresh perspective but also with a commitment to clear, transparent and authentic communication.

Making Choices

This week we welcomed our first class of summer interns. While the team represents a cross section of majors including business, media analytics, psychology, strategic communications and journalism, and cinema studies, what all the individuals have in common is a desire to learn something new, level up and make a difference.

One of the reasons we chose to invest in these students was to level up our own ability to effectively communicate. We reasoned that working with this group would require us to be mindful of our communications. Indeed, when speaking with our team it became clear, almost immediately, that there are a whole host of things we take for granted when we exchange directions and ideas. From simple definitions we thought universal to differing perspectives on the central issues and themes of what we share in our podcasts and TWIPs. With this evolution in our development as a company we are excited to re-examine our long held beliefs and how we communicate them to others.

Leaving a Mark

Another motivating factor in us designing and implementing an internship program was to find a way to advance the interests of our enterprise and accelerate delivery to the community of the various offers we have in development, all while making a tangible difference in the lives of the people engaged in the firm.

The goal is for our team of interns and us to have an impactful summer. We both either win at this game or we both lose.

One way we are respecting the interests of the individuals who are investing their summer with us is to provide clarity on our purpose and encourage them to develop a similar clarity for themselves. We share our individual and team goals so we can spend our time producing results and supporting each other rather than trying to guess at the “why”. Another key component of our program is for each intern to design a personal project for the summer; something that is unrelated to their work with us. We provide them time during the workweek to work on their personal project.

We have no idea what results we will all produce; that’s the exciting part! I cannot wait to see what happens…stay tuned.

Generating Fulfillment

Some questions to ponder:

  • If I was sitting here 3 months from today, what would have had to happen over those past 3 months for me to feel happy about my progress? (tip: keep the answers in the present or past tense and the more detail the better)*
  • What are the three biggest dangers (that would keep me from achieving my goals above) to be eliminated?*
  • What are the three biggest opportunities to be focused on and captured (such that if I actually captured those results it would “guarantee” achieving the goals set out above)?*
  • What are the three biggest strengths to be reinforced and maximized (what skills do I bring to the table that would “guarantee” achieving the goals set out above?*
  • What personal project am I working on this summer?

*Hat tip to Dan Sullivan and Strategic Coach for these questions

Being a Catalyst

As always, if you come across an article, whitepaper, video or podcast that you would like to share with your fellow catalysts, please send a quick email with the details. I read every email and am eager to read yours.

This Week in Procurement


This Week @ AOP

How GE Aviation Saves Time and Money Through “Brilliant Contracting” w/ Shawn Burton

What if you wanted to reduce the number of contract clauses you negotiate to speed up the contracting process? What if there was a way to determine which clauses within a deal have the biggest commercial impact?

In challenging the status quo – where all contract clauses are negotiated equally – Shawn Burton at his team at GE sought to build a model that would help them determine the monetization value of all clauses within a contract, so that they could identify up front which should be the focus of any contract negotiation – and which do not return a favorable ROI even if they are negotiated in GE’s favor.

In this week’s Art of Procurement podcast, I sit down with Shawn to understand the steps that his team took to bring a brand new dimension to contracting.

Until next time,


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