OpinionThis Week in Procurement

TWIP: Qui Audet Adipiscitur or Status Quo?

By April 27, 2018February 23rd, 2020No Comments

My time at the SIGnature Session in San Francisco and JAGGAER REV2018 have given me plenty to think about. I have a number ideas inspired by these two events and I’m looking forward to sharing over the coming weeks!  

Supplier enabled innovation has been a theme common to all the conferences and events I have participated in over the past couple of years. Our community seems focused on how it can address an “innovation gap”, transforming a deficit to a competitive advantage. Specifically, my sense is that procurement is increasingly reaching out and enhancing its relationship with suppliers, looking to support and encourage increased innovation, before someone else does.

With that in mind, I was excited to see the posting of Disruptive Innovation: How to Stay Ahead in a Disruptive World. This CIPS webinar features Bill Michels (CIPS’ VP of Operations for the Americas) and Clive Heal (creator of the Roche Procurement Innovation Center of Excellence).

I encourage all to watch the webinar in full.


Making Choices

We are all faced with a choice: be a leader or a follower.

The path of least resistance, of course, is to take on the role of follower, status quo faithful. There is nothing inherently right or wrong with that role, just as there is nothing intrinsically right in being a leader. The key assessment is, I suggest, effectiveness. Which role provides me the opportunity to be most effective in advancing my firm’s goals and enhancing its sustainability?

Clive and his team see their effectiveness optimized by choosing innovation.

Leaving a Mark

The key elements to Roche’s pioneering Procurement Innovation CoE are people, process and environment.

  • People: the creation of a Value Creation Agent role within the CoE to be responsible for managing the innovation process.  In the first years of the program this group was separated from the broader procurement population. Now, these Value Creation Agents have the responsibility to not only teach skills necessary for innovation but also help transform mindsets across procurement.
  • Process: an innovation process that takes an idea from identification to implementation. I loved Roche’s approach to developing their process. Roche did not seek to develop it from scratch, opting instead to find examples of best practices from outside procurement, indeed, from outside pharma, that could inform or even be integrated into their own process. Roche chose to model the Disney Creative Strategy.
  • Environment: a focus on creating a safe space within which ideas could be shared and explored. A physical space (based on the science of creating collaborative environments) as well as a psychological (i.e., cultural and emotional) space.

In my experience, we in procurement often have difficulty in measuring our impact when we seek to create value beyond savings, particularly when it involves generating new approaches to well understood situations. Clive shared how his team created Value Statements, measurable by both finance and stakeholders. Value measures include cost reduction, headcount efficiencies, speed improvements, risk reduction, customer benefits, and revenue growth.

Generating Fulfillment

Some questions to ponder:

  • Where/when am I most effective in advancing my firm’s goals? My own professional goals?
  • What best practices from outside procurement do I study or model?
  • Do I seek out opportunities to innovate? Why or why not?
  • Do I measure my contribution beyond savings? If yes, what do I measure, if no, why not?
  • What is one process or aspect of a current project that would benefit from a different approach or perspective? What is that perspective or approach?

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