Friday, 19 July 2019

Don't you ever do that to me again

“Don’t you ever do that to me again” said my boss. “Well done, a breath of fresh air, congratulations” said another senior manager. I was in my twenties, & I’d just done a very "Alisony" presentation to 80 senior managers. “Alisony” involves enthusiasm, laughter & the unexpected, all aimed at achieving the goal. In this instance, conveying the outcome of a cross-functional project looking into how visitors were treated when arriving at the factory, & identifying a plan for improving it. What "Alisony" isn’t is: reading the slides, with a monotone voice, hands by my side, in a dark pressed suit. My boss wanted convention & nothing that drew attention to being different. The other senior managers reacted to my refreshing energy &, I would contend, remembered what I said as a result. Since that time, it’s been a constant challenge of which of those two voices I listen to. Having recently connected to a number of procurement leaders on LI, I could hear my old boss warning me to tone myself down, & be more conventional. Then I remember, convention & its lack are equally effective when in the hands of an expert. There are plenty of experts using conventional means, and I can do conventional. Yet I’m certainly more effective when I’m being unconventionally Alison(y).

Monday, 15 July 2019

My ideal client

Just to say, my ideal client is a procurement team I can get to know and spend a few days every month training, mentoring, and coaching individuals or small groups on ‘how’ they do what they do.
This will most likely include developing the team’s stakeholder engagement, communication, influencing, and creative thinking skills.
Other topics covered might also include mindset, confidence, values and beliefs, and other topics that increase individuals’ self awareness, which are the building blocks to having an affective and adaptable approach to ‘how’ things get done.
I’ve been a passionate procurement professional for over 30 years, and for 20 of those years I’ve been a NLP and soft skills coach and trainer, and geek on new and innovative tools for personal development and transformation.
If you’re interested in me supporting your procurement team to fully embrace their potential, do get in touch.
With capacity to only provide this to a small number of organisations it’s not something everyone will be able to get access to.

Monday, 8 July 2019

Forget digitising procurement, I want more humanity

Digitisation is coming to Procurement.

We’re embracing 4.0.

It will deliver huge benefits and transform how we work.


If we talk to our suppliers or to our internal stakeholders they’re telling us there’s one thing missing.

Our humanity.

It feels like we’re running before we can walk with many of us still struggling to get to 2.0.

Of course there are some trail blazers getting the mix right and delivering real value, but there’s plenty of examples that suggest there are Procurement peeps stuck at 1.99.

Someone on a category management workshop once said “oh, I didn’t know I could do that” when I simply suggested they use a wider range of their behavioural skills with a stakeholder i.e. be human; not a computer running a stereotypical programme from the 80s.

On another workshop we had a heated debate about whether there was room for kindness in procurement. Ok, it was me that got heated when I was told their KPIs wouldn’t let them be kind.

Which is why I don’t apologise for bringing the following qualities others have used to describe me into the soft skills procurement development I do:

Heart-led, intuitive, insightful, real, creative, trustworthy, unconventional, and passionate.

Because these are the qualities I want to see more of in Procurement.