Thursday, 31 October 2019

Frameworks for change

How can you model your values at work? 

Or release the fear? 

Or remember that your openness, trust and caring for everyone enables others to share themselves fully and safely? 

Perhaps it’s about embodying leadership (by considering what a role model for leadership would do in the current situation). 

This is just one subset of cards (in the photo above) from the Frameworks for change coaching process. I use the FCP in coaching because the cards are chosen by the coachee and not me. This often means coachees are more open to exploring how these cards apply to the current situation than defending it. Which makes for a more enlightening and inspired coaching session. 

A coaching session where coachees take responsibility for making the changes needed to achieve their goals.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Low-hanging fruit

“We’ve exhausted the low-hanging fruit, so what do we do now?” 

This is a challenge many procurement departments face. 

Before jumping in with a logical exploration of what to do next - because I suspect you’ve tried that already numerous times - let’s see what a metaphorical exploration can provide. 

That is, if low-hanging fruit is picked quickly, and only once, how do we get more harvest for our organisations? 
  • get a ladder
  • wait for the higher-hanging fruit to fall
  • remove the overgrowth hiding the fruit
  • look for the harder-to-reach fruit
  • find ways to increase the yield
  • reduce waste
  • find uses for the wonky fruit
  • ensure we compost the rotten fruit
  • get more revenue for the fruit we do pick
  • reduce the total cost of growing and harvesting
  • expand the amount of fruit we grow (perhaps expanding to other orchards)
  • change the variety we plant
  • buy fruit from others
  • elongate the harvesting season
  • plan next year’s harvest better
  • move to better soil, or less climate-affected areas
  • use fruit from other areas
  • diversify into growing other fruits or vegetables 

Any other ideas? 

Somewhere within the metaphorical exploration is a seed of an idea for delivering more value.

Photo by niklas_hamann on Unsplash

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Words have power

Today's theme for the Procurement mindset challenge is the words we use.

It's a topic I return to time and time again because:
  • Words have the power to confuse or clarify
  • Words have the power to impact how we act - positively or negatively
  • Words have power to find solutions - even when we think we're stuck
Here's some blogs and vlogs I've written on the subject: 

Words have the power to confuse or clarify

When asked to describe 'chocolate' in 8 words here's the response I got from 21 people 

  • Of the 168 words 95 of them were different
  • The top word was Dark, and yet only said by 11 out of 21 people 
  • Everyone had at-least one word not shared with anyone else 
When we can get such different responses to a simple word like chocolate it's no wonder we struggle with other meatier words. Remember only 11 of the 21 people participating agreed on the most popular word, and everyone had at least one unique word to them.

Words have the power to impact how we act

Our internal image associated with a word or saying impacts our behaviour, which is the same for our stakeholders too. Which means noticing what words have a negative impact and changing them to something more resourceful is a great strategy.

For example, calling a stakeholder maverick is likely to mean we start very adversarially with them from the off.

Here's other words I think can trip us up.

Words have power to find solutions

Alternatively, exploring the metaphor contained within our words can provide us with a potential route to find a solution. 

For example, when juggling balls we might just need to metaphorically get some Velcro so we can stick the balls waiting to be juggled into a board out of the way, or the plates yet to be spun can go on a plate rack!  

Other sayings rich with insight include:
  • Turn over a new leaf :-)

This ability to find the solutions within the words we use is further explored in my book - can't see the wood for the trees - where we explore solutions hidden in the landscape when we're: stuck in a rut; up the creek without the paddle; going around in circles; treading water; and can't see the wood for the trees.

The key in all the above instances is bringing into conscious awareness the words we're using and the impact that they are or could have on the outcome we're getting or want.

More than happy to spend a day with your team doing a Procurement Mindset Audit - you'll be amazed at what will be uncovered.