As author & speaker Caroline Myss would say “words have power” because, whilst often used unconsciously, the words we use can be the source of the problem or the hint of the solution.
Over the years of facilitating procurement workshops it would seem for example that everyone wants to be working with a ‘strategic’ category or ‘strategic’ supplier.
This mystical word conjures up something more important, of value & of higher status than those other seemingly lesser or lower categories or suppliers.
It’s as if we lose connection with the detail of the model, the strategy, that suggests different priorities & activities for different segments of the categories we buy or suppliers we contract with.
We want our category or supplier to have the prized nomenclature, without connecting it to the set of actions that accompany that segmentation, & differentiate it from other segments.
We ignore THE strategy that ensures we maximise value for each unique segment; and use our time, & the time of our stakeholders, wisely.
No one shoe fits all.
Next time you suggest you’ve a coveted ‘strategic’ supplier or category on your hands think about what strategy you really need for dealing with them.