Tuesday 20 January 2015

Procurement Relationships - Frameworks for Change

Procurement is a profession, and the blogs this week are exploring the different means of engaging internal stakeholders so they understand what we're really all about, and also help them realise that muddling through without us will mean they're getting suboptimal outcomes for the organisation.

Yesterday's blog looked at direct communication to those internal stakeholders of the benefits and processes procurement professionals take for granted.

The problem is if it was that simple internal stakeholders wouldn't still be going off and doing it themselves. So what are we missing? 

The answer of course will differ in each organisation but what I'm going to do over the next few blog is demonstrate some of the coaching tools I use in coaching and facilitation of procurement teams to see what they might offer.

Today's tool is the Frameworks for Change Coaching Process. 

The tool basically use cards to ask questions and invites us to see situations from a different perspective as a result of discussing and debating the words on the cards.

Here's the cards I pulled: 

  • Insight: you speak when inspired and say nothing when you're not
  • Potential setback: you are setback by arrogance in the present situation
  • Insight: what are you willing to do for someone else this week
  • Mentors: grace & simplicity 
Before reading further please consider how you might personally interpret the cards as a solution to improving internal stakeholder engagement?

Obviously discussion within a team is better than simply getting my observations but as writing blogs are a solo activity here goes: 

Insight: you speak when inspired and say nothing when you're not

Perhaps a reminder that listening and then speaking when inspired, based on what's been heard, is a great means of getting improved engagement. Listening means we find out more about the current pain points for the other person which in turn allows us to understand how we might help them reduce their pain. 

Potential setback: you are setback by arrogance in the present situation

How might the words and actions of the procurement team be seen by others as arrogant. Please note a setback isn't about spending lots of time proving its not a true statement. It's a card inviting us to act as if it is true and noticing what you notice. If your current actions could be described by others as arrogant how might they be stopping you improve your relationship with them? 

Insight: what are you willing to do for someone else this week

Arrogance can certainly be seen by others as very selfish - this insight is suggesting the antidote to arrogance is being seen to be doing things for others. What might that include? What benefits might that generate? 

Mentors: grace & simplicity 

Mentor cards invite you to think of someone who is a role model to you for the behaviour(s) stated. In this example asking you what a role model for grace and simplicity would do. Perhaps suggesting therefore that its about making small steps forward rather than trying to do it all at once.

As you've read my interpretation you may have noticed other meanings behind the cards. The key is being able to look at a situation and see alternative solutions of how to solve the problem. Once there's a few different solutions then it's simply a case of trying them out and seeing which is most effective in moving the relationship from where it is to where you'd like it to be.

Tomorrow I'll share more on Roger Von Oech's Creative Whack Pack, and later in the week I'll cover Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt's Oblique Strategies, as tools that inspire change - when what you're doing isn't working.

Alison Smith
Inspiring change inside and out - what what you're doing isn't working

Frameworks for change coaching process copyright Innerlinks www.innerlinks.com

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