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Member focus: inspiring the future of procurement

CIPS volunteers across our global community gain as much as they give

This month we joined organisations worldwide in celebrating Volunteers’ Week on 1-7 June through the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. 

CIPS has more than 600 volunteers globally who regularly give up their time and skills, a contribution that is “vital and significant”, says CIPS group CEO Malcolm Harrison. “CIPS volunteers are a crucial network for us and for the wider global procurement community.

They reach out and ensure that members, no matter where they are, are supported, connected together and linked back to CIPS.” From sharing their procurement stories at school career days, to helping the profession, here are some of the ways in which they get involved…

Joy Njau FCIPS, deputy chair of the CIPS Kenya Branch
“Most of us are consumed by our work, and caught in the rat race, and sometimes our jobs do not provide us with much flexibility to express the best we have to offer. We are disconnected from our true potential, our real gifts and the possibilities that lie within us. In such cases, we can still find purpose in what we do by volunteering.

Volunteering helps me connect and activate the voice of wisdom, intelligence and courage that lives inside me and answers an inherent human need to find meaning. By sharing I learn, I grow in confidence and approach opportunities despite fear. If you want to get involved, begin by focusing on how the opportunity helps you to help others.”

Andrés Naranjo, vice-chair of the New South Wales, Australia, Branch
“I thrive on engaging with people, have a commercial brain and deeply care about what I do. I volunteer because I didn’t fall into procurement, I fell in love with it, and I want others to see why we are proud to do this job. This role allows me to be an advocate for procurement, to test the boundaries of where we add value, to connect with my peers and to build strong networks.”

Chris Emberton MCIPS, chair, UK Professional Services Specialist Knowledge Group (SKG) 
“When I moved jobs to set up a new procurement function at Clifford Chance, I became more involved in the group, as it is a great group to leverage for best practice. I have a bugbear that if you go to lots of events you should bring back learnings to benefit the wider team, so when I became chair, we developed a vision statement around creating a knowledge bank.

If someone had a tool that was non-proprietary, they could share it, and members were also encouraged to author documents to benefit the wider group. To reach beyond CPOs and help young talent shine, we created Procurement 4.0, where we brought in team members to work on a collaborative project. One team presented their results at the annual SKG event in January.

Volunteering helps get my name out there, and it associates the business brand with CIPS, which is good for attracting talent. It’s nice to help other people out – chances are others will do the same for you in return, so you get a huge amount of value for not much investment.” 

Vanitha Iyer, Student Member, Northern Emirates Branch Committee (UAE)
“Volunteering is a way to give back to society – we can share motivation, inspiration, aspirations, encouragement, positive thinking, knowledge and networking. The CIPS platform gives me and my fellow members an opportunity to learn, share and grow – we come up with a different theme for an event every month, which can be challenging. We have organised one event a month for over a year now. It gets more interesting – when we are just finished with one event, we are already discussing the next one.”

Barry Hooper FCIPS, member of CIPS Fellow Committee
“Over the years I have volunteered and supported many initiatives and organisations. This has afforded me the chance to meet new people, learn something new and develop wider leadership skills that I use on a daily basis. As a result, my understanding of the world is greater and my ability to respond to situations is based on a deeper level of insight and professional experience.

I have benefited personally from people taking the time to ‘give something back’, whether via mentors, advisers, friends or former colleagues, and it is a pleasure to be able to do that for others. I would urge anyone to consider mentoring as a first step into volunteering. Not only will this help build your skills, it will also enable you to gain insight, greater diversity and build a professional network.”

Danielle Douglas MCIPS
“I am a member of the CIPS Professional Services Forum, which mainly involves attending a forum once every quarter. I have a passion for diversity and I want to feed that back into CIPS and the profession. I have seen areas that aren’t very diverse, and if I can be a role model or a friendly face to someone coming into procurement that’s great. Ours is a friendly forum, and we can be quite open and have degrees of confidentiality. We all have the common agenda of giving the best procurement service to our profession. No-one holds back on giving really good advice.”  

Patrick Marter FCIPS
“I’ve just completed three years as CPO and cost transformation lead for Fidelity International and I wanted to see if I could give something back to CIPS. I was asked to write a knowledge management piece on developing procurement strategy. 

Anything I can do to raise the profile of the profession, or support the development of talent, helps me in the long run. 

I’d encourage all to try to find a way to help. When considering what to offer, I’d advise making sure it’s something you enjoy, as it’s your time you’re giving up.”

Creating a family-friendly network
A new Essex, UK, Branch launches this month with a morning event with Unseen’s Justine Currell giving practical tips on how to monitor for modern slavery in the supply chain. Branch chair Daniel Montague MCIPS says: “I wanted to create a platform where procurement professionals can talk about hot topics and best practice – and network. Until now people have had to travel to London.” He plans to run four a year, focusing on topics such as IR35 and social value, and mainly run through the day. He hopes employers will give attendees two hours out of their working day to learn: “So many people have families. I want to get away from the traditional way of a curry and chat.” 

Monty Burton FCIPS
CIPS members were saddened to hear of the passing of former CIPS President Ronald ‘Monty’ Burton, who died on 11 May, aged 91. A Fellow of CIPS, he served as President from 1983 to 1984, when the institute worked towards its charter and when it established branches in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Before that, he was chair of the CIPS Technical Advisory Committee. 

“Monty was a lovely man with some great stories to share – and still passionate about the key topics in our profession,” said former CIPS President Peter Rushton.

He was one of life’s gentlemen, said another former president, Lee Mosco: “Monty was calm, assured, friendly and a great professional leader.” 

Monty lived in Delves Lane, County Durham. He leaves his wife Joyce, son Andrew and daughter Anne.

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