New CIPS president tells buyers to consider 'three Rs'

Rebecca Ellinor Tyler is former editor of Supply Management
2 November 2009

Buyers must do something every day to work on relationships and reputation - key elements that help them do their job and succeed in their careers.

The advice comes from new CIPS president, Shirley Cooper, whose 12-month tenure officially began yesterday.

In an interview with SM (Features, 22 October), Cooper said leadership was about "reputation, relationships, right now".

"It is core to everything I do and everything that everybody should be doing," she said. "There's nothing fluffy about relationship management.

"It can be the difference between strategic success or failure. The ability to engage and persuade others is vital."

The procurement and supply chain services director at Computacenter plans to work with CIPS over the coming year around this theme. "I want to pull it together under one banner. What is a relationship and what should it look like? What is a toxic relationship and how do you achieve good ones? Have you mapped out the relationships that are most important to you and checked if the ones you spend most time on correlate to those?"

She hopes some of this work will result in case studies of individuals and organisations with top performing teams, and will be working towards CIPS being more engaged with the profession's leaders through a revitalised fellows programme.

Cooper also plans sessions on how to use business networking sites to forge relationships and build your reputation - and how to avoid damaging them on social networking sites. "It takes years to build a good reputation, minutes to ruin it," she said.


Richmond upon Thames, London (Greater)
Falmer, Brighton
£33,797 rising to £40,322 per annum
University of Sussex
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