Open to challenges

David Noble, Group CEO, Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply
10 February 2015

We must allow freethinkers and creatives a role in our quest for economic growth

If the recent recession has taught us anything, it’s that assets and investments can be wiped out in a moment and can be weak foundations on which to build any business and the future of any organisation.

I say this reflecting upon the new year and everything that changed in the last year; how the global economy has strengthened and the western world is back into its “same old, same old” mode of thinking with the accumulation of assets and investments.

This flies in the face of traditional economics I know and our boom and bust approach and really I’m not saying that strong financial backing isn’t crucial, but it’s not the only answer.

Economists such as Robert Solow have highlighted that economic growth comes not through building capital alone but through learning and creativity and giving those with talent the opportunity to develop, challenge and change the status quo.

Some commentators have also argued that this real driver of global growth has been muted by a corporatist approach to public policy for example where governments support businesses in trouble and protect jobs.

Greece is a good example of where this approach hasn’t brought the rewards originally envisioned for its public sector for instance.

So though I am unconvinced by this corporatist approach, equally I feel society should do good, protect those that are vulnerable and encourage talent and creativity to come to the fore to drive economic prosperity.

These are also the foundations of an institute such as ours; working for the public good with the procurement community working together to strengthen the profession and the art of the management of global supply chains as one common cause.

Gustave Le Bon in his 1895 book The Crowd developed the terms “crowd psychology” and “collective mind” – as he was quick to point out, people cannot always achieve great feats on their own.

They need to collaborate and innovate within those organisations that foster creativity, offer ideas and pathways to success.

And in this new year where we look at goals and ambitions for ourselves, our businesses and how we can also do good, I hope CIPS remains a part of that approach towards success.

Not by always leading the way in the profession but by creating an environment where the crowd, or our community as we know it can thrive not always by agreeing, but by challenging sometimes – but always with an open mind and transparency of purpose.

Because while challenge can sometimes be disruptive and divisive, with enough continuity of purpose, trust in the profession and the institute, we can all achieve great things this year.


A 100 best companies Honour

This has been a great new year already with the announcement that CIPS UK has been placed among The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to work for in the not-for-profit sector.

The award comes after a survey late in 2014 measuring levels of fulfilment, motivation and engagement among CIPS staff and the institute was rated ‘very good.’

The responses from these surveys are collated and combined to produce an overall engagement score for each organisation. Only those who have the highest levels of engagement make the top 100 list. Best Companies have been producing and publishing these lists since 2001 to measure and celebrate excellence in the workplace. Though this is a UK accreditation, it is the support and work with the other CIPS offices around the world which enriched this accreditation, along with our members and community who continue to challenge and support us.

On social media, you can find all the action on Twitter - @CIPSNews; @bestcompanies; #CEOselfie #teamselfie.

David Noble, group CEO, CIPS

Central London and Cheltenham
Salaries: Central London: £38,656 - £43,186/Cheltenham: £35,736 - £40,011
Central London and Cheltenham
Salaries: Central London: £48,305 - £56,163/Cheltenham: £45,341 - £53,023
CIPS Knowledge
Find out more with CIPS Knowledge:
  • best practice insights
  • guidance
  • tools and templates