Are you up for the challenge?

Rebecca Ellinor Tyler is former editor of Supply Management
11 May 2015

At this year's CIPS Annual Dinner, Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh gave the audience of procurement professionals some words of advice.

“Do more than is expected of you. No one gets promoted until the manager knows they’re capable of doing the job and more. CEOs are looking for the next lever for the business – it’s about sticking your neck out.”

Asked if he had any regrets as he reflected on his career to date, he replied: “You wished you’d taken a smidgen more risk, you wish you’d had a louder voice or developed yourself faster.”

His guidance chimes perfectly with CIPS President Babs Omotowa’s theme for his tenure, which began in November. He said then the next 12 months was about encouraging everyone in the profession to “raise your game, raise your voice”. This philosophy runs across CIPS events around the world, including the UK Annual Conference and Exhibition in London on 8 October.

Exploring ways this theme can be carried forward, in this issue we hear from a range of procurement professionals who make practical recommendations for embracing change.

We also get inside the minds of three entrepreneurs who explain how they manage the risks involved in “sticking their neck out every hour of every day”.

And CIPS group CEO David Noble explains how the institute isn’t just extolling the message but has taken its own bold steps to be the best it can.

Risks don’t always have to be big; it’s about getting out of your comfort zone, pushing the boundaries and altering your mindset.

And it applies to everyone from those at the very start of their careers to those nearing the end, wherever you are in the world and whichever sector or industry you work in.

As Coventry Council CEO Martin Reeves stresses: “The biggest risk is to carry on with the status quo, which I believe will not deliver the profession to where it needs to be.”

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