Transformational change is required in challenging times, says Glen © Julian Dodd
Transformational change is required in challenging times, says Glen © Julian Dodd

'Break free of shackles' to become a leader

Buyers must throw off the “shackles” of transactional procurement to become transformational leaders.

CIPS economist John Glen said organisations traditionally evolved through “incremental change” but firms needed grow more rapidly to bridge the “gap between what customers expect and what you are delivering”. The gap has developed as a result of technology and “industry 4.0”.

Speaking at the launch of the inaugural Procurement Power List, Glen said AI and automation would allow procurement professionals to “win time” for strategic work.

“We are winning time to take procurement’s role into a much more strategic space,” he said.

“We are going to have to look to transformational leadership to support transformational strategies.

“You are going to be pulled into the boardroom because procurement is at the nexus of value-added activities.”

Glen said CPOs should develop broad relationships with people inside and outside their organisation and be able to inspire their teams to perform.

“You have to break free of those shackles and look at where you can add real value because the expectation is that’s what you will be asked to do,” he said.

CIPS interim CEO Gerry Walsh said: “Our leaders on the list are demonstrating the impact procurement can have in their own organisations, whether driving business growth, shaping supply markets or improving the wider community.

“You have paved the way for the next generation to aspire to these roles and choose procurement as a career path.

“The Procurement Power List is another way to celebrate your success and showcase cutting edge procurement to the wider business community.”

CIPS group director Cath Hill told attendees: “If you are not on the list this year, you are in the room so you could be, so I look forward to seeing you on the list next year.”

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