Live at the ISM Conference 2007 #2

8 May 2007

Live report - 2007 Institute for Supply Management conference, Las Vegas, Nevada

Even when there are reports and tonnes of research evidence pointing to one course of action, is it sometimes correct just to ignore it and go with your intuition?

According to the Malcolm Gladwell, opening speaker at this week's ISM annual conference, it is. The author's arguments were very compelling and in his view judgement, i.e. making snap decisions, is at the heart of success in every field of life including business, sport and medicine.

For instance, why can the most successful sportsman make the kind of instantaneous decisions that bring such success? Not because they have done tonnes of research and had time to sift through the findings, but rather "the decision maker draws on experience to make an instinctive call on a complex decision," he said.

So, what does this have to do with procurement? Well, everything. Do we as a profession focus too much on the empirical at the expense of the visceral? And if so what should we do about it. It is possible that huge amounts of experience and sound judgement are obscured by endless reports, data and statistics.

Gladwell was in no doubt that thinking this way takes a massive reassessment of everything we do, but it provides a very compelling argument.

What do you think? Do you or are you allowed to base decisions for suppliers or recruits on your gut feeling?

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