Procurement profession needs to flush out its ‘victim mentality’

11 March 2013
Last week, SM reported the comments of AstraZeneca CPO Ashley Readshaw, who suggested procurement suffers from a ‘victim mentality’ that is stopping the profession from attracting top talent. I'll leave it to you to decide whether this is the case or not. But what I feel fully qualified to discuss, though, is the complete loss of sense and perspective that occurs when a victim mentality fully takes hold. Why? Well, I grew up in Bedford, where the victim mentality is so strong that some believe its economy is being damaged by public toilets located 30 minutes drive away. As local newspaper The Times & Citizen reported last week, Bedford Borough Council's environmental and sustainable communities committee heard the closure of public restrooms in the town centre has led shoppers to spurn the town in favour of Milton Keynes. This is complete nonsense. They're not. In my view, these shoppers have finally learned what the overwhelming majority of Bedfordians have always known - that Milton Keynes has more choice and better shops. If anything, the closures of public lavatories will have caused a rise in footfall, as the stores with their own conveniences will benefit from some extra visitors. But such is the power of Bedford's victim mentality - justifiably driven in large part by the creation of Milton Keynes and the jobs that were diverted - that some townsfolk entertain it as an argument. So if the procurement profession does have a victim mentality, believe me when I say it needs to flush it away.
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