CIPS President Sam Walsh has urged procurement professionals to be agents of disruptions in an intimate discussion with WA procurement leaders on Monday, 30 October.
Speaking to a select group of procurement and supply chain leaders, Walsh highlighted that with the rapid rise of technology, innovation is vital for not only procurement to stay ahead of the game, but for businesses in general to survive.
The way procurement professionals add value through innovation to business may not yet exist – Walsh sighted during the industrial revolution 80% of jobs disappeared – but we still have jobs today. Walsh used highlight that there will be core functions, roles and responsibilities that don’t yet exist that will provide extreme value – many of those around data analysis and interpretation, robotics, cyber security.
To provide the best foundation to become a valuable business asset and be prepared for the outcomes of innovation, Walsh recommended developing business skills beyond procurement, such as wider economic savviness and the ability to translate innovation into value for business.
The themes of self-improvement and broader business thinking were key pillars into how Walsh believes procurement professionals can make the jump to ultimately be a CEO of a business.
Drawing upon his experience as CEO of mining giant Rio Tinto, Walsh provided a roadmap of the journey towards CEO and earning promotions. Walsh recommended going above and beyond to add value to your business, imploring aspiring professionals to be already operating at the level of performance in their current job that they would be expected to perform at upon promotion.
While making the journey, Walsh believes having good people in the business and a strong network outside is paramount.
Walsh in particular praised CIPS’ involvement in developing a community that supports and advocates for both procurement and business best practice.
While CIPS is the umbrella and provides the platform, Walsh reminded the room that it requires leaders and all practitioners to get involved in supporting the profession in WA – and that everyone has a role to play.