Today's Procurious Big Ideas Summit brought innovators and thought leaders from across the Procurement space together for high-impact discussions and presentations. Here are just a few of the lessons everyone in attendance learned.
1. Science Fiction is Becoming Fact (and Fast)
In the day's first keynote, Professor Moran Cerf explored the ways new technology promises to supplement the human mind and body. He believes cutting-edge tools can bring about a new stage in human evolution. Beyond making existing processes more effective, these tools promise to provide humanity with entirely new senses and superhuman powers of cognition. In a sense, we enjoy the opportunity to exercise "intelligent design" over our destiny and our professional capabilities.
2. American Companies Can Learn a lot from Europe
This call to action came from Pat McCarthy of SAP Ariba. While he's seen organizations throughout Europe distinguish themselves by identifying disruptions and taking proactive action, many American companies still lag behind. That's because they're still relying on legacy systems and neglecting to nurture talent effectively. Europe's Procurement leaders, on the other hand, are making smart investments in areas like data science to ensure they've got both the right tools and the right people. Joined by Grant Thorton's Rick Clark, McCarthy advised attendees to take a deep look at their entire organization and develop phased plans for following in the footsteps of international businesses.
3. The Good Times Won't Last Forever
Sibylline CEO Justin Crump began his presentation by commenting on the relatively peaceful state of the business world. While the headlines paint a hectic picture, the business world is experiencing a period of considerable peace and prosperity. Things are about to get a whole lot more hectic. Throughout this presentation, Crump reflected on five key areas where new risk factors promise to make both day-to-day operations and long-term initiatives more complicated. He did not, however, just focus on the negative. He concluded by encouraging organizations to assess their suppliers more carefully and build a standardized risk model that's capable of evolving with time.
4. Perception is Reality
Is Procurement neglected within your organization? That's probably because it isn't telling a compelling enough story. In his presentation, Source One Director Diego De la Garza remarked that Procurement cannot make an impact unless its peers recognize that it's capable of making an impact. That means communicating big wins clearly and consistently to remind key stakeholders that Procurement is a function worthy of investment.
5. Longevity isn't Necessarily a Good Thing
Dawn Tiura, Naseem Malik, and Lesley Herald used their panel on Procurement talent as an opportunity to poke holes in conventional wisdom and provide valuable advice to professionals at every stage in their careers. One suggestion stuck out as particularly surprising. Staying with one company for ten or more years, Malik suggested, is no longer a sign of loyalty and business acumen. Today, hiring managers are more likely to view a long tenure with one employer as evidence of inflexibility. While it's still not a good idea to switch jobs on a yearly basis, hiring managers are on the lookout for resumes that speak to a diverse range of experiences.