May 21, 2013
It’s the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this week. Unlike ‘real’ gardens, that are designed to improve over the years and last for tens of them, Chelsea gardens are designed to be perfect on day one and last for a week. I wondered what we as procurement practitioners could learn from these garden designers.
Garden designers: These guys are experts in their field and often chose a specialism so that they may develop their skills more deeply. They use all the tools of the trade, which are constantly being upgraded. They apply best practice, but rarely have the same outcome, choosing to learn from what went well – and didn’t – to continue to innovate and be more creative each year. (more…)
January 21, 2013
An HR professional wrote a blog earlier this month as part of a series of reflections and resolutions. It was 43rd in a series of 45 and contained 766 words. But the repercussions of those 766 words have far outweighed the reaction to any of the other 44 blogs and 30,000 words put together.
Why? Because the writer had the courage to put their head above the parapet, even if anonymously, to talk about mental health. (more…)
January 8, 2013
It is funny how trains of thought go.
I read that someone was giving up smoking for 2013. I tweeted that use of the phrase “giving up” was constantly reminding them of what they were going without. As anyone with children will know, trying to tell them they can’t do something is not conducive to achieving the desired outcome. (more…)
January 2, 2013
Many of us use the start of the year to review our personal goals, whether it’s losing weight, stopping smoking, getting fit, seeing more of the family or setting up our own businesses.
It’s the same with work-related goals, with most set at the beginning of the financial year. (more…)
December 13, 2012
As I prepare to put up my Christmas tree, I am reminded of speaking at this time of year at a purchasing conference and comparing an effective procurement function to my tree. I’m sure it’s still as relevant today as it was then. (more…)
November 7, 2012
This week is living wage week, where organisations in the UK are being asked to sign up to paying a wage that enables those in receipt of it to meet the basic costs of living. In London, that figure is £8.55 and outside London £7.45 (£1.26 more than the current minimum wage). (more…)
August 3, 2012
I’ve attended and facilitated a number of meetings recently. Some have gone better than others and I wondered what made the difference. What are the factors that make a meeting successful compared with those that hinder its success? Here’s what I concluded: (more…)
July 18, 2012
I came off the phone the other day knowing that I hadn’t got through to the person on the other end about my point of view. (more…)
June 28, 2012
To ensure we achieve our outcome from any communication, we need to be aware of the underlying meaning of the words we choose to use – for both us and those in receipt of it. In a recent SM blog, Mike Haslin mentioned “rogue spend” and “deviant purchasing”. I reflected in my response that detention and corporal punishment were images that came to mind for me when I read these words – what about you? (more…)
June 11, 2012
Phrases such as ‘a little hippy’, ‘kum ba yah’, ‘woo woo’ or ‘soft skills’ are among the terms applied to the behaviours we use to achieve what we do every day.
In using this language we’re in danger, of course, of forgetting the impact effective communication and collaboration can have on the outcome of any activity and in achieving our goals. (more…)