Cheap and Ineffective
June 06, 2011
There are a lot of ways to save money in your department budget. Some ideas are short-term fixes, others have longer-term merit. I recently came across the idea that may deserve an award for “very cheap and also highly ineffective.”
As background, we were approached by the procurement leader of a medium-sized company. His question to us: could we help them assess the current state of their skills and competencies, and develop a curriculum and training program, with appropriate coaching of their teams through one or more “waves” of sourcing projects. The short answer was: yes, that’s a large part of what we do for clients.
We were asked to work with the director who had overall responsibility for both training and the department budget. In a separate meeting, away from the department head, we had the opportunity to ask some foundation questions. One of the questions we asked was: is there currently a Strategic Sourcing and Negotiations Management (SSNM) process in use?
For info on SSNM:
His reaction was classic: a grimace, an awkward smile, and then he reached into his filing cabinet, and extracted a multi-page memo. The memo had been issued about one year earlier by the department head, and outlined the leader’s view of what a strategic sourcing process should be. The memo was issued, and everybody was expected to “follow the process.”
The department head, who was a reasonably smart guy with an advanced degree, assumed that everybody who received the memo was smart enough to understand the instructions and appreciate all of the implications. No training was provided, no toolkit was provided, and no coaches were made available. And yet, this procurement leader was surprised that his “new process” was not being implemented!
Stay tuned for a future installment in this series:
“How Serious are You About Talent Development: a Litmus Test”
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