Where’s the Creativity?
July 17, 2012
Today’s guest blogger is my colleague James Baehr, a Senior Advisor at Greybeard Advisors LLC, and a contributing author of the new highly-endorsed book “Next Level Supply Management Excellence: Your Straight to the Bottom Line Roadmap.”
One of the most overworked and misused phrases is “Think Out of the Box.” Yes many people say it but do they mean it? If your answer is “yes I do” then the next question that needs to be asked is “Really?” If so many people are thinking out of the box then where should we look for evidence of this creativity?
There have been various noteworthy and imaginative changes made in the Supply Management world in the past few decades – automation; risk assessment and management; negotiations management; etc. However, while these are all innovative tools and methods which, if any, has been revolutionary? Yes, they all contribute to make Supply Management a more robust discipline but since the introduction of Strategic Sourcing in the mid-1980s not much has happened that jumps out as being out of the box.
If anything, upon closer observation of current Supply Management practices, one could reasonably conclude that we are going in reverse – returning to a price focus - much more tactical, rather than strategic. There’s too much confusion and clutter caused by trying to apply tools and methods independently rather than using them as the springboard to the next level.
If Supply Management organizations want to continue to be a valued resource we need to ask ourselves why we are looking down (consumed by the details) rather than looking up (focused on new strategies). With all of our expertise and experience why aren’t we thinking out of the box? We can surely do better than maintaining status quo. Or, can’t we?
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