top of page

Tomorrow's Talent Today (episode one)

Procurement have a seat at the top table! Circumstance has lent a guiding hand, though deservedly so.

The debate is no longer about getting a seat, it's about how to remain there. For so long, procurement leaders have been stuck on red, waiting for the 'green man' to allow a safe corporate crossing. Considerably higher organisational expectations require new and enhanced skills and capabilities throughout the procurement team. So, this is a conversation about talent, a conversation which includes the development of essential business and social skills. Is your talent management playbook built for the challenge? Are you and your team ready?

Organisations need to become increasingly fluid, business strategy is now much more about anticipation and sensing new challenges and opportunities. Predictability is a thing of the past. The environment is constantly changing and talent must be deployed and nurtured in different ways. So, the reality is that talent must lead strategy. Become a people led business. Those that do, outperform the organisations that do not. Re-imagining procurement is no different. Procurement must act now!

Alex Gorsky, CEO at Johnson & Johnson is quoted as saying that "Talent is the difference between a good company and a great company. And nurturing talent - helping people flourish - requires continuous action, effort, and work. It is critical to the mission and the aspirations of an organisation that leaders be inventing and then re-inventing the talent development playbook".

Top-performing procurement functions are evolving into service providers to the business. Many of the essentials (category management, sourcing, savings delivery, and so on), are now assumed to be done and done well. They feature less, if at all, on the executive balanced scorecard. The top performing procurement functions secure executive buy-in, help to enable global capabilities, address supply chain resilience and risk management issues, and deal with market volatility. Procurement leaders are waiting for a pause, which will not come. It's relentless.

All this being said, there still appears to be a missing link or two - procurement leaders are challenged to develop strategies that map closely to business priorities, though the people capability and skills mix in the team often does not match or meet business expectations. Furthermore, the procurement individuals who deliver to these business led initiatives are rarely mentioned at the top table, instead described as a 'part of a team' or 'the person who works in procurement'. Procurement's position at the top table feels vulnerable. This is addressable. Possibilities are in sight and talent management is the solution.

Nonprofit business research organisation APQC finds that current-state procurement talent development is not adequate. 204 global procurement professionals were interviewed to understand the current state of talent development and the future skills needed of the function. The consensus was that the procurement talent pipeline was leaky, and in-house development programmes are failing to patch up the holes. In too many organisations, procurement talent development is under resourced and targeted to yesterday's skills rather than the future-ready capabilities tomorrow's procurement leaders need most. This has become a common theme.

Pause for breath. There's plenty to reflect upon. What are those business and social skills and capabilities? As a procurement leader, how can I succeed and support my team in this talent challenge? What should the talent playbook contain? Alex got this right. Talent is the difference between good and great. Talent management has never been more important. Where do we go from he

We have created PSquared, our talent management solution offering, to help procurement functions become successful service providers to the business. To remain at the top table. To help you to reduce the risk of losing your top talent. To upskill and improve the capability of your existing team. All at a fraction of the cost of a new external hire. Get in touch, we are here to help.

Tom Lewers


Working in partnership with Procurement Heads & DevelopMyTeam

our best talent whilst upskilling and improving the capability of your existing team and at a fraction of the cost of a new external hiron

54 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page