Monday, 25 March 2013

Is this the way to procurement credibility?

I recently discussed the issue of credibility and why I think that it is core to procurement effectiveness. You need only to have been dipping into the news over the last few weeks, and as recently as today, to have seen many examples of where credibility has been lost - quite simply we 'smell a rat'.  However, all has led me to think more on credibility. I threatened to return to the discussion and how you might gain the 'X Factor' of credibility. So here goes.

It does strike me that you gain credibility - it is something you need but is sadly not something you can do a great deal to protect against theft. It is earned but can easily be taken away as a result of others. It is earned but can be thrown a way in an instant.

So, how do I think you could gain the 'X Factor' of credibility:
  1. Relentlessly deliver against the '5 Rights';
  2. Be hoenst about reporting performance;
  3. Drop any reliance on qualifications - your credibility comes from delivery not bits of paper;
  4. Avoid being associated with the role of 'policing' the procedures; 
  5. Know your subject, your toolkit, and which is the right tool for the job;
  6. Simplify as opposed to complicate;
  7. Listen and ask questions for clarity rather than selling yourself;
  8. Forget about the point scoring or even winning the argument;
  9. Do not masquerade - admit when you just don't know but undertake to find out;
  10. Be known as a 'can doer';
  11. Graciously help those who perceive themselves to be 'in a hole', 'out of the hole';
  12. Spot the 'new guy' (well, the new budget holder) to the organisation - introduce yourself and ask 'how can you help?'; 
  13. Never close the door on someone who knocks or redirect to 'your underlings';
  14. Develop long-sightedness - looking into the cloudy 'crystal ball' trying to spot what is coming over the strategic horizon - the next big issue for your organisation - and develop your ideas, in anticipation of offering, how you could contribute to that through procurement;
  15. Honour your commitments;
  16. Be personally accountable.
Does that list surprise you? Those gifted with the more forensic eye may notice what's not included, for example, creativity, innovation, procurement risk management, expert in procurement rules, etc. - while they have their place, I remain unconvinced that they lead to personal credibility.

You may also have noted the omission of 'consistency'. That's not to say 'inconsistency gains credibility either - by which I mean changing your mind for no apparent reason. Nor, do I don't think closed-minded stubbornness helps gain credibility. Yet, I do think being prepared to change your mind in the light of better evidence or indeed a better argument helps build credibility. That's different than 'going with the flow' though.

What do you think?

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