It’s Time for Procurement to Get Personal

The phrase that we live and do business in a know, like, and trust world is true and becoming increasingly important in a digital reality where face-to-face in-person meetings are increasingly rare—especially during these past 14-months. 

But is this necessarily a bad thing? In other words, how important is meeting someone in person? Does a virtual connection mean that we can’t make meaningful connections with others and form lasting relationships?

As an outgoing introvert, I don’t usually like the idea of going out into the world, but once I get there, I love it. I call it the “try it; you’ll like it” approach to socialization. Without getting too deep into analysis, I think my initial reservations have more to do with pants than shyness.

Pants, why pants?

Over ten years, I aired 900 radio shows with an average monthly audience of 15,000 listeners. The number one rule of radio is that “pants are optional.” The fact that societal norms require wearing pants in public is probably at the root of my in-person aversion, but that’s a conversation for another day.

I guess what I am saying is that there are still many ways to get to know someone without having to occupy the same space simultaneously—which is the point of today’s post.

Say Hi to Jennifer and Hester

One of the many great features of Procurement Foundry is its various community sections.

From job boards to reading rooms and every variation of spend categories, Procurement Foundry is already the industry equivalent of a bustling town square where you can talk about anything, learn everything and in general come away wiser and enriched.

However, recently I was delighted to stumble into the “introductions” section of the community, where I was introduced to new and interesting people such as Jennifer and Hester.

Getting to know people like Jennifer and Hester beyond a name and job title enables you to find common ground. It helps build a rapport within the community that will inevitably have a positive impact on individual careers and the business of procurement in general. In short, it makes the Procurement Foundry experience personal without having to get together in person.

For example, Jennifer is moving from Austin, Texas, to assume her new role as Head of Procurement for a company in Palm Springs, Florida. She was encouraged to join Procurement Foundry by her friend Joseph and is “hoping to meet people, network, and learn best practices from others” as she takes on “this huge challenge.”

One Thing About You

Once again, the Procurement Foundry community is a source of great insights. The collective number of years of experience of its growing membership means a wealth of information to help members tackle the most pressing challenges of our profession.

That said, it is also, above all, a “community” of people. It is a place where we can all come together to not only learn but laugh and share our personal experiences and favorite moments. In this regard, I think that L.J. Hanifan put it best when he talked about Social Capital and the importance of community, being those things “in life which tends to make these tangible substances count for most in the daily lives of people: namely goodwill, fellowship, sympathy, and social intercourse among the individuals.”  

That said, tell us one thing about yourself that we do not know and would surprise us.

I’ll start—I used to have a cooking show on television called “I Married the Chef”—I was the chef. Here is a link to a clip from the famous “Silky Tomato Soup” episode.

Now it’s your turn.