Many of our readers will remember NPX and the immense contributions it made in tackling subjects like the following: Sourcing is Change Management, Emerging Market Sourcing, Managing Outsourcing Arrangements, Supplier Relationship Management, and Integration of Six Sigma and Strategic Sourcing. In collaboration with Corporate United (are they part of your staffing model? Yes – staffing model?) and ISM-Chicago, we recently relaunched that group under a new name – PERT. By the way, Procurement here is a very generic term and includes functions like Supply Chain, Sourcing, Purchasing, Warehousing, Logistics etc. Hosted by CNA (founding member of NPX and PERT), almost 25 senior executives met and we were quite pleasantly surprised at the feedback – they all want to meet again, they want more time devoted to the session, they want more time to network and they want to work on some real solutions to their common problems between meetings – all music to our ears. Clearly, there is a need for a forum like this where executives can let their hair down (figuratively of course 🙂 ) and have some frank discussion and dialogue without being hassled or sold to by sponsors of these types of events – including the ones sponsored by the analyst community.
The topic chosen by the executives for this initial (proof of concept) meeting was Talent Management. While the topic is not a surprise to the readers of this blog, the fact that it was chosen by this group, given that it has been in the top 3 issues for the last 2-3 decades continues to intrigue me. If you are interested in the material from this meeting, just drop us a line. Some of the interesting conclusions reached were:
- Talent Management is a BIG issue – still
- Clearly, strategic competencies are far more important than functional competencies
- Strategic competencies are much harder to develop in people – but still must be done and it’s not impossible
- Academic institutions are not really on top of this issue
- Neither are the professional associations who are in the training business
The best news was that the group wanted to continue to work on this issue and not just discuss it in the meeting and move on to the next topic at the next meeting. We are therefore forming a small team from the group to advance the potential solution and come back and report to the larger body. THIS IS CRUCIAL – the activities between meetings is what will keep this group as a viable body and expand its size as well. The design principle underlying the formation of this group is that we are building a Community of Practice, not just a group of people who get together to discuss and network. And the initial members get that and are fully on board to make it happen.
For those of you who are senior executives or leaders, this may be a forum to gain significant insight and information but beyond that, it is also a place where the focus is on generating some tangible results and answers. And because the networking is not just social but also based on actual collaboration, it is by far the most effective and long lasting networking. This does not mean that we are giving up on the social networking and a number of interesting fun activities are being contemplated 🙂 . A knowledge sharing site is also being set up to allow members to exchange and/or post information and a number of other ideas related to setting up a Community of Practice are also being considered. Another piece of good news is that one of our collaborators – Corporate United-has already seen the value for their members and we are taking our collaboration to the next level to expand this to a couple of other geographies. I would personally vouch for PERT and encourage each and every one of you who fits the membership profile to join the effort to address and solve some common problem. You will most certainly get more from the group than you anticipated – I promise.