Category Management: Our 20th Anniversary AND What’s In Store For 2020

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Let me start by humbly thanking each and every one of you for our transition into a THIRD decade 😊!  We are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year and for a boutique consulting firm, we know we would never have been here without your support and help along the way so again, a big THANK YOU!  The picture is meant to signify our work to help our clients have 2020 vision for their future – get it😊?  Here are a couple of humble but accurate examples.

While we are still conducting some Executive interviews to get their input, we have looked at what others are saying about what’s in store for 2020 – the annual listicles (quickest way to more eyeballs apparently) around outlooks, trends and risks etc.  We have looked at a large number of these so you don’t have to (Eurasia, Gartner, NCSU (ERM), E&Y et al).  There are a couple of common themes that I would like to claim for all of our clients as challenges they have a head start on.

The first one is shifting away from a Cost focus to more of a Value focus.  This is something that is being identified as an emerging trend for our function.  Our clients, alumni and readers of this blog (Strategic Sourcing is Dead) circa 2010 will remember that all of us collectively have been discussing and pushing and adopting this notion for a fairly long time.  So, when you see this being identified as a Future Trend, pat yourself on the back for having gotten there a bit sooner than them.  Now that you’re feeling good, let me also point out that today’s Next Practices are tomorrow’s Best Practices meaning that others are now making the same move so your head start will soon be gone unless you keep the pedal to the metal.  Do you have the competencies and capability to identify AND capture ALL the Value?

Let me move on to the second theme of Focus on Talent in 2020.  In fact, one of the major listicles has this identified as one of their top two and the other (Digitization) is dependent on this according to them.  Again, all of us collectively have been focused on this issue for quite a long time (here are but a few examples:  CBTM  ; One More Time ) – longer than even the shift to Value.  Our alumni, who number in the five figures now, have been major influencers in helping our efforts in this area.  Competency Based Talent Management has always been the practice area that both Anne and I get the most involved in.  What the listicles talk about are making sure you know what talent you are going to need in the future and develop a plan for ensuring that the talent will be there when you need it – much like a supply chain.  What is also interesting is the specific identification of Strategic Competencies rather than just the more traditional functional or tactical. Same caution would apply here – the others are catching up.  If you already have one, when was the last time you updated your Competency Model?  Do you know if you are actually building competencies (Adoption) and not just conducting training?  How much progress have you made in closing your competency gaps?

I wanted to address these two ahead of our listicle because these were major milestones in our firm’s history and it is gratifying to see others still identifying them as Future Trends for 2020 and also to thank each and every one of you in helping us reach those important milestones.  Muchas Gracias!!!

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Dalip Raheja
Dalip Raheja is President and CEO of The Mpower Group (TMG). Dalip has over 30 years of experience managing large organizations and change initiatives. He has worked across the spectrums of supply chain management, strategic sourcing, and management consulting.
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