September 20 - 22, 2021
How to Raise Awareness For Yourself and Your Team
The CPO's Corner
How do I raise awareness about myself and my team?
We’ve received a number of questions about raising one’s personal or department profile. There are lots of ideas here, so I will respond in three parts. We’ll start by focusing on your team and in next month’s column we’ll look at some ways to increase your individual profile.
Procurement and supply chain organizations are not normally the center of attention in a firm – unless something is going very wrong. But when you are contributing positively day to day, it can be frustrating for someone else’s flashy big project to be getting all the attention, while you and your team have done some great things as well.
Let’s think about this for a minute. Whenever there’s a significant corporate initiative – a big new product launch, a major software implementation, etc.- there is usually an implementation team and often someone with communications responsibility. Employees need to understand what is going on; executives and investors want to know the results. The communications process reminds people what they need to be doing as individuals to support the program, raises a flag when things go awry, and celebrates when goals are achieved.
This is often one of the last things we think about doing when it comes to getting the word out about our personal accomplishments. Yet communication – spearheaded by yourself – is one of the most effective things you can do.
Whether you are a leader or an individual contributor, you can speak up. There is nothing wrong with calling attention to great contribution via whatever recognition program your company has in place. Awards might typically go to the marketing or sales or R&D folks, but there’s no reason you can’t be proactive and nominate your team.
Don’t have a recognition program? Then ask one of your senior executives to send a note to members of your staff who have made significant contributions. The C suite is usually happy to do it. Senior executives spend a lot of time dealing with challenges – they relish the opportunity to “catch someone doing something well.” Another way is to ask a key manager to drop in on one of your staff meetings. Not necessarily for a long presentation, but for a “drive by” where they pop in for a few minutes and recognize someone for a job well done.
In these examples, you have to do the work. You have to take the initiative, reach out and communicate to the senior exec, and make sure that the drive by is scheduled if that’s the way you go. But guess what? There’s an ancillary benefit here because the C Suite (or your boss, at least) gets a chance to see you exhibit some real leadership qualities. In a world where people are only too happy to hog all the credit themselves, you score points by recognizing the fine work done by other people. Not too shabby.
Joanna Martinez is a global procurement / supply chain leader and the founder of Supply Chain Advisors LLC. She is a frequent lecturer and blogger on procurement topics and also provides coaching, strategy development, training, and cost reduction opportunity assessment. Her clients range from Fortune 100 companies to technology startups.
As either regional or global CPO, Joanna has led transformation initiatives for companies in many different sectors: among them Johnson & Johnson (consumer products), Diageo (beverage), AllianceBernstein LP (financial services) and Cushman & Wakefield (real estate services, property management). She has also held client-facing roles, effectively giving her the opportunity to “sit on both sides of the table”.