September 20 - 22, 2021
How to Raise Awareness For Yourself and Your Team - Part 3
The CPO's Corner
How do I raise awareness about myself and my team? – Part Three
Hopefully the last two posts have given you some ideas on raising awareness for yourself and your team. There’s one more thought that I’d like to share – and it has to do with finding an advocate.
In an ideal world, our bosses are out there every day, advocating for us and for the people who work for us. But our direct supervisors may be preoccupied with other issues. For example, many procurement professionals report through to the CFO, who is focused on business results and analyst calls. We may work for someone who is reluctant to publically praise people on their own teams. Or they may be new themselves and still finding their own place within the executive team.
So maybe you need an advocate. You have delivered some good results for the business, haven’t you? Is there a particular project that stands out? Who’s the head of that group? Does he or she know what you’ve done?
When you look around your workplace, do you see your staff? Why? Why aren’t they sitting with their key internal clients? Reshuffling seats is the first thing I do when I go into a new role. If the people on your team are good enough to work with a measure of independence and you are confident they will represent Procurement well, put them where they will bond with their internal clients. And if they can’t, you need to have a plan for how you’re going to create a team that will get there. There is nothing like day-to-day interaction to foster positive relationships.
Do you work in a virtual office where that isn’t an option? Ask the business leader to allow you or a key team member to regularly participate in their staff meetings or calls. And if you’re on the line, make sure you are actively contributing to the discussion.
Wherever you are getting good results, partner with the business beneficiary to make sure that the head of the business unit receiving the benefits is aware of what you’ve jointly accomplished. Ask that person to be one of the people giving input if you have to nominate people to provide 360 degree feedback for you. Work your way in, be visible, and get embedded in the business part of your organization. One step at a time.
Please comment back and contribute your thoughts on how you’ve raised awareness of your group within your company. I’ll compile them and share in a future column.
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”.