Organisations that remain successful over the long term always invest significant resources in nurturing their ‘people capability’; because they ‘get it’ – they understand that people are the heartbeat behind organisational performance, so people matter most.

Seasoned business leaders repeatedly affirm that people-related levers are the bedrock of creating and sustaining organisational success. These ‘soft’ levers – like effective leadership, culture, employee engagement and talent management – can rarely be applied in isolation for optimal results. Like notes from a symphony, they must be harmonised in a holistic approach to unleash the magic of the human spirit for organisational benefit.

This applies as much to the whole enterprise as to functional areas like Procurement. 

For any Procurement function seeking its mojo, the search will become like the pursuit of a mirage without enhanced people capability. You can never achieve sustainable Procurement success without developing your people capability, even with best-in-class processes and systems and a sound strategy.

Effective talent management is one of the key conduits to nurture people capability. Your Procurement function must have the appropriate talent to achieve its goals. If your Procurement organisation is staffed with ‘Procurement Assassins’ rather than ‘Procurement Ambassadors’, then success will remain elusive. 

Taking a structured human resources development (HRD) approach helps ensure Procurement attracts, develops and retains the right talent. I illustrate some key elements of implementing this approach in this excerpt from Procurement Mojo®.

© Sigi Osagie 2016. Features excerpts from Procurement Mojo® by Sigi Osagie © 2014

Published as “The Soul of the Procurement Organization” in Supply Chain Management Review, July/August 2016