At a Glance
Kelly Barner, Owner, Managing Director, Buyers Meeting Point, LLC
Focus Areas: Core competencies in the areas of Procurement and Supply Chain Management. Buyers Meeting Point provides the procurement industry with an events calendar, blog, active social media network, and podcast, all of which are trusted sources of information for practitioners and solution providers alike.
Thinkers360 Profile & Portfolio: Thinkers360
Social Media: LinkedIn | Twitter
Latest Book: “Finance Unleashed”
Thought Leadership Points on Thinkers360: 268 (as of 1/9/19)
Overall Procurement Ranking: #1 (as of 1/9/19)
Thought Leader Q&A
Thinkers360 Q&A’s profile prominent members of the Thinkers360 community who embody the power of ideas in their work. In this edition, we speak with Kelly Barner, Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point, a U.S.-based trusted source of information for the procurement industry.
Thinkers360: Tell us a bit about your background
KB: I have a Master’s Degree in Library Science and an M.B.A., and have worked in corporate knowledge management, strategic sourcing, and consulting. For the last 10 years I have owned and managed Buyers Meeting Point, an online resource for spend and supply management professionals. We provide the information, events, and social connectivity needed by forward-thinking individuals and teams, and actively support free exchange of ideas. I’ve published three books (with two more in the process of going to print right now) and regularly write for many different sites/publications, predominantly about procurement, supply chain, and business transformation. I write under my own name and as a ghosted co-author, working in collaboration with fascinating (and sometimes eccentric) business executives.
Thinkers360: What are your current responsibilities and what’s a typical day look like?
KB: My typical day includes everything from writing, marketing, and social media to website design, bookkeeping, and strategy planning. I may not be 9 to 5, but I’m absolutely 24/7/365, working nights and weekends to ensure my content and ideas are interesting and valuable.
I work from home, and I have three children ages 10, 9, and 6, so I’m often juggling the responsibilities of work and family. This helps me take the advice I’ve offered up for other thought leaders (below). My daughter drew a shark on my first book manuscript right before it went back to the publisher for final review. I’ve presented hour-long webinars with a toddler quietly driving Matchbox cars at my feet, and I often read the Wall Street Journal while waiting for the school bus to arrive. In the evening, I might be putting the final touches on that month’s ISM-New York Report on Business while helping someone finish their homework. Right now, I’m re-reading my responses to this Q&A while my 6 year-old jumps on a small trampoline nearby… and sings.
Owning a small business means I don’t have the presence, budget, or team that larger companies do, but that’s okay. Those things help, but they don’t guarantee success. What I do have is a competitive advantage that is impossible to fake: for me the work is personal. I have amazing relationships with my readers and clients, and that brings the impossible within reach every day. Some of those relationships become much more over time, like my disruptive collaborations with Phil Ideson at Art of Procurement. Today’s global connectivity means that being independent doesn’t require us to work alone – a capability that I take advantage of regularly to keep myself sharp and inspired.
Thinkers360: What’s the favorite part of your current role?
KB: I’ve always loved to read, and it’s a good thing! You can’t write if you don’t have good ideas, and good ideas aren’t born in a vacuum. I’m always reading newspapers, books, magazines, and online articles. I also ‘collect’ great words. I might be listening to a TV show about cooking or interior design and hear a word used in a wonderful way. That goes into my collection for later use in a piece about supply chain risk or employment trends. Approaching content from that perspective allows me to balance thought leadership and entertainment value, a critical combination in an increasingly crowded information landscape.
Thinkers360: How do you utilize Thinkers360?
KB: Thinkers360 is a great platform for getting the word out about my writing and expertise as well as expanding my network of thought leaders. I particularly value the rankings and regular digest emails, as they bring me into contact with professionals, content, and ideas I might otherwise have missed.
Thinkers360: What’s your main advice for upcoming thought leaders?
KB: Keep it in perspective! Doing your best work means being objective, adventurous, and confident. If someone makes you feel bad about yourself or doubt your work, stay away from them like Superman stays away from kryptonite. Be aware of emerging trends and topics without sacrificing your unique point of view. You’ll be faced with all kinds of surprises, some good and some bad. Learn what you can and then keep moving forward. My husband likes to quote former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno who said, “You’re never as good as you think you are when you win; and you’re never as bad as you feel when you lose.” The same holds true in business. Own your successes, own your failures, and don’t give up. Ever.
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