Thinkers360

James Marland

Vice-President at SAPAriba

London, United Kingdom

17181 Followers

Storyteller. Educating companies of all sizes the benefits of Going Digital with Business Networks.

Having worked at both SAP and Ariba prior to the acquisition, James is uniquely positioned to drive the connection of the world's companies together with the SAP Business Network. For too long companies have focused on their internal processes, data and employees: its time to look "Beyond the Wall"? to customers, suppliers, contractors and the "Intelligent extended value chain".

Active on Twitter (https://twitter.com/JamesMarland)

James MarlandPoints
Academic0
Author56
Influencer180
Speaker11
Entrepreneur0
Total247

Points based upon Thinkers360 patent-pending algorithm.

Thought Leader Profile

Portfolio Mix

Company Information

Company Type: Enterprise
Email: james.marland@sap.com
Theatre: Global
Media Experience: SAP Media training
Last Media Interview: 05/22/2018

Areas of Expertise

Culture 30.58
Digital Disruption 32.13
Digital Transformation 30.80
ERP 32.88
Leadership 31.24
Predictive Analytics 37.42
Procurement 67.50
Supply Chain 48.28
Sustainability 79.51
Management 30.29
Big Data 32.33
Innovation 30.15

Industry Experience

Publications

31 Article/Blogs
Moving from Anecdote to Empiricism
Medium
December 06, 2018
Modern science has its origins in medieval alchemy: the difference was in the use of data. Businesses also need to transition to data-backed decision-making. Its comforting to want to stay in the world of anecdotal-decision making. Stories have mighty persuasive power, but business leaders need need to get away from alchemy, and introduce data-backed decision-making into the Enterprise.

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Tags: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, Procurement

Advancing Decent Work in Global Supply Chains
Import from medium.com
November 30, 2018
Extract from a presentation to the UN Forum on Business & Human Rights making the case for why procurement departments should be perceived as part of the solution to improving Human Rights in Global Supply Chains.Human Trafficking, Forced Labour, Child Labour, Indenture Workers, Decent Work. Th

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Tags: Sustainability, Supply Chain, Procurement

Whatever happened to Data Mining?
Import from medium.com
October 13, 2018
The concept of Data Mining has been increasingly displaced by Machine Learning. So why is that?You don’t hear much about Data Mining these days, so I pulled up a quick Google Trends analysis to compare usage over the last 5 years. The trends are quite compelling, and show that since August 2015 t

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Tags: Big Data, Digital Disruption, Procurement

The Evolution of Procurement
LinkedIn
October 11, 2018
In a spirited panel at the SAP Ariba London Summit, panellists debated the evolution of procurement
As noted on my previous blog (The Changing World of Procurement), it is surprising when a technology company organises a conference, and technology is not the main part of the conversation.

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Tags: Procurement

The Changing World of Procurement
LinkedIn
October 10, 2018
When an IT company hosts a conference, surprisingly, not once talking about IT can provide the most compelling reason to invest in technology after all. James Marland reviews the Future of Procurement event hosted by SAP in London, where the topics were career, talent, purpose and change management in the profession.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain, Sustainability

What this week’s Nobel Prize can teach us about data
Medium
October 02, 2018
This weeks Nobel prize for medicine shows that the body’s own immune system can be activated against malignant tumours. There are parallels to the way companies should activate “dormant” data to protect themselves.

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Tags: Big Data, Procurement, Supply Chain

Let's get Real about Purpose
Medium
September 27, 2018
It’s embarrassing, isn’t it, to still be talking about slavery in 2018, 150 years after the first anti-slavery campaigns? It’s time for companies to get real about their responsibilities to society. To have impact you need to make big changes to big things. That doesn’t mean don’t experiment. But don’t settle for just tinkering with things.
It’s too late for tinkering, and the stakes are too high. What’s your Big Idea?

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain, Sustainability

Let’s get Real about Purpose
Import from medium.com
September 27, 2018
Pat McCarthy, SVP, SAP AribaPat McCarthy, SVP at SAP Ariba, shared philosophy on Procurement with Purpose at the recent Procurious Big Ideas Summit.Let’s get RealIt’s embarrassing, isn’t it, to still be talking about slavery in 2018, 150 years after the first anti-slavery campaigns? It’s

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Tags: Sustainability

Transformational Philanthropy: how to use business for good
LinkedIn
September 25, 2018
At the recent Carlyle Global Partner Summit in Monaco, five leaders stoked up the crowd with their experiences of the transformational power of philanthropy. This blogs reviews their panel. It is inspiring to see these women leaders coming together and challenge conventional thinking around how business can be used for good.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain, Sustainability

Who is the Steward of your most valuable asset: your Brand?
Import from medium.com
September 21, 2018
In this blog, James Marland exhorts Procurement and Supply Chain Leaders to become Stewards of their company’s Brand.What’s your company worth?50 years ago a Balance Sheet consisted of plant, machinery, raw materials, Finished Goods and land. These are the tangible assets of any company.Howeve

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Tags: Sustainability, Supply Chain, Procurement

Becoming a Digital Leader
Import from medium.com
September 13, 2018
Image © Thinkers 360In the era of Digital Transformation and Digital Disruption, is the very nature of leadership changing as well?Many of our models of leadership in corporations are derived from the military. The idea of a manager who has “subordinates” sounds very much like a brigadier who

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Tags: Procurement, Leadership

How are you guarding your Crown Jewels?
Medium
September 11, 2018
At the Tower of London this week, I was inspired by the Crown Jewels: it got me thinking about who guards your company’s Crown Jewels?—?your Brand. Your brand is the Crown Jewels of your company. It might not contain the Koh-i-Noor diamond but according to reports of Brand Equity top brands are valued in the Billions. SAP’s for example is valued by Forbes at $25Bn. And just like the jewels in the Tower of London, you need the best security possible.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain, Sustainability

Sometimes you have to step back to see the big picture
Medium
August 29, 2018
In this blog James looks at what we can learn from the ancient masters of glass when we consider what is needed to make an enterprise truly Intelligent .

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Predictive Analytics, Procurement

The Lunar Eclipse and the Nature of Predictions
Import from medium.com
August 22, 2018
My view of the recent Lunar EclipseIf Eclipses are so easy to predict, how come no-one in the UK saw the recent Lunar Eclipse, and what does this teach about the nature of predictions.After 6 weeks of cloudless skies in the UK, I was very excited for the Great Lunar Eclipse, where the shadowed bloo

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Tags: Predictive Analytics

SAPAriba wraps up the Asia tour with a sell-out in Tokyo
LinkedIn
August 02, 2018
I visited Sony in 1999 to make the first Japanese connection to the Ariba Network: the growth in our Japan business since then has been epic. This report summarises the event, including key quotes and my observations.

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Tags: Procurement

Always let procurement by your Guide
Procurious
May 23, 2018
As we move from the Age of Mandate to the Age of Guidance, there is an enormous opportunity for procurement professionals to make themselves known and heard.

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Tags: Leadership, Procurement, Sustainability

Why business ethics should be a pivotal part of every organisation’s strategy
Business Reporter
May 22, 2018
Being purpose-focused is essential to engaging customers and employees and being perceived as relevant, admired, and innovative by investors, partners, communities, and public entities. Modern-day procurement leaders are starting to use the phenomenal buying power of their organisations to address some of these big social challenges. What legacy do you want to leave?

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Tags: Leadership, Procurement, Sustainability

Want to Build a Trade Network? Go Dutch!
Import from medium.com
April 27, 2018
SAP Ariba President Barry Padgett praises the Dutch East India company as a pioneer of Global Trade Networks.Any company who is looking to build a network on Blockchain, can learn from the Dutch East India Company, the most successful company. Ever.If you are from the Netherlands, happy Koningsdag

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Fordlandia & the end of the Vertically Integrated Company
Import from wordpress feed
February 08, 2018
Ford was the high water mark for Vertically Integrated companies, who tried to own the entire value chain from Raw material to finished product. Modern Value Chains span multiple companies, but does your IT system

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement

Can you see the join?
LinkedIn
February 02, 2018
Any woodworker knows that a bond between two pieces of wood is always a point of weakness. Like any design project, success depends on building a strong foundation, starting with the technology platform. So much of our lives rely on technology. But that technology must work consistently. It must be user friendly. And it must be strong and stable over an extended period.

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Tags: Procurement

Let’s talk about the Future of Procurement
SAP Community Network
January 02, 2018
James Marland, SAPAriba’s VP of Network Growth shares his New Year thoughts on the future of Procurement As we talk about the Future of Procurement it’s certainly tempting to talk about all the new stuff.

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Tags: Procurement

Transforming Procurement with SAP Ariba
Import from wordpress feed
December 12, 2017
Any woodworker knows that a bond between two pieces of wood is always a point of weakness. Imagine you need to design a table top that is two meters long but you only have two

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Provenance: the $450m Question
LinkedIn
November 21, 2017
The highest price ever paid for a painting was exceeded this week, but how does any buyer know exactly what they are getting?

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Tags: Culture, Procurement, Supply Chain

Provenance: the $450m Question
Import from wordpress feed
November 20, 2017
The highest price ever paid for a painting was exceeded this week, but how does any buyer know exactly what they are getting? The big question of the week: is this painting by Leonardo da

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Data-based decisions: for Physicians and Procurement
Import from wordpress feed
November 11, 2017
James Marland was the host at SAPAriba’s recent Future of Procurement conference at the Royal College of Physicians, London. I gave up Biology for Greek at aged 13, so the professionals I welcomed were not

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A "Cambrian Explosion" of Opportunity
LinkedIn
May 25, 2017
At SAPPHIRE NOW, Bill McDermott invited Michael Dell on stage to talk about Digital transformation. Michael used an interesting expression, saying that there was a "Cambrian Explosion of Opportunity" in front of companies as a result of the new digital technologies.

So what was the Cambrian Explosion, and why did Michael use this metaphor?

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Tags: Digital Disruption, Digital Transformation

Supply Chain Risk – You can’t have Vanilla
Import from wordpress feed
May 24, 2017
Vanilla is the default choice when choosing ice cream. But Vanilla itself is a critical ingredient, and standard simplistic supplier management may not be enough for your business. Madagascar produces 80 percent of the world’s

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A “Cambrian Explosion” of Opportunity
Import from wordpress feed
May 24, 2017
At SAPPHIRE NOW last week, Bill McDermott invited Michael Dell on stage to talk about Digital transformation. Michael used an interesting expression, saying that there was a “Cambrian Explosion of Opportunity” in front of companies

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The History of Digital in 3 Business Cards
Import from wordpress feed
December 02, 2016
Look carefully at your old business cards; they tell the story of an increasingly digital world. When I got new business cards through the years, I always kept one and flung it in the back

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Don’t drop the baton between your processes
Import from wordpress feed
August 08, 2016
I have to confess, I am excited about the Olympics which start tonight, especially as I have tickets for the Athletics including the Sprint Relays. There’s something exciting about the skill and drama of exchanging

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Maddest of all is to see life as it is and not as it should be – Cervantes
Import from wordpress feed
June 01, 2016
The classic, Don Quixote is reckoned to be the first modern novel, and was written by Miguel de Cervantes, a Madrid resident. He had the misfortune to die in the same year as Shakespeare, so

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1 Keynote
"Risks of reputational impact"
Odesma, UK
September 12, 2018
Just as the Tower of London protects the Queen’s Crown Jewels with stone walls and cannons, procurement teams need to likewise protect their company’s reputation in the age of 24-Hour News Cycles, Social Media and Globalisation. James Marland will share how procurement is the most critical department in corporations to not only protect the brand, but also to help the company achieve its social and environmental goals.

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Tags: Procurement, Sustainability

3 Media Interviews
Digital Disruption is happening across all industries
Twitter
September 24, 2018
In this short interview, from the Gartner Supply Chain Conference in Sep 2018, James reports that digital transformation is not just restricted to some industries. What was once evident in book and media publishing is washing over all industries, don't think you're immune. You need a Digital Supply Chain to stand up to this wave or you run this risk of getting swamped.

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Tags: Digital Disruption, Procurement, Supply Chain

The Changing nature of Procurement
SAPAriba
August 02, 2018
Ronald van Loon interviews James Marland who explains how procurement is changing, and how Ariba is responding with services and technology.

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Tags: Procurement

Procurement with Purpose
Procurious
June 01, 2018
Listen to james discuss why Procurement is best placed to help cmpanies with their Corporate and Social Responsibilities.

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Tags: Sustainability, Supply Chain, Procurement

3 Panels
A Panel Discussion on the Evolution of Procurement
LinkedIn
October 11, 2018
In a spirited panel at the SAP Ariba London Summit, customers debated the changes they are seeing in procurement and how to balance evolution with revolution. Blog from moderator James Marland summarises the key thoughts and quotes.

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Tags: Digital Transformation, Procurement, Sustainability

Debating the Purpose of Procurement
LinkedIn
July 05, 2018
A recent debate shows an even split between idealists and realists on how much influence procurement has on social, environmental and ethical issues.

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Tags: Procurement, Sustainability

Data-based decisions: for Physicians and Procurement
LinkedIn
November 13, 2017
James Marland was the host at SAPAriba's recent Future of Procurement conference at the Royal College of Physicians, where a panel of Procurement experts looked at how they too can introduce data-based decision making into their profession.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain

1 Speaking Engagement
Building the Intelligent Value Chain
SAP South Africa
August 30, 2018
Presentation on extending the concept of the Intelligent Enterprise to the full Value Chain. Intelligence should stop at the four walls of your company.

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Tags: Supply Chain, Procurement, Predictive Analytics

7 Videos
Let's talk about the Future of Procurement
SAP Ariba
September 02, 2018
What is the Future for Procurement? James highlights how procurement needs to adapt to the new way of working, to be the department that stops saying "No", and starts to say "Sure, I can help you with that"

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Tags: Sustainability, Supply Chain, Procurement

Procurement with Purpose : Why are we here?
Edenhouse
July 03, 2018
Purpose should be a pivotal part of every organisation's business strategy. Why are we here and what is your business' purpose?

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain, Sustainability

Summary of the SAPAriba Live Amsterdam event
SAP Ariba
April 30, 2018
James takes on the role of TV anchor from SAP AribaLive in Amsterdam, this time with Gustavo Cyrillo Amorim as we wrapped the thing up.

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Tags: Procurement, Supply Chain

Recap of AribaLive Las Vegas
SAP Ariba
March 08, 2018
James and Marcel recap the SAP AribaLive event in Las Vegas.

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Tags: Procurement

Preview of procurement with purpose at SAP AribaLive
SAP Ariba
March 06, 2018
James discusses the upcoming SAP Ariba Live event in las Vegas, with Tifenn, the CMO of Ariba.

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Tags: Procurement, Sustainability

SAP Ariba Supply Chain Overview
SAP Ariba
August 10, 2017
In this extensive overview, James explains how IBP, Ariba and the Ariba network can combine to help digitise the Supply Chain.

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Tags: Supply Chain

Ariba Network - The Innovation Agenda
SAP Ariba
August 02, 2016
Join James has he uses one of his whiteboards to explain Ariba, its Value Proposition, and the recent innovations.

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Tags: ERP, Procurement, Supply Chain

Blog

4 Article/Blogs
Cassandra: Cursed with ability to predict but the inability to effect change
Thinkers360
November 10, 2018
I went to the Athens National Museum this week, where I saw the famous "Hoard of Troy" antiquities. One of the Princesses of Troy was Cassandra, who may have worn the very earrings I was looking at, in 1200 BC. She was famously cursed by Apollo to be able to see the future but not to be able to do anything about it. She even foresaw the destruction of Troy and warned the Trojans about the Greeks hiding inside the Trojan Horse, but could not affect the outcome.

Implementing an Intelligent technology can be like this. You may have reams of data, great algorithms, and fantastic visualisations. But without the ability to actually effect the change in your business you will remain cursed like Cassandra. Seeing the future but not being able to do anything about it.

Here are some examples where you need both the prediction, and the ability to actually take advantage of the insight.
• You see from your Customer Experience (CX) analysis that a price segment has low elasticity and could take a price rise without diminishing volume, yielding a higher margin. But you cannot easily update the thousands of pricing records that store channel pricing without trawling through dozens of macro-ridden spreadsheets.
• You get a signal from the market that there will be an uptick in demand for you product in the upcoming Chinese New year, but you cannot shift your production to take advantage. It takes too long to find additional capacity, order the components and rebalance your workforce. The opportunity is lost.
• You are able to learn from sentiment analysis that a supplier should be black listed because it is close to bankruptcy due to a fraud scandal. But you cannot stop RFXs, order and payment going out to all their subsidiaries for several weeks. Not only leaking cash but also putting your own reputation at risk.

At SAP we call this the Insight-to-Action lag. For an Intelligent Enterprise to be effective, you need a Digital Core as well as the Machine Learning, AI and predictive analytics.

Don't be Cassandra: Cursed with ability to predict but the inability to effect change

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Tags: Big Data, Procurement, Predictive Analytics

Even the board game Monopoly is going digital! How about you?
Thinkers360
October 14, 2018
Hasbro has recently introduced a version of Monopoly that eliminates cash by using a little ATM, with a scanner and barcodes on the cards and board. If a player wants to buy a property they’ve landed on, they just need to scan their credit card, and then the Title Deed, and the price will be automatically deducted from their available funds. It works the same way if another player lands on a property with a house or hotel on it. By scanning both credit cards and the property card, funds can be quickly transferred between players to pay the rent.

This new edition (ominously called Ultimate Banking Edition) reflects that for the target player (“ages 8 and up”, according to the box) handling cash is becoming increasingly rare.

Touch-less payments are very common. When I hand my taxi guy a couple of rumpled twenties it already feels vaguely criminal. When I make trips to non Euro countries such as Sweden or Denmark I don’t even think about getting any cash, and only have a vague idea of the Exchange Rate.

But, in the American Rental sector, things haven’t changed much since Monopoly was first introduced, in the 1930s. 70% of renters pay by cheque. It’s unlikely that rent at Boardwalk is still $400, but it is more than likely that the current residents are reaching for a chequebook once a month.

In the game, the worst Chance card is the one that forces you to pay housing repairs. In the real world these are B2B invoices, and 77% of the worlds invoices are still on paper. This means that reconciling those invoices for repairs such as decorating and cleaning will be a cumbersome process.

Get Out of Jail. The problem for Businesses today is that their IT systems are pretty much a jail: no communication with the outside world. Your suppliers, customers and other stakeholders can’t really communicate in the real-time, digital, Hi-Fidelity way that today’s economy requires. You don’t want to be languishing in the corner, hoping to roll a double, while your competitors cruise past on the “Just Visiting” lane, picking up all the best assets.

If you are a Monopoly fan, then you can just buy this Banking Edition, and all of the renters will magically be ready to receive rent notices electronically and render payment digitally. In the real world of B2B, life is a bit more complex than that. Rather than the 6 players in the game, you will have 1000s of connections to make. To Advance to Go, you need to join a Business Network.

See blog

Tags: Digital Disruption, Innovation, Procurement

Who is the Steward of the Intangibles in your Company?
Thinkers360
September 21, 2018
What’s your company worth?
50 years ago a Balance Sheet consisted of plant, machinery, raw materials, Finished Goods and land. These are the tangible assets of any company.

However, there has been a big change. Within the last 25 years, intellectual capital has emerged as the leading asset class. Up from 17% in 1975 to 84% in 2015. The term “intellectual capital” refers generally to intangible assets?—?patents, trademarks and copyrights. Also, as more companies are outsourcing their manufacturing, those old smokestack assets are now also intangibles: such as supply chain, logistics acumen, designs, blueprints and licences.

But there’s more, brand value is also an important component of Intangible Asset Market Value (IAMV). Comparing the 39 companies appearing on both the S&P 500 and the Interbrand list suggests brand value may represent as high as one quarter of the total market cap of a prominently branded company.

So who is the Steward of the Brand?

Everywhere you look, business is under scrutiny. Whether for environmental practices, labor conditions, tax, or paying suppliers on time, individual citizens increasingly are expecting companies to behave in a socially responsible manner.

This is not a fad. A pivot. Something that will blow over. It’s a generational change.

Increasingly leaders are look to protect their brand by looking at the external perception of the company by investors, partners, communities, and public entities. This is loosely called being purpose-focused and can cover social, environmental, and sustainability practices.

39% of consumers are likely not to buy a company’s products or services if they believe they are not “responsible”. 25% will actively advise friends and family to avoid the company.

There’s a wide perception that these programs cost money and drive down margins. Wrong. Research suggests that companies that execute these types of programs can significantly outperform their rivals over a 10-year period.

Modern-day procurement leaders are starting to use the phenomenal buying power of their organizations to address some of these big social challenges. At the upcoming Carlyle Global Partner Summit event in Monaco, Tifenn Dano Kwan, SAP Ariba CMO will share the worldwide movement building around social procurement.

Can you, or your brand, afford to sit this one out?

See blog

Tags: Sustainability, Supply Chain, Procurement

Becoming a Digital Leader
Thinkers360
August 27, 2018
In the era of Digital Transformation and Digital Disruption, is the very nature of leadership changing as well?

Many of our models of leadership in corporations are derived from the military. The idea of a manager who has “subordinates” sounds very much like a brigadier who has captains and sergeants beneath him. In traditional armies this made sense, because in the confusion of the battlefield, infantrymen would take orders only from people they knew and trusted, and in the fog of war a strong chain of command was the only way an order could be reliably executed. Likewise in traditional corporations, such as the GM of the 1950s, with limited information and distributed personnel, a similar structure made sense.

But it's 2018 now: we are no longer constrained by geography or information paucity, so is our model of leadership changing? What kind of leaders do we need to develop for a fast-moving modern, digital enterprise? Here are three ways the digital leader differs from their forbears, and three practical things you can do:

1 - Influence is Power

In a large corporation the people who make things happen are people who have influence, not just the people at the top of the tree. Influence can be garnered in many ways, but developing a strong brand in a company is worth investing time in.

2 - Everyone is a knowledge worker

No leader can afford to not be reading the latest blogs, the latest books, trying out new tech, meeting new people. Look at your calendar for the week, what conference call could you delete to get an hour back to actually learn something new?

3 - Fostering Leadership skills everywhere

As a Digital Leader you need to acknowledge the leadership skills of people on your team who may not have formal management roles. Which of your team would make a good mentor, coach, role model or teacher? Encourage these skills and allow your team to develop them via digital tools such as social media either within or outside your company.

Are you and your management team (above and below) really ready for Digital Transformation?

See blog

Tags: Digital Transformation, Management, Leadership

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James Marland