How to Unite a Dysfunctional Procurement Team

Written by EO Executives on Oct 25, 2017


So, you have been parachuted into a new CPO role and are ready to tackle the challenge head on...but here’s the catch:

90% of the time a new CPO is hired to fix something that is broken.

Many years of procurement recruitment has taught me that that dysfunctional procurement teams are prevalent and common.  Before you even start the hard yards of engaging your internal stakeholder population and confronting the supply base you have to sort out your own team and ensure that everyone is aligned and collaborative.   

Politics, silos and huge ego’s stand in your way but here are my top tips on turning around a dysfunctional procurement group...

1. Encourage Open debate

Getting your procurement leadership team to openly table issues is vital to starting to build a culture of trust and mutual understanding.  There will be some pain but transparency, debate and openness leads to progress and collaboration.

2. Agree and document the goal

All key members of your procurement leadership team should have a voice and be heard but ultimately it is impossible to progress through pure consensus.  As a leader you have to digest everyone’s contributions, decide on a common aim and then inspire the team to reach for the most relevant goals.

3. Address the Prima Dona’s

The most ambitious and successful individuals can feel like your biggest asset but can also at times be your biggest problem with regards to team collaboration.  If you have individuals who put their ego before the common good then you need to address them and if required move them on.  This is vital to long term success as no one is bigger than the team.  Not convinced? Ask Sir Alex Ferguson.

4. Drive Group Accountability

Have a culture whereby you encourage your team to own the deliverables and hold each other accountable to the agreed results. This open culture of accountability will bypass the resentment that can kick in within procurement teams when people don’t feel that their peers are pulling their weight. High standards create momentum and can energise your procurement transformation to new heights.

Do you need procurement Leaders who can help you transform a dysfunctional team?


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