In a recent post by Roz Usheroff, she indicated that you would probably have to be on another planet – maybe even in another galaxy – to not have heard of the recent call to arms of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to eradicate the word “bossy” from our everyday vernacular. The reason for Sandberg’s discontent with the word is that it unfairly portrays women in a negative light.
While I will leave it to you to read Usheroff’s post to get the whole Sandberg story, I could not help but think that a similarly negative word was recently used by Zycus in describing procurement and more specifically procurement professionals.
I am talking about a Zycus post in the United by Procurement LinkedIn group in which one of their marketing managers shared an article titled “Helping procurement to emerge as a function that delivers value beyond savings.”
My concern is that when you use the word function, you confine procurement to its traditional definition of being transactional as opposed to strategic and relational. Functions are a series of preordained steps that you merely execute within the context of an established role. When you become strategic and relational, it means that you are going beyond the stereotypical definition of your role to become a bigger part of an extended process that reflects an holistic view of the larger enterprise and the markets it seeks to serve.
No one for example will refer to the role of a CEO or CFO as being functional. CEO’s are visionaries and leaders, while CFOs are being called stewards, operators, strategists and catalysts. Yet we in procurement are functional?
We have to move beyond this limiting kind of terminology if we hope to gain our rightful seat at the executive table.
So what do you think fellow procurement professionals . . . are we strategic and relational or merely functional.