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The LSD Framework: How to Succeed in the First 100 Days as a CPO

New chief procurement officers can quickly make a mark in their new role by listening, shaping, and delivering.

The Five CPO Success Factors

1. Invest time in understanding and aligning with stakeholders.
Make time to meet with executives and to understand their specific business strategies and needs-start the process of building relationships. Understand the executive agenda early and determine the appetite for change.

2. Plan for success and own your strategy.
You only have one shot to get it right, so come prepared with an initial plan. Don’t delegate your vision-instead, set the agenda and strategy and execute well. Seek executive endorsement and support for your plan.

3. Build your brand-deliver quick wins.
Identify and deliver quick-win initiatives, and ensure you’re fact-based so as to help build credibility and your support base. Balance effort, value delivery, and risk in all decisions.

4. Rebuild your capabilities.
Your job will be to implement change, so make sure you have the right capabilities to execute well. Explicitly test your team on ability, engagement, and aspiration. Make the tough calls on poor performing resources and legacy systems early-don’t wait!

5. Communicate and manage expectations.
Define your role and metrics that matter. Communicate these clearly and often to key stakeholders. Replace broadcast communications with one-on-one targeted sessions. Manage expectations and what is realistically achievable.

In today’s increasingly competitive economic climate in which so much more is delivered through suppliers, procurement has become a core business function. The role has grown from back-office purchasing to strategic sourcing to encompass executive-level strategy formulation and wealth creation across all spend. This development has further thrust the role of the chief procurement officer (CPO) into the spotlight, with companies now seeking to attract and develop the best talent to deliver this.

Like all executive roles, CPOs have a very small window of opportunity in which to make their mark at a company, and are thus under immense pressure right from the start to fulfill business goals and further their organization’s growth agenda. In our experience, the average tenure of the CPO is less than four years. So for any new incumbent, the first hundred days in the role are particularly vital when it comes to enabling future success.

Drawing on our extensive experience working closely with CPOs across various industries, we have compiled a comprehensive framework to set new senior leaders on a course for that success. In this white paper, we summarize that framework and provide three steps for CPOs to follow: namely, listen so as to understand the environment you are entering, shape a vision and plan, and deliver against expectations.