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2011: Will You Be A Survivor?

January 10, 2011

Last week, IACCM asked its executive members (heads of Legal, Procurement, Contract & Commercial Management) to share their goals and major initiatives for 2011.

‘Survival’ was the succinct response from one. And while others appear to have more targetted plans, the results to date do not suggest the community is poised to make radical changes in the way it is structured or the value and extent of the services it provides.

Of course, this could be because senior managers are confident that they have already taken the necessary steps to adjust to the today’s challenging business conditions. Or it might be that they feel so overwhelmed by operational demands that they cannot spare time for fundamental change. In which case, they too are probably focused more on survival than on transformation.

Thee is recognition that times are demanding new approaches. For example, 85% see a need to upgrade current functional skills and over 70% plan to re-align resources based on better segmentation of business and market demands. There is widespread recognition that procedures must change and contract templates be updated.  But less than 15% see any need to improve their collection and analysis of business or market intelligence; and only 21% have an interest in assessing or benchmarking their current capabilities.

These results imply a much greater focus on improved efficiency rather than increased effectiveness. It appears to be more a reaction to conditions than a readiness to take control and offer leadership. Perhaps that is inevitable. Researchers suggest that only about 5% of any group are ‘innovators’, with perhaps another 15% ready to follow those leaders and be among the first to implement. Which leaves 80% as followers – or would-be ‘survivors’.

Perhaps those statistics apply even when it comes to functional heads. In which case I guess we will continue to see quite substantial shifts over the year ahead, as disappointed corporate executives decide to re-organize the function or appoint new leadership.

To participate in the IACCM survey and compare your plans with those of your peers, visit

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