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Are you doing what your CEO needs?

February 10, 2020

Disruption. Apparently that is the number one issue facing CEOs. But what does it mean – both for them and for you?

The challenge for a business leader today goes far deeper than just the nature of competition, the speed of change or the need for agility. Those are symptoms of a much greater challenge of control – of having the time and the data to make good decisions.

So what has changed?

The Economist (Feb 8th, 2020) makes reference to this issue of disruption and provides an excellent outline of what it means in an article ‘Meet the new boss’. Encouragingly, the message it offers is essentially the same as that which IACCM has delivered to its members for several years – the need to adjust to intangibles (for example, services rather than products), to tackle fragmented data flows, to develop stronger and more collaborative inter-organizational relationships and to pay greater attention to social impact and alternative measures of value.

These are demanding changes, but they are precisely what high-performing commercial and contract management is about. Grasping the commercial impact of a shift from products to services; designing technology platforms that capture and disseminate commercial data without a need to replace existing application architecture; changing measurement systems and performance management to drive the right commercial behaviors; rethinking market relationships and selection criteria to demonstrate ethical standards and values.

Preventism has had its day

Last year, IACCM research showed that most contract and commercial practitioners see their role as ‘preventist’ – that is, preventing bad things from happening. While that’s important, it isn’t enough. And indeed, if we are not focused on the key issues highlighted above, we will rapidly become of marginal importance. Already, many in the commercial community complain that they aren’t sufficiently valued. It’s time to wake up and start focusing on the things that business leaders really care about. ‘Preventism’ is inevitably focused on the past, about not repeating mistakes or omissions. CEOs need people who equip them for today and the future, who focus on delivering success.

Recent IACCM research and tools supporting these changes include work on servitization, relational contracting and economics, uncertainty management, impacts of new technology and relationship resource planning (RRP). They are all focus topics at the 2020 IACCM conference series – see dates and details at




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