Follow-up to Part 5 in the Bridging the Disconnect Series: Where is Jack Nicholson when you need him?

Posted on September 22, 2011


– I need an answer to my question.

Col. Nathan R. Jessep

Watch your tone, Commander.  I’m a fair guy, but this #&!@+ heat makes me crazy.

from the 1992 movie A Few Good Men

I love the saying that professes to a link between art and real life in that the tie-in is often subtle but relatively easy to identify and define.

Unfortunately, an obvious link is not always readily at hand in the world of purchasing, as demonstrated by the diversity of responses I received to the question I had raised at the end of the Part 5 post in the Bridging the Disconnect Between Finance and Purchasing Series.  Specifically, I asked the seemingly straight forward question “How is Cost of Capital and the purchasing function connected?”

To get the answer – yes, foolishly I was hoping to get a single, clearly defined outline connecting the dots between these two points of reference (or at least a consistent theme), I went to my LinkedIn network of contacts.  With more than 17,000 personal connections alone, it is usually a safe bet that at least one or two respondents would shed some light on this issue.

Besides the paucity of responses (only 14 when my questions usually average between 50 to 75), the only consistent link or theme in terms of the answers that have been provided so far is that there isn’t any.

Like the answers I have received so far . . .

As you scan the insight offerings from individuals which includes those who have MBAs and are lecturers to strategic sourcing managers and top level executives there is not a single uniform response that ties them all together.

In fact the answers are all over the place . . . which was the point of my Part 5 post.

The real question beyond why there is such a diversity of answers to the same question without actually providing any clear link to purchasing, is how can finance and purchasing communicate when there is such a palpable absence of a consistent definition and understanding?

While the famous scene from the movie to which I had referred in the opening paragraph has Jessep (played brilliantly by Jack Nicholson) chastising Tom Cruise’s character (Lt. Daniel Kaffee) in their courtroom confrontation with the words “You want the truth . . . you can’t handle the truth!” in the case of the purported tie-in between Cost of Capital and purchasing I would not only be able to handle the truth, I would welcome it!

Good thing LinkedIn allows you to extend a questions closing date.  I will keep you posted.

LinkedIn Answer Stream:

For those who would like to read the answers I have received so far here is the link to How is Cost of Capital and the purchasing function connected?


Posted in: Commentary, Finances