What’s the worst that can happen to a procurement professional? by Jon Hansen

Posted on March 11, 2015


“During a speech at a Florida resort to a very stressed out group of executives, one of the managers died of a heart attack in his chair without anyone noticing. When the person next to him noticed, he screamed at the top of his lungs which made the rest of those around him scream. Needless to say I stopped immediately and the day’s activities were over. It was by far my worst day as a speaker.”

The above answer was given in response to a question that was asked by someone in one of Facebook’s speakers groups “What’s the worst “disaster” you had when speaking, and how did you recover?”

I must admit that as a speaker I never even considered the possibility of something like this ever happening.  However, this is life and life is as we all know, unpredictable.

It also got me to thinking . . . as procurement professionals, what is the worst thing from your perspective that could happen, and how would you deal with it?

As a point of reference I tried to find out if there had been any studies that provided meaningful insight beyond the ubiquitous “buyer” concerns of paying too much, missing something, or generally making a mistake.  Unfortunately there was nothing much in the way of shedding any light on what, if anything, keeps procurement professionals up at night.  However, reservations surrounding eProcurement technology were far easier to uncover, as demonstrated by this 2014 ComputerWeekly.com article, which did provide the results from an actual survey.

So here is my question . . . what is the worst thing that could happen to you as a procurement professional, and how would you deal with it.  Or if it has already happened, how did you deal with it?

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By the way @avadiamondspkr – who asked the original speaker group question, will be writing a post regarding the responses she received, so be sure to follow her on Twitter to find out when the results are published.


Posted in: Commentary