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Procuring the Future

One of the last but most significant barriers to your organisation becoming an Open Business is its procurement department.
What does ‘good’ look like in the networked world? Most procurement departments are firmly rooted in the processes and measures of supply chains rather than supply cycles, of command and control rather than cooperative collaboration and of big, broad, vague numbers rather then smaller, specific, meaningful ones. If you keep selecting your partners, suppliers and agencies using old world models and parameters, then you are bound to remain entrenched in the old world.

Consider procurement in its wider sense: mindful consumption. From an individual’s perspective it’s clear to see how the impact of your choices of consumption makes big differences to you. Choose Mac food because it is the cheapest and SuperSize Me is the result.

But the impact of consumption by both individual and organisation have a wider impact on society at large. For the individual it may be the environmental impact of the packaging, the long term health costs from poor food etc.

Mindful consumption makes us pause.

Every purchase we make matters.

For organisations, this mindful consumption must be guided by new definitions of what constitutes ‘good’. Because every purchase they make has impact not only on their bottom line, not even just on their ability to change, but also on their cost to society.

In Open Businesses, where customers are partners, those customers will demand you act in their wider interests. Those businesses that don’t will lose their customers.

The same will be true of the companies, organisations and agencies the Open Business chooses to cooperate with. if you aren’t acting in the wider interests of the communities and society in which you exist you’ll be shunned by the increasing numbers who do.

Just as your green credentials are starting to matter for orgs with green ambitions, so your open credentials will be interrogated, evaluated, approved or rejected.

Just another example of how open will always beat closed in the only run that matters, the long one.