2023.05.23: Procurement Month 2023 - "What's Your Why?"

Original article published on Linkedin by Dustin Lanier, CPPO

(This article was also recorded as a podcast, give a listen here!)

Throughout Procurement Month, we have been engaged in a theme of "What's Your Why." Several of the procurement professionals on my team entered the spotlight to provide a short snippet about what motivates them about procurement.

Here are some highlights:

Tom Stratton, CPPO, CPPB, NIGP-CPP: "We help public entities obtain a wide variety of goods and services, everything from bed linens for jails to Airport Management Systems."

Jennifer L. Miracle, CPPO: "Procurement puts me right at the heart of the organization. Because procurement touches so many parts of the organization, we get to see the big picture."

Velissa Davis: "This is a field that young talent can be proud to pursue, because there are intriguing skills and competencies that can be obtained."

Stephanie Cellers: "By furthering public initiatives to ensure the functioning of government and delivery of public services, we are making a positive impact on our communities."

I chimed in with a short video myself yesterday, talking about how I came to love procurement because of the direct impact on the way that government can be made better through the ways that we go to market.

I think the common theme that runs through all of these quotes is how much public procurement directly impacts the delivery of services to fellow citizens, and how entering the profession is a rewarding and fulfilling career.

In my "Talking it Up" speech, I specifically encourage procurement professionals to really think about the language that we use when we describe ourselves and describe this work - without selling it short and without the clutter of jargon - so that others can understand what a great service is provided by people on the front lines of this work. Procurement Month is good practice for talking that way.

Finally, I mentioned in my video yesterday I would talk a little bit more about the origins of Civic Initiatives, and I think it is in theme to do so.

I started Civic after my time with the state of Texas - and I felt like the kind of consultant support that I experienced for public procurement never hit the right notes or had the right tone. After looking for a home, I could not find anything in the market that would solve the problem in the way I thought it should be solved. So a risk was taken - and 13 years ago I launched a small ship with one paddle.

And now this no-longer small ship has clients across the nation, with over 50 full-time Employees and Affiliated Experts - almost all certified public procurement professionals. We have worked together to make something that is agile and always steeped in purpose - and commitment to procurement as a strategic asset.

It really is an incomparable honor to be able to lead Civic, in a way that lets all of my team members fulfill their mission - by helping public procurement shops solve problems as a trusted partner.

And that's my biggest why.