Adam and Eve are purchasing agents. They are introduced at a meeting of their local purchasing association.
Over dinner, Eve asks Adam: “Hey, did you get that new negotiation book called ‘Getting To Yes?’” She says it is really helpful to her work as a purchasing agent.
Adam replies, “No, I didn’t get it. We don’t negotiate in my purchasing department, so that doesn’t apply to us.”
Imagine that conversation. It could have happened. (Actually, I still run into purchasing agents who say that they don’t negotiate, believe it or not).
Imagine how effective Adam would have been in the following years if he maintained that mindset.
Adam sounds like a doofus, doesn’t he?
Well, unfortunately, many people in procurement still shut out ideas for improvement by using the “it doesn’t apply to us” excuse. Whether it is reverse auctions (which were subject to mammoth resistance in the ‘90’s), project management techniques, or even manufacturing procurement practices presented to a service-industry buyer, the “it doesn’t apply to us” excuse runs rampant.
What if you asked “how could this apply to us” instead?
Imagine the possibilities. No one grows or improves his results without being open-minded to the things you haven’t tried yet.