100 Days to Become a Successful CPO

A new year brings new challenges, new opportunities, new expectations…

If you’ve recently taken on the role as a new CPO (or even as a new executive), you are most likely passionate and determined to quickly make a positive impact and drive significant change at your new company.

I recently listened to a podcast by A.T. Kearney, “The First 100 Days as a New CPO”.  Chris Clements, Director at A.T. Kearney, discussed major issues a CPO faced in their new role and shared a framework CPOs can follow in their first 100 days to tackle those issues. The first 100 days are so important for a CPO to set the tone of planning for success and delivering value. Everyone expects change quickly and often asks, “What’s next?”

In order to deliver long-lasting significant change, you must start with a solid foundation before you can build-on and improve it. Chris discussed a framework comprised of 8 dimensions a CPO can follow within the first 100 days at a new company:

  1. Set an agenda and strategy
  2. Understand the organization’s culture
  3. Manage expectations of key stakeholders within the business
  4. Develop a communication strategy – How will you share information and the vision?
  5. Understand your role within the organization and what is expected
  6. Define performance measures going forward
  7. Consider appropriate training needs – Are there areas where you need support?
  8. Develop a stakeholder strategy

Below is a summary of tips from the framework, broken down into a 3 month phase:

Month 1: What are the business needs? Walk the floors, meet and greet, ask questions! How is the procurement organization perceived? You might start developing initial thoughts for a strategic plan, but the first month is all about gathering information.

Month 2: By now, you’ve met a lot of people and started to hear complaints and problems. So, where can you make an impact? There may be quick wins where you can make an impact right away and build up confidence as an individual and the way employees perceive you. Build momentum. Share the vision. Get initiatives moving forward.

Month 3: In the final month, continue to deliver on quick wins so that you’re still building credibility. Refine your procurement vision for the future and share it, so much that you have a final plan in place for the end of the 100 days. Deliver value and create sustainability moving forward.

By following this framework, you can build a plan to set expectations, determine how tasks will get completed, and from a cultural perspective, help you communicate these goals. Click here if you’re interested in listening to the full podcast.

Stay tuned for my next post when I’ll discuss the three most challenging dimensions in the framework. In the meantime, share your thoughts or experiences of how to become a successful CPO by commenting below or tweeting us @iasta.

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