5 Clever Books to Sharpen Your Strategic Sourcing Skills

Enhance your performance and revitalize your career by reading these key books.

Books for the Strategic Sourcing and Procurement Professionals

 

We all know there are loads of books on negotiating, soft skills and procurement basics.  But what you may not know is which is worth your time to read (or listen to!). Time is our most precious commodity, so don’t waste it on outdated information or usless books.

Therefore, let’s take a look at the top 5 books that are all on my kindle/audible account. These are the ones that I have personally enjoy/found to be the most useful.

They’ve provided me with some of the best negotiating tricks out there and other tools I have found useful in the workplace.

So what are you waiting for? Reading a book may just be the answer to getting you that promotion you deserve!

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Don’t have time for a book?  Then check out my weekly blog on Category Management Mondays!

A former international hostage negotiator for the FBI offers a new, field-tested approach to high-stakes negotiations—whether in the boardroom or at home

 Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations and into Voss’s head, revealing the skills that helped him and his colleagues succeed where it mattered most.

Saving lives. In this practical guide, he shares the nine effective principles—counterintuitive tactics and strategies—you too can use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal life.

Amazon Link

Successfully reduce costs in the area of indirect spend and watch your bottom line grow. Managing Indirect Spend provides you with the knowledge and tools necessary to get it done with an overview of: the challenges faced when sourcing indirect spend categories; strategic sourcing process; tools that can help drive savings, and examples based on real world experience.

Includes sections covering the process, the tools, real-world examples, guidance through specific sourcing engagements and the information needed to source effectively.

Amazon Link

Harvard Business Essentials are comprehensive, solution-oriented paperbacks for business readers of all levels of experience. Managing through change and crisis is difficult in any business environment, let alone one as turbulent as managers face today.

 

This timely guide offers authoritative advice on how to recognize the need for organizational change, communicate the vision, prepare for structural change such as M&A, and address emotional responses to downsizing.

Amazon Link

Behind the problems that routinely plague organizations and families, you’ll find individuals who are either unwilling or unable to deal with failed promises. Others have broken rules, missed deadlines, failed to live up to commitments, or just plain behaved badly–and nobody steps up to the issue.

Or they do, but do a lousy job and create a whole new set of problems. Accountability suffers and new problems spring up. New research demonstrates that these disappointments aren’t just irritating, they’re costly–sapping organizational performance by twenty to fifty percent.

Amazon Link

The 64 squares on the Purchasing Chessboard provide a wealth of methods that can be applied either individually or in combination.

 

And because many of these methods are not customarily used by procurement, the Purchasing Chessboard is also the perfect tool for helping procurement professionals to think and act outside the box and find new solutions.

 

Amazon Link

1. One of my Favorite Books on Negotiation

This is absolutely my favorite book and worth every penny. It even tops Cialdini’s  “Influence: The Art and Science of Persuasion.”

So why is this book so bloody good? The ideas are simple and easy to remember. And the results are extremely impactful. The best part – odds are, you’ve probably already done some of these negotiation tactics without knowing it.

Understanding that splitting the difference can really mean a lose-lose situation, more than it ever will a win-win is key. The antidote of wanting your husband to wear black shoes, while he wants to wear brown and how splitting the difference would result in 1 black and 1 brown, was enlighting. Splitting the difference was quite possibly the worst solution in this case. Unless it’s your thing to walk out in two completely different shoes.

Be ready for that “ah-ha” light bulb moment after reading this book. It’s currently ranked #18 on amazon. So there are a lot of other people that agree with me on this one!

 

 

2. The Strategic Sourcing Process in Detail

If you are new to Strategic Sourcing or Procurement, and want some ‘informal’ formal type training, this book is perfect.

This book takes each portion of the process, step by step in great deatil explaining best practices. It’s easy to read and breaks down what can seem like a daunting and never ending process into actionable steps.

I will say that there is a bit of ‘old school’ vibe / mentality to it, but that to me just goes along with any type of training. It’s the basics. It’s going to be old school.

3. The Book on Change Management

It’s been awhile since I’ve read this one, but anything Harvard has done within their business essentials series is amazing.

The best part about this book is that if you don’t have time to read in detail every chapter, they have a summary section at the end of each chapter as an overview. Genius.

Additionally, are the easy-to-use tools they have embedded in the content and at the end. They give you tables to checklists that can help you during the change management process.  It’s written for the “busy manager” so don’t feel like it will bog you down too much, or be too academic/hard to read.

Additionally, check out their website on Havard Managedmentor

 

 

 

4. Crucial Confrontations

 

This book is part of a larger series I would recommend including: Best Seller – Crucial Conversations and Crucial Accountability. The set really should be on all procurement and sourcing managers desks.

Now I’m suggesting this book only because I’m assuming most have already read crucial converstaions.  If you haven’t, then I’d say to start with that first. But since it seems to be a procurement staple, I’m focused on the confrontations edition.

Especially if you are looking to excel your career in to managment of people.  The book helps anyone develop good strategies for having those confrontational discussions that you can’t avoid when becoming a leader.

Best part is the self-assessment tool in the appendix, along with the Six-Source Model that helps you understand what are driving others’ actions. These are always a great reference and reminder you can go back to.

5. AT Kearny’s Purchasing Chessboard

 

I really didn’t want to put this on the list, but I had to. It’s hard to read, overly detailed and very academic. It’s guaranteed to put you to sleep.

But, what I do love about this is that it’s written by ‘the consultants’ who have paved the way for purchasing and sourcing. And it’s got a ton of invaluable information, despite the excrutiating detail.

They additionally provide great business case examples to better understand exactly how the chessboard works.  And it is clearly MECE of all sourcing strategies available.

So take your time with this one. It’s big and expensive, but it’s also the best resource you can have at your disposal.  I never said they would all be easy and entertaining, did I?

5 Clever Books to Sharpen Your Strategic Sourcing Skills 2

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