A couple of weeks ago, NASPO brought together state procurement leaders and NASPO staff at Michigan State University, our academic partner for a second iteration of the NASPO Executive Development Leadership Program. This program, housed under the NASPO Procurement U team, is meant to provide professional development to leaders in the organization and challenge them to think critically.
The twenty-four attendees representing thirteen states and NASPO staff heard from distinguished MSU faculty in the Eli Broad College of Business. Program facilitators, Drs. Dave Frayer, Carlos Mena and Bill Donohue covered topics ranging from current procurement challenges and key value propositions, to process and policy reflection and talent engagement and alignment. The overarching theme of the two-and-half day program was transforming the organization by breaking the status quo. The facilitators challenged participants to think critically and to be bold in the action items they would bring back to their organizations.
Despite the long days of programming, attendees were energized by the challenges the facilitators threw at them. Through group discussion, small group breakout sessions and individual reflection time, each participant left the program with a complete Action Plan for their teams at home.
NASPO members are busy professionals, and it can be difficult to step away from the office for three days of intense leadership training. While their work at home did not stop this week, our attendees saw immense value in being on campus with this group. Deb Damore, Director, Vermont of Purchasing and Contract and NASPO ValuePoint Board member said, “It’s amazing once you pull yourself away from the office, the clarity you have. Inspired and excited!”
It’s amazing how three long days of critical thinking can provide energy and excitement to our attendees’ roles back home. To assist attendees in reaching their goals in their home states, the MSU team will touch base with each attendee in about six weeks to gauge their progress on these action items. Meghan Holmlund, Chief Procurement Officer, Montana Procurement Bureau and Secretary/Treasurer of the NASPO ValuePoint Management Board added, “I’d highly recommend the NASPO Leadership Academy to any current or future procurement executive. The program challenged me to think ‘outside of the box’ on how to approach and overcome issues faced by procurement leaders. I left with an action plan I can immediately put to use to drive change within our organization and prepare us for the future of procurement!”
We look forward to continuing to partner with Michigan State University and our other academic partners for the benefit of our members. Thanks to all who attended this successful event!