S ourcing Interests Group's (SIG) biannual global summit never disappoints. The attention to detail, thoughtful keynote speakers, jam-packed schedule of meaningful content and excitement of speed networking keep every attendee actively engaged.

There were some repeated themes and challenges, creating “aha!” moments for many attendees. There were also plenty of small, but meaningful, tidbits of insight shared throughout the conference.

Here are some of the most crucial takeaways from the event:

Focus on the mission

Overcome “fear of failure” by staying focused on the mission. Keynote speaker Carey Lohrenz, the first female F-14 fighter pilot in the U.S. Navy, shared lessons from her unique military experience that translate well into the corporate world. For example, she stressed the importance of focusing on your mission and not letting distractions threaten your success. “When you lose sight, you lose the fight,” she said. Google’s David Natoff echoed similar sentiments when he shared advice from his former CFO to “focus on one thing, and do it exceptionally well before trying to do more.”

Future leaders need you

According to author and leading authority on understanding the next generation Dr. Tim Elmore, Generation Y (born in the 1980s) is the largest generation in history with 80 million members strong. Dr. Elmore emphasized the importance of understanding the new generation of workers, as well as emerging Generation iY (born after 1990), as these younger workers will shape the future of the workforce and business. This , Dr. Elmore explains, is complex and, if coached and mentored, can be a great asset to an organization. They are confident, social, technically savvy, family oriented and highly influential. However, they need guidance from members of previous generations on emotional intelligence, character development, strengths discovery and leadership perspective. Dr. Elmore suggested focusing on coaching and mentoring these future leaders in your organization today.

There is a new powerful regulator in town

Linda Tuck Chapman of BMO Financial Group and Michael Thurman of Loeb & Loeb educated attendees on the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). According to Chapman and Thurman, if you are in the financial services sector, procuring for the financial services sector, or providing services to the financial services sector, you must be aware of this regulator and be prepared to be compliant. If not, you could face millions of dollars in potential penalties. Financial services companies emphatically agreed that if you are not already talking to your legal and compliance department about CFPB, you should be.

 Value versus price

Should sourcing and procurement be focused solely on price or on creating value? This question was the crux of several debates and discussions that came up during the conference. While many presentation topics focused on price benchmarking, others emphasized the need to generate value for business units. The best approach, most agreed, is for sourcing and procurement to determine which is more important to their stakeholders and their businesses.

 Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Though there wasn’t a presentation about the ACA, it was certainly a hot topic of discussion. The Act is not well understood, and many firms that outsource services are not completely sure how they will be impacted by the legislation. If you are struggling to understand the implications of the ACA, stay tuned for our free whitepaper, launching at our annual conference, and explore how healthcare reform will impact companies that utilize non-employee labor.

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