Dear fellow professionals,
The end of my Presidential year is now upon me and I couldn't possibly conclude my term without saying a few words publicly to reflect upon my year.
I say a 'few words' because I hope that via the activities and events I have been involved in throughout the year, my Presidential message has already either directly or indirectly reached you all and in turn had a positive impact, even if only in some small way.
And what a tremendous year it has been; I have travelled far and wide, meeting thousands of truly amazing people on what I can honestly say has been an incredible journey - one that I will remember for many years to come.
From my humble beginnings as a stock controller to my current position as a group CEO I'm just an ordinary down to earth chap, very proud of what I've achieved and passionate about our profession; and one of the most uplifting aspects of my journey this year has been meeting so many different people who I know for sure can and will experience a similar journey to me.
Listening, talking and interacting with so many new people I have witnessed that same passion, enthusiasm and determination that I have always considered to be amongst my greatest personal strengths, underpinned by a huge desire to drive real positive change for the greater good of our profession and indeed our wonderful institute - CIPS.
For those of you who attended one of my presentations you will recall that my objective as your 2016 president was to have a qualitative experience not merely a quantitative one, to inspire and to be inspired, to educate and to be educated and to provide a vision for the future of our profession. I hope that I achieved my objective and that the profession has been enhanced, even if only in part, through the collective presidential effort.
The respect and support for my theme 'Procurement at the Heart of Business' has been quite incredible and it is clear to me that the level of talent, engagement and enthusiasm we have within our profession is a real jewel in the crown with an immeasurable potential for our short, medium and long term future prosperity.
Irrespective of our individual views, I'm sure we would all agree that we are indeed in the midst of uncertain times, some may even say unprecedented - politically, economically and socially but as procurement professionals I strongly believe we are indeed in a unique position and if channelled effectively those aforementioned uncertainties can actually represent our greatest strength and opportunity.
We are indeed very fortunate to represent a profession that can and does influence every sphere of business life - irrespective of the nature or sector of the enterprises within which we work; never has the time been better to engage and strategically integrate within our respective organisations, to demonstrate the very real value we can add, to take a leading commercial position and to navigate our stakeholders through difficult waters leading to favourable business outcomes.
In short, it's down to each of us to grasp the opportunity with both hands, to lead and not merely follow, to be part of the corporate agenda and in turn to become true strategic enablers.
It has genuinely been an honour and a privilege to serve you as CIPS president; not only have I met some incredible people from all around the world but I also have a lasting memory of something really worthwhile that I will carry with me for many years to come.
My penultimate words are of thanks - to everyone who has supported me on my year long journey, our inspiring membership, branch members and leaders, wider stakeholders and of course all the team at Easton House, many of them unsung heroes, who have been quite superb.
And finally to our incoming president, a true captain of industry Mr Sam Walsh - Sam, I wish you every success with your forthcoming year - capture every moment, it's a bit like a supersonic flight, over before you know it.
Good luck to you all with your endeavours to put 'Procurement at the heart of business'
Thank you again – it’s been a pleasure!