Refocusing Supplier Diversity

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I am very excited! Back in January I wrote that I had a new opportunity with the Institute for Entrepreneurial Thinking (see New Entrepreneurial Opportunity). Well, just this week my first article has been published. The title of the article is "Refocusing Supplier Diversity."

The theme of the article is that corporation's supplier diversity departments must become more progressive, shifting from a compliance/social program focus to a strategic value focus. I want to challenge supplier diversity professionals to think and act more entrepreneurially in order to position supplier diversity as a resource that provides quantifiable value to corporations, thereby creating more opportunities for qualified minority businesses. Here's an excerpt:

...This fiercely competitive marketplace also presents some difficult internal challenges for supplier diversity departments. One of the biggest challenges is the pressure to show the value of supplier diversity to their companies. There is a strong correlation between how companies view the strategic value of supplier diversity and the human and financial resources that are allocated for these initiatives. Available resources have a strong correlation to success. Limited resources will likely mean limited success and this reality not only hurts the program but also the professional career. Supplier diversity professionals have the opportunity to change their often limited role and be viewed as strategic contributors if they are willing to make some progressive changes.

Quantifying their value creates a new dynamic for supplier diversity professionals, one in which they are compelled to operate from a different perspective than in the past. The focus must now be on improving the company's bottom line not merely focusing on increasing spend goals. This shift is made more difficult by the numerous supplier diversity challenges, including lack of resources, limited influence, uncooperative decision makers, and inefficient purchasing processes. This situation is complex and often daunting, yet not impossible to overcome...

Click here to read the rest of the article. Also, you can go to the Institute for Entrepreneurial Thinking's web site ( and get the article by clicking the link under the title "Is Minority Business Development Really an Economic Development Tool?"

I look forward to your feedback. Enjoy!

Empowering You for Success,
Paul Wilson

business, entrepreneur, leadership, supplier diversity, minority business development

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