Autumn, April 2014

Co-opetition - Networking for Advantage

Co-opetition (and no, that's not a typo!) is providing organisations with the ability to drive greater synergy and innovation.

Co-opetition, a term coined by Ray Noorda of Novell, suggests that organisations which would normally compete against each other can gain greater synergies and competitive advantage through collaboration.

As the Procurement Executive Program (PEP) enters into its seventh year, executive education facilitator and Program Director at the Melbourne Business School, Dr Judy Kent, highlights how co-opetition in a learning environment can help procurement professionals to continuously deliver greater value to their organisations. “Collaboration and establishing a strong network is critical for success in today’s commercial world and this is reinforced in PEP”, says Judy.

The combination of an increased focus on generating value for the end customer rather than simply managing cost, together with PEP participant and Roundtable feedback, has resulted in over one-third the program being redeveloped for 2014. According to Judy, PEP will now have “a greater emphasis on understanding the leader’s role in managing their part of the end to end supply chain”. “We've become far more adept in weaving the leadership in with the commercial and functional skills - they don't really stand alone” she continued.

Highlighting that the program works on several levels, Judy believes the redeveloped program will allow participants to gain a better understanding of themselves, their teams and their organisations, while becoming more proficient at servicing customers and partnering with stakeholders. She emphasizes that, “as a function procurement needs to create alignment with their customers’ needs otherwise they run the risk of being set up as a silo rather than a process which runs across the organization”.

Throughout the program, participants will have the opportunity to work closely in teams to address key issues they may be grappling with in their organisations. Previous topics have included sustainable procurement, big data, coaching, KPIs, influencing the C suite, providing pro bono procurement assistance to not for profits. Not only do these projects foster collaboration and co-opetition, they also encourage participants to think about the future of procurement and their own role in shaping it.

The first of three PEP modules commences in August at Melbourne Business School’s purpose-built educational retreat in Mt Eliza. To find out more about this program contact, Training and Capability Manager Karen Hill at