Archive: April, 2012


In procurement circles, the term “maverick” often has negative connotations. It is used to refer to individuals who lack an understanding of existing agreements and are unwilling to follow the establish process. It is also used to refer the categories of spend that is not controlled.

A recent study by the London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of New South Wales in Australia has taken a different view. Their study of over 450 workers found mavericks were more inclined to be extroverts and poor team players but more likely to take risks. These attributes mean that they have a greater ability to develop innovative and creative ideas that help their firms to be “aggressive and competitive in the global marketplace”.

I have written about innovation on a number of occasions, most recently in Supply Management in January, and have suggested different ways to harness the creativeness of procurement teams and the wider supply base. This research highlights the need to develop programmes that draw in individuals who are not aligned to the established ways of working and to create an environment where they can share and develop their ideas.