1997 is IMC’s 35th anniversary and we should celebrate 35 years of success in that part of our mission which aims “to be the body which qualifies members by establishing professional standards”. However, we still have some way to go in ensuring “that clients will want to use only members”. Critical mass is vital here and if each IMC member were to introduce just one eligible new Certified Management Consultant in 1997, we would double in size during the next 12 months.
IMC is recognised as the standard-setting body by the growing number of educational institutions who approach us for endorsement of their consultancy courses. Our next task is to align such academic studies and the Certified Management Consultant qualification.
We must also now demonstrate the relevance of our work to the broader church of the contemporary consulting market. The requirements of management and leadership are changing. The role of consultancy is changing and our aim is to equip consultants and their clients for the opportunities that the age of Aquarius will undoubtedly bring.
November saw an excellent Public Sector Special Interest Group meeting with the Rt. Hon. Derek Foster, the Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who leads for Opposition policy on the Civil Service and the machinery of government. He left us in no doubt that the Labour Party understands the nature and scope of the expertise that the next Government will require from professional advisers, whatever colour that Government might be. And I believe that we left him with a clear understanding of the international significance of the Certified Management Consultant and the IMC role in defining and setting the standards for management consulting world-wide through ICMCI.
As you know we have been applying a little management consultancy to ourselves in order to prepare for the opportunities ahead. Our change programme consultant, Roger Hughes has been helping both volunteers and staff to align resources with projects, programmes and plans to prepare IMC as a focus for best practice in management consultancy wherever it may be carried out.
This translation of our vision into action plans and programmes will take several months of detailed work on the needs and interests of all IMC stakeholders as well as a realistic appraisal of what is possible, and some difficult resource decisions, particularly about what not to do. At Council on 10 December we expect a progress report. At the May 1997 Council we will present the detailed programme for the future and any necessary changes will be proposed in time for the AGM in June.
At the forthcoming Regional and Special Interest Group Advisory Committee meetings we will agree a timetable to communicate the IMC developments to members.
With all this in place we will be able to focus on the following six areas of IMC development and growth, which are: Professional Standards and Development; Educational Qualifications and Training; Trade/commercial/Regional/ Networks; Regulatory/Disciplinary; IMC Ventures; Corporate Development.
We have our heritage of 35 years of successful standards-setting upon which to build professionally. However, professionalism needs commercialism, and vice versa, to guarantee sustained success.
There already exists in our midst a role model for a 21st century organisation which is a collegiate network, providing a mutual interest, commercial community for individual management consultants or for those in firms of fewer than five members. This is the Richmond Group and it has developed significantly under the chairmanship of Raymond Ruddock-West who, in spring 1997, completes a four-year term of inspiring and outstanding leadership.
The Richmond Group has been far-sighted in requiring that only Certified Management Consultants may join, anticipating, I believe, the shape of things to come.