News from the IMC

IMC puts 1999 governance structure into place

The IMC has changed its governance structure to reflect its new role as the Institute of Management Consultancy. The new Council will take office from 1 January 1999 and will represent all consultancy stakeholders and IMC’s new membership categories. It will be reduced from 30 to 16 members and will consist of six officers, eight membership category representatives and two co-opted external non-executive directors.

The current Council elected the new officers. The new president will be Richard Popple MBE, who led the work on the new CMC assessment route.

President-elect Bob Empson (pictured above), vice president marketing Christopher Brocklebank-Fowler and vice president professional Brian Ing will support him. The honorary treasurer will be Geoff Kitt and Paul Lynch will retain a non-voting role as immediate past president.

Only one nomination was received for each of six of the eight membership representatives. Sadly, therefore, elections were not required. Tim Connolly and Penny Bickerstaff will represent the Professional Members, Gill King the Registered Practices, Peter Thomas the Certified Practices, John Calvert the Special Interest Groups and Keith Barnes the Regions. In future, we would like to encourage many more members to stand. Assured, though we are that the representatives will do an excellent job, in a democracy, elections are always a good thing.

No one stood for the individual or organisational affiliate representative posts. Therefore, Council will co-opt representatives by the end of the year. Two co-opted non-executive directors will be invited to join Council to fill any skills or representation gaps.

Cranfield conference call

There are still a limited number of places on the joint IMC and Cranfield School of Management conference on 13 November 1998.

With the contribution of highly respected figures in their fields, the one day conference will address:

– the client consultant relationship

– consultancy in private, public and non-profit organisations

– consultant education, development and standards

– global perspectives

Mary Chapman, the new director-general of the Institute of Management will give the keynote address on the changing relationship between managers and service providers.

Other speakers include Jonathan Flowers, director of NatWest Consultancy and Mike Whitlam, director-general of the British Red Cross, as well as contributors from Cranfield and the IMC.

IMC members benefit from a negotiated delegate rate of #200 compared with the full delegate rate of #475.

To book a place at the conference, contact Hannah Kitchen at Cranfield on 01234 754 506.

IMC focuses on accreditation

One of the major problems management consultants face when working with TECs and Business Links is the proliferation of different accreditation schemes. The IMC’s Update Survey found that 88 percent of accredited members working with Business Links were also accredited with another body, either the Business Links’ own scheme and/or the British Accreditation Bureau. The bind of repeatedly supplying the same information, such as client references, was one of the main driving forces behind the IMC’s Credit Accumulation and Transfer Framework Project.

The Project’s aim is to reach agreement between these bodies, as well as large consultancy practices, academic bodies and short course training providers. A synopsis of the Project is available on request.

A meeting on 5 November in Birmingham on “Management Consultants and Intermediary Agencies” will give an opportunity to hear from David Draycott, senior operations manager of Birmingham and Solihull TEC about the TEC’s perspective on its use of management consultants and from Jean Garner on the progress of the IMC’s Project. Contact Jean Garner for more information.

Consulting to the third world

Simon Maxwell, the director of the Overseas Development Institute spoke to the Overseas Consulting Group on current issues in development following the UK Government’s White Paper on poverty alleviation.

The White Paper emphasises the need for clear principles and policies and the political will in both poor and rich countries to address the problem of poverty. The aim is to halve, by 2015, the proportion of those living in extreme poverty – defined as living on less than one dollar a day. This is to be achieved through: promoting sustainable livelihoods, giving poor people access to land, resources and well regulated markets; better management of the physical environment. The UK will seek to develop long-term with a number of low income countries which are committed to pro-poor policies, conservation of the environment and good governance.

These countries will prepare their own strategies (doubtless with guidance from donor governments and, perhaps, from consultants). All UK aid will be in the form of grants, not loans.

That and the continuing trend towards using local consultants and a decline in the proportion of aid in the form of technical co-operation implies that British consultants will have to focus their skills and marketing ever more closely on DFIDs and the recipient countries’ needs.

Consultants interested in finding out more about the Overseas Consulting Group should contact Morris Stuttard at the IMC on 0171 242 2140. Non-members are welcome to attend IMC meetings, see diary section opposite.

Directory to get IMC input

The IMC has been invited to join the editorial board of the Directory of Management Consultants in the UK by its new owner, Management Information Publishing. The company plans to overhaul the publication by raising the standards of the editorial and making it far more user friendly.

An enhanced listings section and the identification of leading firms by business sector, specialisation and region will also add to the quality of the directory.

IMC members will benefit from a discount on the publication and IMC Registered Practices and sole practitioner CMCs will be able to take advantage of discounts on their firms’ entry. Call Jane Smith at MIP on 0171 253 5530 for more information.

The Management Consultants’ Standards published by the Management Charter Initiative will be presented at the Cranfield Conference and available from November. These national standards were developed during a year-long project, funded by DfEE. IMC’s name and logo will appear on the publication in recognition of its involvement and support. The Steering Committee and consultation involved all consultancy stakeholders, including clients, employers and intermediaries.

The format of the standards is helpful in presenting the competences consultants need within the context of the stages of a typical assignment.

Practices and providers of consultancy training and development will find them invaluable. Contact MCI’s Order Line on 0171 872 6926.

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