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Just Anyone

Posted By David T. Norman CMC, Monday, June 20, 2011
An article in Sunday's New York Times piqued my interest.  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/19/opinion/19everson.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Lawyers%20and%20Attorneys%20Once%20Put%20Integrity&st=cse, "..it would be prudent to ask whether lawyers and accountants offer the same protection against corporate misconduct that they once did."  While the article was focused on these two professional services group, it caused me to consider, once again, where IMC USA is, especially as relates to our Code of Ethics.

Pondering the importance of being in our organization at this particular time, I woke up, literally, with this 'story.'  Perhaps it will resonate with you.  If not, that's OK, simply humor me.

"Just Anyone ... When your car is not running right or needs service, you can go to a 'shade-tree' mechanic, but why would you when your family's safety and future depends on it?  You wouldn't go to just 'anyone,' you'd go to a mechanic where the quality is known.

"As a manufacturer, your purchasing agent can buy from anyone, but wouldn't you buy from a supplier who meets ISO 9000/9001 quality standards because your product quality, customer relationships and future sales ultimately depend on it?

"Similarly, most anyone can complete a tax return, but why would you trust just 'anyone.'  With the more complex issues, you turn to and trust a certified professional, a CPA.

"With an estimated 500,000 consultants in the U.S. today, you can hire just anyone. You can 'purchase' technical skills from most anywhere, from most anyone.  But why would you depend on just 'anyone,' especially when your organization's health and future depends on it?

"Why wouldn't you chose, instead, for a member of a professional organization, and who is aligned with professionalism, consulting competency and ethics? 

"In other words, not just anyone!"

So, that's my 'story.' I'm proud of it. What's yours? 

And, can you tell this story?  Do you attach a copy of IMC USA Code of Ethics to your proposals?  Do you call attention to it?  I do. 

Recently, I told a prospective client, "You can hire any management consultant you want to, but, you just might want to ask, beforehand, if they subscribe to an enforceable, adjudicatable code of ethics.  Not a company-specific one, but a professional-wide one." 

In fact, ask it of one of your prospects; it'll make them think and make you feel good. 

Thoughts?

Stay tuned.

My best,

David

Tags:  Code of Ethics  CPA  Ethics  IMC USA  lawyers  New York Times 

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Comments on this post...

Michael E. Cohen CMC MBA says...
Posted Monday, June 20, 2011
I don't think belonging to a professional organization matters, by itself. Many of the best doctors do not belong to the AMA, and that affiliation is not listed in, for examople, the Washington DC Physicians Directory. Much more important is board certification, referrals from other doctors and patients, and personal reputation. In consulting, imply beloging to the iMC matters little. Having the CMC matters more, and that's why IMC should make it easier for deserving consultants to obtain this certification.
Permalink to this Comment }

John R. Bryan DBA CMC says...
Posted Monday, June 20, 2011
I agree that the CMC seems to be of more interest than IMC membership to my clients.

Yes, I reference the code of ethics and the certification in the signature of all of my emails, whether they are business related or to church friends; it is part of my identity.

The thing that struck me about the NYT article is the assertion that it will take decades to unravel the causes of the 2008 meltdown. I find that assertion preposterous. The fundamental cause of the meltdown was an over-valued real estate market pumped to excess by misguided if not fraudulent valuations from appraisers and non-collateralized loans made possible by the political decision to pump the home ownership percentages to record levels. There were other issues, to be sure, but the house of cards collapsed when financial institutions started returning individual loans in the portfolios purchased from mortgage companies for a reason allowed in the purchase contracts between Wall Street and the mortgage houses, under-collateralized individual loans. When mortgage companies and local banks started running short of cash, the house of cards simply collapsed. Other recessions may have been part of a normal cycle, but not this one. In SQC terms, this one had an assignable cause that nobody wants to discuss because of the political implications for somebody.
Permalink to this Comment }

Chris N. Lambrecht CMC says...
Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I wrote a blog post on this very subject last week. My theory is that if someone is accountable to a "written" code of ethics, they will be less likely to stray. www.lambrechtcmc.wordpress.com Also, when was the last time a CMC was disciplined for not abiding by the code? Without that piece of data, are CMC's really any better than the attorneys mentioned in the NYT article?
Permalink to this Comment }

Mark Haas CMC FIMC says...
Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2011
It has been a few years since a CMC was disciplined for an ethics violation. However, an ethics violation conviction rate is a poor measure of ethical conduct. Ideally, no one would violate the Code of Ethics and hence no allegations of misconduct would be brought. As part of the new Ethics Committee activities, we are more vigorously promoting the awareness of the Code (thank you David Norman) and encouraging more reporting, as appropriate. Early response is interesting - a lot of comments about nonmembers and larger firms, which IMC has not authority to adjudicate, and a few about IMC members, cases for which are under way or have been dispensed with.
Permalink to this Comment }

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Don Matheson CMCChair and CEO, IMC USA
Gregory BrooksExecutive Director, IMC USA