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Don Matheson, IMC USA Chair & CEO, periodically reports on the state of the Institute, including new benefits to members, strategic affiliations with other organizations, business issues affecting the consulting profession, member accomplishments, chapter activities, and activities of the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI). Institute news can be found in the "News and Media" section of this site.

 

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CMC Event in Orlando

Posted By Drumm McNaughton FIMC, Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Question? -- "What happens when you bring 25 experienced consultants together for a planning meeting?"    

Answer -- A palpable level of energy, and a drive to accomplish something of value. 

Several months ago, a National Board member, Jack Veale, sought to bring CMCs together for a planning meeting, and on March 30 - April 1, 25 CMCs got together help realize the vision of strengthening the CMC community. 

The day and one-half planning session, in Orlando, Florida, was facilitated by Jack and designed to provide not only information about the CMC value proposition, but also movement toward planning for a future series of CMC meetings.  

Most of the energy in the room was centered around discussions regarding the CMC value, what it means and how its brand promise can be further honed.  The participants, all CMCs, primarily focused their discussion on (a) ideas to improve and market the CMC, (b) using the CMC to get new clients and open new markets, (c) ensuring that the CMC is known as a differentiator in the marketplace.  There were breakout sessions designed to 'flesh-out' these, and other ideas.  The information developed on the CMC brand is being used by the national Marketing Committee which has the responsibility for further our brand and marketing efforts.  

Another portion of the planning meeting was designed to explore the next steps to a creating a larger (perhaps 75 - 100 participants) event in the Fall, perhaps in the Chicago area.  

A final output was spontaneously developed by the CMCs: there was genuine interest in establishing a CMC Community, using the IMC USA website capabilities to bring experienced consultants together, further strengthening their bonds and sense of connectivity.   

Thanks go to Jack Veale for kicking off this idea and starting a sustainable towards community and branding.  Thanks also go to the 25 CMCs who gave up their time away from their practices to participate in this planning effort.   

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Education, Visibility and Protecting the Brand, and International Initiatives

Posted By Drumm McNaughton FIMC, Friday, January 28, 2011
In my previous blog I shared some of our successes in communicating our value proposition to the consulting community which raises the value of our membership and certification.  Today I will share several more successes we've had over the past months.  

Member Education

Being the founder of the Academy for Professional Development when Baldwin Tom CMC® was the Chair of IMCUSA, member education is one of the things that is near and dear to my heart.  Don Scellato, and Diane Borhani and her Academy team, have worked hard to round out the educational offerings we have to help our members raise their "game" to the next level, and many kudos for this go to them for their efforts.  Some of the things we've instituted / improved upon in the past couple of years include:
Education Outreach to the Profession

The excellent reputation of our educational offerings is getting out, and it resulted in our offering our Essentials course last year to a mid-size consultancy.  This was done in a 3-day face-to-face session in the DC area, and following the training, four of their consultants successfully completed the certification process and were awarded their CMC®!

Raising the Visibility of IMC and the CMC®

In a previous blog I discussed our earning ISO 17024:2003 certification for our CMC® certification process.  We celebrated that achievement with a national PR campaign, and received recognition from multiple sources, both print and web. 
  • As part of that, we had designated "media spokespeople" across the country who reached out to help get more publicity and raise the visibility of the CMC®

Protecting the Brand

Having an outstanding brand such as the CMC®­ isn't enough - we need to take steps to protect it.  Among the things we have done over the past year is:
  • Pursued registration of the Certified Management Consultant™ certification with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office). 
    • As you may recall, we registered the CMC® in 2002 with the USPTO, and thus can use the ® with the CMC. 
    • Our petition for registering Certified Management Consultant™ has been favorably received by the USPTO, and we expect to have it registered early this year.  As such, we will be able to use the ® with it as we do with the CMC®.
  • Trademarked the CMC Firm™ and Certified Management Consulting Firm™ certifications.
International Presence

Many of our consultants work internationally, and for them, their CMC® is recognized in 48 countries across the globe through our affiliation with the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI). 

Some of you know that I am the Lead Trustee to ICMCI, and I have been working hard on the international level to raise IMC USA's stature as a leader in the global consulting community. 

In September, Clint Burdett and I attended the ICMCI Annual Meeting in Jordan, which was attended by representatives from over 40 member institutes / countries.  Many important issues were discussed there that have bearing on us as an Institute and you as consultants.  Some of those included:
  • IMC USA's CMC Firm™ certification has been adopted as one of the five strategic initiatives for ICMCI.
    • At the Jordan Meeting, I presented our CMC Firm™ process and standards which were well received by the over 40 countries in attendance. 
    • A task force has finalized the recognition of this, and I anticipate it be adopted globally in the next few months.
  • IMC USA has also taken a lead role in the ISO accreditation process, with Clint Burdett driving key initiative.  This involvement with the key players in the certification world further enhances IMC USA's standing as the standard bearer for consulting in the USA.
  • As part of our responsibilities to the global consulting community, we are helping consultants from other countries become certified, nurturing developing institutes, and training their leadership in the establishment and running of a quality certification program.
    • While in Jordan, Clint and I conducted certification panes for seven consultants from Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic with Nick Shepherd, the former National Certification Chair for the Canadian Association of Management Consultants, as well as conducted assessor training for the new institutes.
As you can see, we were very busy last year and over the past few years, but yet there is still more to be done.  In my next blog I will present some of our plans for 2011 and beyond.

Yours in consulting,

Drumm McNaughton, Ph.D., CMC®
Chair and CEO

Tags:  Academy for Professional Development  Baldwin Tom  Clint Burdett  CMC-Canada  Consultapalooza  Diane Borhani  Drumm McNaughton  Geoff Guilfoy  ICMCI  International Council of Management Consulting Ins  ISO  Kathie Nelson  Manola Robison  Nick Shepherd 

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Increasing Value and Growing Membership

Posted By Drumm McNaughton FIMC, Tuesday, January 11, 2011
In my previous blog post, I set the stage of sharing of our accomplishments.  In this post, I will discuss Increasing Value and Growing Membership.  

Of paramount importance is increasing the Value Proposition and well-being of our organization and, in this regard we:  
  • Earned ISO 17024 certification for our CMC® certification process, thus getting global recognition through meeting ISO standards
  • Focused on federal procurement officers for CMC® recognition for contracts / preferential treatment as a way to raise the visibility of certification 
    • We’ve had some success – there are four government agencies from whom we have seen CMC preferred / only RFPs, but more needs to be done
  • Created an affinity program for preferential insurance rates through Aon Insurance which gives "Best in Class” rates for CMC certification for E&O insurance. 
    • A member received a quote which was $1,200 as compared to $3,500 for a quote from another insurer - this would pay for six years of CMC certification fees!!!
    • Whereas this may not be typical for all as it is based on the experience of the consultant, we certainly are seeing that there is a financial benefit to being certified.
  • Conducted focus groups with clients of consulting services and have purchasing authority for consulting projects.  They told us:
    • The CMC® is a differentiator for consultants
    • Many expected the CMC® to help streamline their procurement process
    • Said they would give it preference in hiring CMC® consultants
    • CMCs can charge more for their services
We have also done much in the way of growing membership, and set the stage for continued growth.  We:
  • Created the Certified Management Consulting Firm™ (CMC Firm™) certification for medium and large firms based on the Accredited Consulting Practice scheme from Europe
  • Attended multiple programs from Kennedy and AMCF, and have spoken with a number of leaders of firms to educate them on who IMC is and how our consultants can help their businesses
  • Contacted many of the top 10 of the consulting industry to discuss with them about membership in IMC and their getting themselves / their consultants certified. 
    • Many firms have expressed interest, and we are moving those discussions to the next level.
As I trust you can see, we have improved the Value Proposition and better positioned IMC for future growth.   Stay tuned, more to follow in a couple days.  

Yours in consulting,

Drumm McNaughton, Ph.D., CMC®
Chair and CEO

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Happy New Year

Posted By Drumm McNaughton FIMC, Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Happy New Year!!!  I for one am happy to see 2011 in - it has been a challenging year for many of our members – but at the same time, many have done well and continue to see the economy and consulting opportunities grow.  

In looking back to 2010, we saw the beginnings of a turnaround in the consulting profession.  I have attended talks by Kennedy Information over the past year, and they are consistent in saying that growth is beginning again, but that it will be slow and that clients will be looking much more critically at what they are paying for consulting and how projects will be run. 
 
As for IMC, we continue to make strong, steady progress in growing membership and making IMC and the CMC representative of the consulting profession.  For those of you who attended Confab, you heard me talk about the many things we have accomplished in IMC over the past year in an effort to provide more value for your membership and certification.  I won't repeat them all, but here are just a few that I mentioned.  

We have focused on:
  • Increasing Value for CMC®s and Certification
  • Growing Membership
  • Providing Education Opportunities for Members
  • Raising the Visibility of IMC and CMC®
  • Protecting the Brand
  • Increasing our International Presence  

It has been a busy and productive year, and 2011 looks even better.  Stayed tuned for more details about our accomplishments of 2010 and our plans for 2011 in future blogs.  

Yours in consulting,

Drumm McNaughton, PhD, CMC®
Chair and CEO

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Leadership Succession and IMC USA Next Chair

Posted By Drumm McNaughton FIMC, Monday, December 13, 2010
I am pleased to announce that David T. Norman CMC® has been selected to be the next Chair of IMC USA, and will step into that role in May of 2011.  

Norman is founder and President of David Norman & Associates, a consulting firm offering results-oriented operations and general management consulting services to small and mid-sized companies, non-profit organizations, and governmental agencies.    In his nearly 37 years of consulting experience, Norman has helped owners/executives of a wide variety of organizations develop long-range and strategic plans, assisted with succession issues and improved profitability.  He has served as Interim Executive Director at several not-for-profits and has assisted troubled organizations with improving operations, strengthening management and increasing profitability.  Norman is also Chair of a Charlotte Vistage group.  Vistage International is the world’s leading CEO membership organization.  

David brings broad experience in IMC USA to the Chair position.  He has been the Chapter President of the Carolina's Chapter, as well as their Certification Chair.  On the National level, he has been a Board member for 3 years, serving as the VP for Membership, VP for Marketing, and Chair of the Finance Committee, and has been my right hand man for much of that time. 

He holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a CMC® and Certified Business Manager (CBM).  He has published a wide variety of reports on technology and productivity; articles for magazines and newsletters on sales compensation, costing, creative problem solving and increasing profitability; and three books on costing, pricing and cost control.  Norman is an adjunct Professor at McColl School of Business at Queens University and at Pfeiffer University. 

I have been honored to serve as your Chair for nearly 3 years, and I know that when I hand the reins over to David in May 2011, that he is exactly the right person to take over as Chair.  He brings strong passion to the position, a belief that we are heading in the right direction, and the skills and drive to ensure that we are successful.  I look forward to work with him in my capacity as Immediate Past Chair and Lead Trustee to ICMCI. 

Please join me in congratulating David!!!

Yours in consulting,

Drumm McNaughton PhD, CMC®
Chair and CEO

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Catching up and Confab . . .

Posted By Drumm McNaughton FIMC, Thursday, November 18, 2010
It has been a very busy 2 months, and am glad that the holidays are coming up for a break from the travel (and so I can get caught up on work). 

Over the past few months I’ve been on the road 40 of the last 60 days, starting with a 10-day trip to Jordan for the ICMCI Annual Meeting, Hawaii for vacation (our first in 2 1/2 years), Confab, and a whirlwind trip of the East coast for IMC- and consulting industry-related meetings in NYC, and chapter meetings with the Carolinas and NE Chapters.  It is amazing my wife still knows what I look like!

Confab.  We had a great Confab this year.  The program was superb, the food good, and the networking better than ever.  Hat's off to the Confab Committee for a great conference. 

Your Confab Committee this year was led by Michael Shays CMC FIMC, and the team made up of Joan Beavin CMC, Jennifer Beever CMC, Jane Black, Norm Eckstein CMC FIMC, Alice Heiman, John Newman, Dick Pinsker CMC FIMC, Don Scellato CMC, Cherryll Sevy CMC, and Doug Zogby.  Thanks everyone, for a great conference!!!

Awards.  We had a number of people recognized for their service to the Institute at Confab; they were:

Sarah Layton - Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants USA
Clint Burdett - Distinguished Service Award for the ISO 17024 certification
Don Scellato - Distinguished Service Award for the ISO 17024 certification
David Norman - Distinguished Service Award for his leadership in developing new IMC bylaws
Drumm McNaughton - Distinguished Service Award for leadership of IMC USA

My congratulations to all of the awardees, and thank you for your service to IMC and the consulting profession.

I will be blogging more often to keep you better informed.  Pls do read these, as this is where we will put out information that will help you informed about what is going on in YOUR Institute, and how we can help you to become better consultants and grow your businesses.

Yours in consulting,
Drumm

Tags:  Alice Heiman  Cherryll Sevy  Clint Burdett  David Norman  Dick Pinsker  Don Scellato  Doug Zogby  Drumm McNaughton  Jane Black  Jennifer Beever  Joan Beavin  John Newman  Michael Shays  Norm Eckstein  Sarah Layton 

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Response to the Huffington Post

Posted By Drumm McNaughton FIMC, Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I read with interest the article from August 20 in the Huffington Post about management consultants (I would encourage all to read The Great Management Consultancy Scam). While the article focused on downsizing recommendations by consultants, it was quite critical of the profession.

In a few short days, the article has touched off quite the firestorm of discussion regarding the profession. Indeed, a reading of the comments posted following the article shows the authors of the comments to be polarized, either very critical or very supportive of management consultants and the profession.

I have reflected on this article for several days and am reminded of the quote (usually attributed to the comedian George Carlin), something like, "Somewhere in the world there is the worst doctor, and people are lined up to see him." Every profession, from doctors to management consultants, has a range of competencies and capabilities -- from the worst to the best with most practitioners in-between the extremes. However, there is a tool out there that can help clients separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak, the Certified Management Consultant™ (CMC®) certification issued by the Institute of Management Consultants USA.

The CMC® certification is the Gold Standard that executives should take into account when selecting a management consultant. Recognized in 47 nations across the globe including the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, China, and many others, CMC®s are recognized as experts in their profession; the Mark represents their achieving highest global standards of competency, professionalism and ethical practices as a professional consultant.

The earning of the CMC® by a management consultant is no trivial matter; it can be likened to an attorney passing the Bar examination, an accountant receiving a CPA, or an engineer obtaining their PE license. A candidate must submit to the most rigorous vetting process in the profession which includes receiving multiple positive client satisfaction surveys, taking in-depth examinations covering consulting competencies and ethics, and sitting for an exhaustive panel interview by senior CMC®s.

Clients can be confident that the consultant who has earned the CMC® certification has a history of excellent performance in delivering results to clients; has met world-class standards of competence, ethics, and client satisfaction; and has maintained this level of professionalism through continuing education and periodic certification renewal.

IMC USA is about professionalism, consulting competency and ethics. From professional educational opportunities through the Academy, to our annual conference Confab (coming up in October), to thought-leadership teleseminars of Consultapalooza, to a rigorous Code of Ethics with its enforcement procedures, to the local Chapter meetings and online Communities of Practice, and through its CMC® certification, IMC USA differentiates its members as the best of the best.

Which brings me to the newest news and one more reason for my optimism. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a worldwide federation of national standards bodies, has now accredited our certification process (this prestigious recognition is known as ISO/IEC 17024:2003).This globally accepted accreditation further emphasizes the higher professional standards and ethics that IMC USA s as the benchmark for its certification process and the Certified Management Consultant™ (CMC®) credential.

How will this help you? Think differentiation. Just as ISO 9000 established the global standard for providing quality management systems, ISO’s accreditation of our certifying process will provide assurance about the quality of management consulting, and enhance client satisfaction in the process.

I feel badly for those folks who have had unsatisfactory experiences with consultants, but I suspect they were working with consultants who were not certified. If you want to ensure you get the results you expect (i.e., what you are pay for), require your consultants have the CMC® - the highest global standard for professionalism, consulting competency and ethics of the profession.

To download a copy of IMC's brochure "How to Hire a Management Consultant and Get the Results You Expect," please click here.  


To

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Chapter Leadership Summit 2010

Posted By Drumm McNaughton FIMC, Monday, June 14, 2010

It is time to catch up on my blogging. Loraine Kasprzak has the patience of Job – a full time marketing consulting business, family with two children, and has to put up with my delays on getting out great information. Thank you, Loraine, for all you do for IMC USA – it and you are greatly appreciated.

We held our annual Chapter Leadership Summit in Chicago May 6-7, and it was attended by representatives of 17 of our 21 chapters!!! The networking and presentations were excellent, and all who attended said that it was well worth their time and money.

We attempted to do something different at this CLS. In past Summits, we have focused on IMC – IMC – IMC.  However, this year we wanted attendees to be able to take away things that would both be beneficial to both their chapters AND to their consulting businesses. We also brought in a couple of outside speakers, experts in their areas, to ensure that the information was useful and relevant to attendees.

We kicked the summit with Tom Rodenhauser of Kennedy Information, who gave us a great report on the state of the consulting industry. This was a reprisal of the "State of the Industry” talk that was given the day before at the Kennedy’s Consulting Magazine’s Consulting Summit (an excellent program– and well attended by IMC members).

Tom was followed by Alex Zabrosky, IMC USA’s Corporate Counsel, who discussed Legal Issues for Chapter Governance. As always, Alex’s presentation was enlightening and thought provoking, and exposed many chapter leaders to some of the issues that we at "national” deal with on a daily basis, e.g., the Duties of Care, Attention, Loyalty, and Informed Decision-Making, as well as Conflict of Interest. His presentation initiated a number of questions, and all walked away with a greater understanding and appreciation of how the Institute works (and should work) to ensure its stability and continued success. Following Alex was Gail McCauley (Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer) who gave a presentation on how IMC is staffed by SmithBucklin..

First up after lunch was Don Scellato who gave us a great presentation on the ISO 17024 certification and its benefits to IMC and our members; followed by Loraine Kasprzak who talked about leveraging the CMC in a consultant’s business. She also discussed social media and how consultants can - and should - include it in their marketing strategy. Wrapping up the day was Sarah Layton, who walked us through a Blue Ocean Strategy session. (Sarah’s Blue Ocean article is our lead story in June’s Connector. Read it: it just may change how you think about your own consulting practice.)

On Day 2, we kicked off with Mark Thorsby from SmithBucklin, who is an expert in governance, leadership development and strategic thinking, and is trained in theory and experienced in guiding leaders of non-profit organizations. Mark spoke on the importance of leadership, and how it is the differentiating factor for chapters. Following him was a lively Q&A session with many of the IMC USA Board members and offices, including yours truly, David Norman, Loraine Huchler, Judith Light, and Gail McCauley. Closing out the program, Judith Light was introduced as the new Chair of the Chapter Presidents Council, and she led the group in a "envisioning the future” exercise which was well received by all.

This CLS also marked the end of an era - Loraine Huchler, the "Queen of the CPC," stepped down after 5 years of dedicated and loyal service. Loraine has done a tremendous job as the Chair – not only has she transformed the Chair position into a very meaningful role, she has helped to transform the CPC into a strong, cohesive group who "have each others’ back.” For her efforts, Loraine was awarded a Distinguished Service Award.

Loraine, thank you for all your work over the years. You have been one of my closest advisors, and I will miss your advice and counsel.

Allow me to introduce Judith Light who is our new Chair of the CPC. For those of you who don’t know Judith, she is a fabulous leader and consultant. She is a Fellow of the Institute; served on the IMC Board in the last ‘90s and early ‘00s; served as Chapter President and Certification Chair (Colorado Chapter), and has led and/or been on multiple committees over the years including Recognition and Awards (Chair), Nominating (Chair), Certification, and Confab. She brings a wealth of experience and ideas to the CPC, and has already connected with all the Chapter Presidents to find out what is on their minds. I know that she will do a great job for us, just as Loraine did. Judith, welcome, and I look forward to working with you.

I left the Chapter Leadership Summit energized for IMC and, based on the feedback I received, Chapter leaders did too.

Yours in consulting,

Drumm McNaughton, Ph.D., CMC

Chair and CEO

Tags:  Alez Zabrosky  Don Scellato  Judith Light  Loraine Huchle  Loraine Kasprzak 

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Flash Opportunities and the New Website

Posted By Drumm McNaughton FIMC, Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Each month I get emails from members with ideas, suggestions, questions, etc., on how to better leverage IMC benefits and our members’ experience (e.g., Gayle Carson / David Goldsmith, which led to the biweekly Consultapalooza interview series – and yes, I answer all member emails personally!). Recently, I received one to which I wanted to respond publicly.

The question: "What happened to ‘Flash Opportunities’?”

For those who don’t remember, every Friday, IMC members received an email ("Flash Opportunities”) with consulting opportunities we had received during the week (we generally received 3-5 requests by phone or email every month). These were sent to all members and members did get consulting engagements through this route. However, this particular member hadn’t seen any for about a year and a half, and thought we had done away with that member benefit.

Nay nay, my friend!!! Flash Opportunities are alive and well – they just "grew up,” i.e., got automated, so you can get them quicker and specify the types of opportunities you want to receive. Here’s how the new process works.

A client contacts IMC, either through the website or calling / emailing the office. We capture the details about the engagement and the expertise for which they are looking, i.e., CMC, technical and industry expertise, etc. The information is posted in the Consulting Opportunities section of the IMC site, then automatically sent to those consultants who are registered to receive the type of opportunity. We still hear from members about getting consulting engagements with clients that posted their needs with IMC.

This whole process is automated but you must opt in to receive these notices.

Here is how you subscribe:

  1. Go to your personal profile, and look on the right side of page in the menus. Click on "Manage Profile”
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the list under "Networking and Careers” and click on "Career Postings”
  3. Under "My Posted Opportunities,” click on "Subscribe.” That will pull up the menu of all the different types of opportunities to which you can subscribe
  4. Check the boxes for those disciplines or industries for which you want to receive notices of opportunities, and then click "Save My Preferences”

However, even subscribers may not always receive opportunities, for several reasons:

First, emails are sent from office@imcusa.org and, unless you have white listed "office@imcusa.org,” they may be flagged in spam filters or junk mail folders (or you may delete these without reading them). The moral of the story – read at least the first couple of lines from your emails before you delete them!

Second, you may not be subscribed for all the categories in which you are qualified. Double check the category settings you have for opportunities – you may be too restrictive. Also, be sure to check these from time to time, whenever you update your IMC bio. Your expertise changes as does the market, and what worked a year ago isn’t what you can do or what is needed by clients now.

By the way, IMC also has an agreement with North Highland Consulting for them to preferentially use our CMC members. They will identify needs for consultants and post them in the Consulting Opportunities section of our website. If you are subscribed as described above, then you will be notified of these opportunities.

While you are at the website, be sure to subscribe to the Chair Blog (left menu under "Blogs.” This is how I send out information on new benefits for members and news you can use. Other IMC blogs include Daily Tips for Consultants, Website Features and Consulting Humor (feel free to contribute to this last one).

If there are other things that you want to know about via the Blog, let me know via email (drumm@imcusa.org) or call me (760-723-0022).

Yours in consulting,

Drumm McNaughton, Ph.D., CMC

Chair and CEO

Tags:  Flash Opportunities  Mark Haas  website 

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Consulting in a Down Economy

Posted By Drumm McNaughton FIMC, Monday, March 8, 2010
Good morning!

This blog is brought to you from "rainy" Southern California, specifically Fallbrook, CA. Sitting in my office this morning, I look out over our avocado grove and am feeling fortunate - I don't have to turn on the sprinklers for a while as we've had significant rains this year. As you might know, Southern California has been under drought conditions for a few years, and this year we've exceeded the "usual" rain count by quite a bit. Thank heavens for small favors...

We are in the renewal season for IMC membership, and we are doing well. Not surprisingly, the number one reason for members not renewing has been the economy, and because of that we've offered a number of members "payment plans" to continue their membership which have been accepted. I wish no one had to ask for these, but most people whose crystal balls I believe tell me that in the middle to latter part of the year things will be back to more like normal. This is good news, as it has been a long "drought" for many of our members.

If you are in this boat, i.e., you would like a payment plan so you can continue your membership. please contact Gail McCauley at gail@imcusa or (202) 367-1261.

Which brings me to my topic for today, getting business in down times. For many, this has been a challenging year - I know of many long term members who have been hit particularly hard. But it hasn't been all bad - I have had a large number of members tell me it is their best year in a long time.

What I've come to learn through this is that in down times, we sometimes have to go outside of our sweet spots and reinvent ourselves. That is where I see the power of IMC and our community. Over the years, those of us who have been successful have taken advantages of down times to reinvent ourselves, and to do so we frequently call upon our IMC network to help us think through the details.  Mark Haas and I have that type of relationship - it is more the norm than the exception that we bounce new ideas off of one another for business. This for me is the value of my membership.

Many people tell me that they joined IMC to get more business, but that it didn't work out that way for them.  When they tell me this, I generally ask them what have they done to get known among their peers, and they generally say they come to meetings.  I then ask them would they put their business reputation on the line with their clients by referring business to people they really don't know that well, and they say, "of course not."

Therein lies the conundrum. Most people expect others to refer business to them, but do little to make themselves known and trusted so that they receive referrals.

We all want referrals - Alan Weiss calls them "it is the coin of the realm" - but we don't get ourselves known well enough, i.e., help people see what we are capable of and that we are trustworthy, so that we can get them.  I have made it known that I don't refer business to people unless they are a CMC®, because their holding the CMC® tells me that they are invested in their business and IMC enough to go through the certification process, and that when I refer them to someone they have the results, experience and ethics that I value as a consultant.  Yes, I have to know them, but without the CMC® I don't refer them business.

Bottom line, get involved on a national or chapter level - and through that you will begin to build the relationships necessary to make IMC a referral machine for your business.

One last thing - next week we begin the ISO 17024 certification visits to get our CMC® certification process certified by ISO and IAF. When we are granted that certification, I will let everyone know via email and the blog.

Yours in consulting,
Drumm

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