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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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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 and, unless you have white listed ",” 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 ( 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,

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Building IMC Relationships to Help Your Business

Posted By Drumm McNaughton FIMC, Saturday, January 30, 2010
Updated: Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy 2010! The year is off to a grand start - I have heard from many of you who have told me that your 2010 is showing many signs of the economy improving - one person  I know is booking clients into May, and I am booking out a few months (nice to be able to spell client again!). However, many of our colleagues are not yet seeing signs of the economic upturn, and are retooling their businesses, focusing on new markets, and building new relationships (which is the focus for this blog).

Many of you have heard me speak that for the last 5 years, most of my business has come from IMC members. For instance, last week I received an e-mail from a member in Pennsylvania referring me to a potential client who is looking for team building and improving employee communications. Yes, because of my position I am known, but it has come from working hard for the Institute, volunteering in multiple roles, and getting myself known as a "go to" person who can make them look good with their referrals - NOT because I am Chair.  Each of you can do that by volunteering at the local and/or national level -- which we know is relationship marketing.

Let's face it - ours is a relationship business.  We network and form relationships with buyers of consulting services to get hired by them, or we volunteer at our local Chambers of Commerce and other organizations to develop referral sources, but many of us don’t think about IMC in that same way. In fact, it is almost the opposite. In the past, many people joined IMC with the expectation that they would "get business," and when they didn't, they were disappointed and resigned their membership. They forgot one of the "laws of the universe" is you must give to get.

Question. Do you refer business to someone you don't know?  NO!  Why would I or anyone else put our reputation on the line with someone we don't know. However, can you get to know someone by volunteering on chapter boards and other committees? ABSOLUTELY!  This is the way to become a magnet for referrals.

Maybe I'm altruistic, but I never volunteered in IMC with the thought of what I could get out of it. However, that is exactly what has happened -- I have established and nurtured relationships which have blossomed into excellent referrals.  For instance, Mark Haas and I have teamed on multiple proposals; when I have a question, he and I discuss it (which frequently become the subject of one of his "Daily Tips" :) ). In a sense, Mark and I have formed a "virtual partnership" which has been nurtured over the last 6 years I have served on the Institute's Board of Directors.  Mark refers business to me that he doesn't want, and vice versa.  This is one of the benefits for serving at the chapter or national level.

One of my fundamental beliefs is that members should benefit from serving at chapters, in skill development, advice and referrals. Take for instance the upcoming Chapter Leadership Summit in Chicago May 6-7.  We are planning a number of sessions which will benefit attendees in both running their chapter AND running their business. Without going into details because the agenda is not set, we are hoping to have a "prominent someone" talk about the state of the consulting industry, Bette Price talk on how to leverage media for publicity for yourselves and your chapters, and a well know speaker talk about the importance of leadership in chapters and our own businesses.  As you can see, we want serving in chapters to be a win-win proposition – one which helps IMC, our members, and YOU as chapter leadership.

So, let us modify John F. Kennedy’s famous line from his inauguration speech, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country"; instead, we suggest the following:

"Let us ask what we can do to help one another, and watch us both grow and thrive.”

Take time to volunteer for your local chapter or on one of the national committees.  It will help IMC and be an excellent experience for you, and most importantly, will help you develop your leadership / technical (business) skills, and network you in ways that will get you known and get you more business.  After all, isn't that the biggest reason why we join a professional association?


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Looking forward to 2010

Posted By Drumm McNaughton FIMC, Friday, December 18, 2009

In my last blog I talked about 2009, and the many great things that happened.  Now I would like to take a few minutes to tell you about some of the things that we currently are doing and will be starting in 2010.  The list, where it is not inclusive, is representative of how IMC is growing and will continue to do so, and where we are going.

  • ISO 17024 Accreditation. We will undergo the 17024 ISO certification accreditation process for our certification in mid-March.
    • This will give us / our certification process recognition by ANSI, the American National Standards Institute, which is a member of the International Accreditation Forum and ISO. This will raise the visibility of the CMC with the US government, as well as with companies / managers who hire consultants.
  • Government Relations. In 2010 we will begin an aggressive government relations campaign to raise visibility of the CMC to further their using CMCs for consulting projects. PMI did this a few years back with the PMP, and we feel that the CMC is due this same level of recognition.
    • Already, several countries give preference in hiring CMCs or having CMCs on the project team (UK, Canada and Austria, for example), and UAE and other countries currently or will be requiring consultants practicing in their countries be CMCs. It is time that we did the same here in the US (and we are working to get it done);
  • Consulting Standards. The EU, through a committee on standards, is creating a standard for management consultants for 2011 which is based on the CMC certification; this will become an ISO standard in 2011.
    • This standard will be coming to the US through the ISO recognition in 2012, and IMC USA and our CMCs are and will be well positioned to take advantage of this.
  • Protecting the IMC / CMC® Brand. Some time ago we registered the CMC® through the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and are in the process of doing the same for "Certified Management Consultant.”
    • This will both raise the visibility and protect our brand in the marketplace.

And this is just the short list. The visibility, and thus marketability, of IMC and the CMC is increasing and will continue to increase, and while many of them are not for general dissemination due to the sensitively of the initiative, there is much happening.

If you want to talk about these things, pls feel free to give me a call at (760) 723-0022 or email me at 

Happy holidays to you and yours,
Drumm McNaughton, Ph.D., CMC

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Looking Back at 2009

Posted By Drumm McNaughton FIMC, Thursday, December 17, 2009
Updated: Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 has been a good year for IMC.  Not only have we grown as an organization, we have expanded our visibility and many of our services over the past year. Through an aggressive media effort we have received increasing awareness of IMC and your valuable CMC®. We unveiled our new website (ranked #1 by Google for "management consultant”), and through it members have access to a rich network of professionals such as yourself and the many unique programs that provide enormous value to help you grow your business. We are also in the early development of Virtual Communities of Practice, and our first Virtual Chapter was granted its Charter in October at Confab.

Specifically, some of the things we've done in 2009 include:

  • Mentions in the Press. We’ve had great mentions in Wall Street Journal, CBS MoneyWatch, Atlanta Business Journal, San Diego Business Journal,, Kennedy Information and others, all publicizing the CMC and raising the visibility of IMC and the CMC.
  • Established Strategic Alliances to Help Members Get Consulting Assignments. We have established a strategic alliance with North Highland Consulting in which they will use CMCs to augment their staff for consulting projects.
  • Helping CMCs Market Themselves. We put together the CMC Toolkit which can be used to help CMCs market themselves more effectively (
  • Consultapalooza. We started Consultapalooza, the twice monthly telecast with the key names in consulting and business, and in 2009 have interviewed people including Peter Block, Jim Keyes (CEO of Blockbuster Video), Mike Bosworth, Jim Rodgers, and others.
    • We have some great interviews planned for 2010; they include Alan Weiss, Mike McLaughlin, Mike Critelli (Former CEO of Pitney Bowes), and Eileen Campbell (CEO of Millward Brown).
  • Certification Process Strengthened. We have strengthened the Certification process, and expanded it to include multiple paths to certification for qualified candidates. This will make certification more accessible for consultants (while not reducing standards).
    • FYI, our certification process has been called "a model for others to emulate” by the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes.
  • Improving the Competency Framework. The CMC Competency Framework has been greatly improved (see and is a standard for other IMCs across the globe.
  • Improved Educational Opportunities for Members. Clients require we learn and stay ahead of them – they want the latest and best from us. Because of this, we have improved the Academy, and have more offerings for both new and experienced consultants to help  members improve their game.
  • Improved Member Communications. We have improved (and are still improving) our monthly newsletter, Connector, to include a Kudos column which recognizes members for service to IMC and their clients. Look for a new format and new content in 2010.
  • New Website (Continues to Receive) Accolades. We put up our new website in January, and while it benefits all members, it is helping our members publicize themselves through blogs, rankings in search engines, etc.
    • The IMC website is ranked in top five for management consultants sites by Google, it is highly interactive, it provides multiple 'communities' to participate in areas of practice, it has enhanced member profile spaces where you can even have a blog, for example, it provides an area for knowledge resources and the 'Find a Consultant' section is greatly improved and targets CMCs specifically.

As IMC continues to expand our efforts to bring these and other quality resources, we are expanding the visibility of the CMC and IMC in a huge way in 2010. As a CMC you are in differentiable group. Internationally the CMC® and the words "Certified Management Consultant"are becoming recognized standards, and next year it will be recognized by government and industry as THE STANDARD for results, excellence and ethics in consulting.

With that in mind, by now you know we have raised the dues for 2010. This is the first dues increase we’ve had in 10 years, and it is less than $50.

Despite this small raise, it was still a difficult thing we had to do. We’ve been able to hold the line on dues increases despite significant cost of living increases, but for us to continue to offer even better value for membership we had to make this tough decision – one that was not easy in light of current economic conditions, but one that was necessary and approved by your Board of Directors and supported by your Chapter Presidents.

So, thank you for your membership in IMC USA, and please make an investment in yourself and your business by renewing your membership and getting your CMC if you do not have it.  You will be happy that you have when those first advertisements are printed in the Wall Street Journal that tell clients that the IMC members and the CMC is the Certification for consultants which stands for results, excellence and ethics in consulting.

Happy holidays to you and yours,

Drumm McNaughton

Chairman and CEO

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ISO, 17024, and Implications for the CMC

Posted By Drumm McNaughton FIMC, Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I wanted to report on some very positive news that is coming down the line which will raise the awareness of the CMC in the marketplace. For some time now, ICMCI has pursued membership in the International Accreditation Forum (IAF -, the world association of Conformity Assessment Accreditation Bodies and sister organization to ISO. According to IAF’s website, their primary function is to develop a single worldwide program of conformity assessment which reduces risk for business and its customers by assuring them that accredited certificates may be relied upon. Here in the US, both ANSI and ANAB are members.

At the recent ICMCI Congress, delegates voted to become a full member of IAF. So, what does this mean – what are the implications for IMC USA and each of you as consultants?

In previous Letters and in talks to chapters, I spoke of the upcoming global standard for consulting practice which will be based on the CMC. What IAF membership means is that the CMC certification process will be recognized globally outside of ICMCI, including ANSI, which will pave the way for far greater recognition of the CMC in the marketplace, including an ISO standard based on the CMC in the next 2 years.

IMC USA (though ICMCI) will become certified as a 17011 entity, a certification body which is recognized at the international level by national standards bodies such as ANSI, which will result in the CMC certification process being recognized as a 17024 process. This means that we will have official government recognition for the CMC and for those who have achieved Certification. This, coupled with the government relations work we will do beginning next year, will provide far greater value in the marketplace for your CMC.

This has far reaching implications for putting the CMC on the map and creating even more value for your Certification. As I know more I will pass it on, either via the Connector or the Chair Blog, but I am excited about these developments and wanted to pass on what I know to you.

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New Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted By Drumm McNaughton FIMC, Saturday, September 26, 2009
Congratulations to Mickey Rosenau FIMC CMC for receiving the sixth ever Lifetime Achievement Award given in IMC history. The Lifetime Achievement is IMC’s most “exclusive” award, and recognizes a “lifetime of achievement” for IMC, clients, and the profession. Mickey joins five other – Jim Kennedy, Tom Lawrence, Bob Kahn, Michael Shays, and Marsha Lewin – all who we highly revere from the annals of IMC history.

Most of us do not know Mickey – but his service to the Institute and the profession has been magnificent, and he certainly made IMC a better place for many years. Mickey, congratulations, and thank you for your service to IMC and the consulting profession.

Mickey will receive his awards at Confab, and I encourage you to take a moment to meet him and shake his hand – he has done so much for IMC and the profession, and have eons of experience in helping others become better consultants.

Tags:  Bob Kahn  Confab  Drumm McNaughton  Jim Kennedy  Lifetime Achievement Award  Marsha Lewin  Michael Shays  Mickey Rosenau  Tom Lawrence 

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Posted By Drumm McNaughton FIMC, Saturday, September 26, 2009

If you haven't had a chance to listen to Consultapalooza, the most recent Academy professional development offering (which is free to members), you've missed out on some great advice that can help you improve your business. Twice a month, Consultapalooza rock star David Goldsmith interviews the top consultants via telephone and asks them in-depth questions on their strengths and how they got to where they are. Kicking of the series was Mike Bosworth, who many of you know as the author of the bestselling books SolutionSelling and CustomerCentric Selling. Mike gave us some great ideas on how to weave storytelling into the sales process to promote yourself as an expert in your field from his upcoming book. Following Mike we have had Jim Rodgers, Robert Schaffer, Jagdeth Sheth, and Jill Konrath; future speakers include such "consulting dignitaries" as Peter Block, Mike Schultz, Alan Weiss, and Vickie Sullivan.

Consultapalooza interviews can be listened to live or via MP3 download from the Knowledge Resource Library a few days after the interview. To find out more, go up to the IMC website under Professional Learning and Consultapalooza and sign up.

Tags:  Alan Weiss  Consultapalooza  David Goldsmith  Drumm McNaughton  Jagdeth Sheth  Jill Conrad  Jim Rodgers  Knowledge Resource Library  Mike Bosworth  Mike Schultz  Peter Block  Robert Schaffer  Vickie Sullivan 

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IMC's New Website

Posted By Drumm McNaughton FIMC, Saturday, September 26, 2009

If you haven't been up there recently, IMC’s new website rolled out late last year, and it has continued to receive rave reviews. We have completed the initial testing, have improved the marketing copy, and are fully functioning with great new features over the old site.

Let me tell you about some of the great things that we've seen and incorporated into the site.

· First, the IMC USA website continues to be ranked in the top five sites for management consulting / consultants by Google.

· Second, the new website is highly interactive and provides a community for our consultants through communities of practice, improved profiles, and a host of other features through use of Web 2.0 technologies.

· Third, member profiles have been expanded significantly. In addition to having their information searchable by potential clients, members can have individual blogs, upload photos and videos, participate in communities of practice, and other great features.

· Fourth, chapter websites are nested under the IMC website – there are pages already created which can be customized (see Pacific Northwest’s for a great example). There are a lot of advantages for this – it raises chapter website Google ranking, reduces or eliminates chapter costs for maintaining their own website, and with its calendaring and e-commerce functionality, allows registration for chapter events and eliminates most fees for event registration.

· Fifth, Knowledge Resources. This will include back issues of C2M, sample documents, and other things of interest / help to members. I expect that to be up and running within 2 months.

· Last, the "Find a Consultant" functionality has been greatly improved. In fact, as a result of the increased publicity IMC has been getting in the news, we have received an increased number of requests for consultants – since the beginning of April, we have received at least 10 requests, and many of these have specifically requested a CMC.

To be sure to take advantage of the Find a Consultant opportunities, be sure to both register to receive e-mails for the Find a Consultant portion of the website, and have an updated profile.

Here’s why. Many of the Find a Consultant requests are coming directly through the National Office via phone call, and Greg Maciog searches through member profiles to find a potential match for the client. If your profile has not been updated, you may miss out on that perfect opportunity.

Speaking of Mark, my thanks to him and his team which include Ben Griner (PNW), Steve Lipka (NE), Richard Longview (HOU), Chris Lambrecht (GA), and Greg Maciog (National Office) for their great work on the website – it is greatly appreciated.

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Confab is coming!!!

Posted By Drumm McNaughton FIMC, Saturday, September 26, 2009

Confab is coming upon us very quickly (Oct 24-27), and for most of us that means the "annual IMC reunion" in Reno. This year's program promises to be one of the best ever – it kicks off with Alan Weiss as the Opening Keynote on Sunday at noon, and closes with a great program on ethics which I'm sure everyone will enjoy at Tuesday noon. The program feature great speakers such as Gayle Carson, Jim Rodgers, Kathie Nelson, Linda Hanson, Allen Peterson, and many others. By popular demand, the Tech Fair will be held all day on Sunday, and there is a golf outing on Saturday morning. Additionally, for those of you interested in becoming Certified, there is a CMC Certification Workshop being held on Saturday afternoon.

Confab has taken a page from the US Government and is offering its own "stimulus package which will give you a "rebate" of $100 for every first-time Confab member who mentions you as the "referring source" when they sign up for the Conference. This is a great way for someone who may be a bit short of funds to be able to have their conference paid for. For more information on this, go to the Confab website ( and click on the Confab Stimulus Package link, or contact Alice Heiman at

Speaking of Alice, she is looking for a few more hosts for Confab sessions. If you're interested, please contact her at the above e-mail address.

For me, the value of Confab is the networking, and reconnecting with those I haven’t seen for at least a year. Even so, I know that there are many people out there who "refuse" to go to Confab because of the venue and location – I was the same for many years.

However, I would encourage you to give Confab another try. The Silver Legacy has done many things in the past couple of years to improve the environment, including making the hotel smoke-free (except for casinos), training staff, etc. The cost is still very reasonable (where else can you attend a 3 day conference for $595 (early bird), have all your meals included, and pay only $66 per night for your room).

So, if you haven't attended Confab for a few years, or if you’ve never attended before, I strongly suggest you come – you may be very pleasantly surprised as I was last year. Besides that, where else do you have the opportunity to reconnect with so many of our IMC family.

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