The 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).
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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®)
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
youget the results you expect (i.e., what you are pay for), require your consultants have the CMC® - thehighest global standard for professionalism, consulting competency and ethics
of the profession.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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. Theinformation
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:
Go to your personal profile, and look on the
right side of page in the menus. Click
on "Manage Profile”
Scroll to the bottom of the list under
"Networking and Careers” and click on "Career Postings”
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
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 email@example.com and, unless you have
white listed "firstname.lastname@example.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 (email@example.com) or call me
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)
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
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
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?
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.
Accreditation. We will undergo the 17024 ISO certification accreditation
process for our certification in mid-March.
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.
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.
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);
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.
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.
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.”
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
If you want to talk about these things, pls feel free to give me a call at (760) 723-0022 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy holidays to you and yours, Drumm McNaughton, Ph.D., CMC