As part of its celebration of Management Consultants Month in June, CICMC (Caribbean Institute of Certified Management Consultants) in collaboration with Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE) and the Office of the National Authorizing Officer (Digecoom) hosted the 3rd Management Consulting Business Symposium in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic from June 28 – July 1.
Santo Domingo, the most populous city in the Caribbean, was a gracious host as over 80 delegates from the entire Caribbean region assembled at the Renaissance Jaragua Hotel, for the common goal of shaping the future and direction of management consultancy in the Caribbean.
The annual conference and training event is the Caribbean’s premier management consultancy event for industry professionals, funding agencies and regional and national associations. This year CICMC together with Caribbean Export delivered an event that will be remembered and which has been billed as the best to date.
The conference whose central theme was “Competitiveness: Management Consultancy as a Catalyst for Change” sought to address some of the most pressing challenges being faced by the industry, and also highlighted opportunities for industry development. This was achieved by enlisting a range of regional and international experts to examine the development of a vibrant management consulting industry.
This year’s objectives were as follows:
- to discuss global trends in standards and certification, toward the development of a regional regulatory framework for the management consulting industry;
- to review actions taken to implement the strategic plan for the industry and identify the necessary adjustments going forward;
- to examine the TAM-BAS industry development model used in Eastern Europe and identify its applicability to the Region;
- to provide training in areas necessary for certification; namely, proposal writing, pricing of services and the preparation of engagement summaries to enhance the competitiveness of industry participants;
- to identify opportunities for management consultants under the CARIFORUM-EU EPA and formulate strategies for exploiting them
The keynote address at the opening ceremony was delivered by His Excellency, Dr. Domingo Jimenez, Secretary of State and National Authorizing Officer for the EDF, Directorate General of Multilateral Cooperation. He congratulated CICMC for being at the forefront of driving consulting standards and development and for recognizing the role of industry professionals in enhancing competitiveness in their various countries.
CICMC prides itself on bridging the gap and developing relationships between all stakeholders in the management consulting industry and the many panel discussions and presentations were the ideal forum to facilitate such interchanges and robust discussions. The extremely positive results can be summarized as follows:
- Over 80 attendees from 16 countries, coming from the Caribbean (Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Martinique, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago) as well as from Austria and Germany;
- There were approximately 30 other speakers and presenters including heads/representatives of international and regional funding agencies, heads of regional and national organizations, the vice chair of ICMCI, university professors/directors/principals and trade policy specialists, as well as CICMC directors and CICMC members.
- Dr. Ilse Ennsfellner, CMC, Vice Chair ICMCI provided a global perspective on the CMC designation and value of the profession to local/regional economies; as well as a background to the CEN standard, its status and the implications for the regional management consulting industry.
- The three newest CMCs who received their designation in the past year were recognized, and received their ICMCI certificates and CMC pins from Dr. Ennsfellner.
New CMC Vasantha Chase being pinned by ICMCI Vice Chair Ilse Ennsfellner
- Brenda Pope, CMC, CICMC President, and Dennis Strong ,CMC, Immediate Past President, presented on CICMC: A Success Story in the Caribbean including a status report on CICMC from its inception to date;
- Anthony Bradshaw, Chief Operating Officer , provided an update on the role of Caribbean Export and specific expectations from the symposium;
- Representatives from a number of the chapters and prospective chapters provided a review of the status of the implementation plan for the industry via their national experience.
- One of the most critical sessions which elicited much heated discourse was the panel (including a CARICOM Secretariat representative) which discussed utilizing standards and certification to enhance competitiveness of regional MCs, and included an update on the registration and licensing of the CMC in the CSME;
- Another panel looked at fostering the development of an enabling environment, followed by a stimulating dialogue on enhancing competiveness through strategic alliances with representatives from GIZ, UNIBE, a Danish firm with many joint ventures in the Caribbean and an International consultant.
- The presenters for the panel discussion on identifying and exploiting opportunities for MC under CARIFORM-EU EPA included trade policy and EPA specialists from CARICOM Secretariat and Caribbean Export as well as from the DR Chamber of Commerce.
- The final panel discussion looked at the critical area of revenue generation in enabling the creation of business opportunities, with an international and regional slate of experts providing valuable insights and perspectives.
- The CICMC AGM was also held on the 2nd day with over 40 members present, and a new slate of directors (all CMCs) was installed;
- In addition, over 30 persons completed the two-day special post-conference training workshops on proposal writing and pricing services as well as the critical aspects of engagement summary preparation.
- Bahamas, Barbados and St. Lucia have now joined Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica in commencing the process of establishing national chapters;
Participants in plenary working sessions
The CICMC conference would not be complete without the networking events which facilitate business networking in a relaxed, social atmosphere. Each evening, participants mingled and shared cross-cultural and regional experience and challenges. Many forged closer linkages and agreed to pursue collaboration and cooperation.
One evening some of the more lively attendees also took in the sights and sounds of the famed “Colonial Zone” cultural district, visiting and enjoying flavours of food and jazz. Indeed one of our own wowed the audience with his effortless piano playing.
While gratitude must be extended to the primary sponsor Caribbean Export, along with UNIBE and Digecoom, the event would not have been successful without the help of other funders such as European Union and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).