Sitting at the establishment table
It is not so usual to hear from top managers or business men, when interviewed by the media, that the success of one of their projects is “also” linked with the value produced by their consultants.
And it is so strange if you consider that it so often happens that professional consultants are “the real key success factor” of each successful project; sometimes they are involved starting from the design phase, then they take care of the promotion of the project to the client and finally they are involved in the implementation phase too. But, at the end, when the project is up and running and the fruits of the consultancy input are seen, everybody pays attention only to our clients, without mentioning the key role played by their consultants.
It is not so usual to see within the Boards of Chambers of Commerce, National and Regional Agencies and other institutional organizations, representatives of the Management and Business Consulting Industry. It often happen that bylaws and rules governing those organizations ask for representatives of Entrepreneurs, Employers, Banks, Traders, sometimes Academia…. but absolutely rarely ask for representatives of our profession. It is also quite strange that most of the time each representative role is linked with interests that each organization needs to represent. Now we are living in the time of knowledge, in the era of talents… do we have some right to represent interests and share our knowledge whilst being member of those boards? Do we have something to say there?
In this dark environment something different is happening. There are international Institutions such as the European Commission (see: Europe Innova programme http://www.europe-innova.eu/) who are “starting” and paying attention to the role of the professionals in driving the economy out of the current crisis. They are considering the qualification of professionals as a way to improve innovation and spearhead changes in the organization. Finally they are financing not only investments in “stones” and machinery, but they are now starting and paying attention to talent - how to select and manage talent in organizations; how to support the grow and the qualification of the professionals within companies and within the economy as a whole, in their roles as managers or Management and Business Consultants.
But there are also more concrete, effective and encouraging signs coming from some International Business Banks: EBRD – the European Bank for reconstruction and development, for example: For each of the projects financed by the Bank, they finance and they assign a dedicated team of specialists with specific sectoral, regional, legal and environmental skills. Through donor funds they mobilise investment capital and expertise by giving local business access to consultant experts. Their donor programmes are funded by governments and international institutions, and are managed by the EBRD: through their process, the Bank has chosen to support the growth of regional and local economies, promoting the role of experts and management consultants in Small and Medium Enterprises.
ICMCI and some of national Institutes of Management Consultants, members of our Association, are working closely together with EBRD in this process. Together with the Bank, ICMCI is designing and organizing events at national level in order to facilitate the link between SMEs and professional consultants, promoting the projects managed by the EBRD that could also be considered as new business and professional opportunities for all CMCs in some target regions.
Learning from those best practices, we are designing new perspective in order to promote and facilitate the access of international institutions - such as the EU and other international business banks - to the worldwide and regional communities of CMCs. We are living in a period of change when new and incredible opportunities are opening up to us.
If we feel that this is the right time for a new desire to be in the limelight for each IMC that is a member of ICMCI, this is the right time to act.
Francesco D'Aprile - Chairman ICMCI