I was there!
One of the main purposes of any association, at national or international level, is to provide its members with insights, toolkits, event activities and opportunities useful for an exploration of the ‘new’. This is exactly what happened in Vilnius, Lithuania, during the first International Conference organised by ICMCI and focused on " West and East in Change: How will management consultants facilitate it? ". Reading the article in this issue of Meridian related to this event - supported by an amazing slide show – you will quickly see and understand the positive energy and atmosphere created by the participants coming, as they did, from 30 countries worldwide.
There is a great significance and meaning behind the success of our conference: that the Management Consulting Industry is playing a lead role in driving change; that we are fully aware of the role that we are and need to be playing, and that we are ready to share with our stakeholders the value produced at regional as well as at international level.
While in the past most Management Consulting knowledge and tools were focused on the design improvement linked to cost reduction, business process reengineering and total quality management, today we have also added new perspectives aimed at exploring new business opportunities for our clients and for our colleagues: internationalization of business moving from West to East and from North to South, the management of cultural differences; small business and new niches, social entrepreneurship, and green industry.
I do not recall, during our two day conference, hearing the word "crisis". I do not remember hearing requests for national, regional or international support, grants or legal protection in order to feel safe in managing our businesses. Nobody was crying and asking for something from others! On the contrary, I saw terrific energy in highlighting new opportunities, talking about the need for networks and sharing best practice. What an amazing opportunity to explore the new, the better... to taste the new!
Celebrating, as we did last year, the 25th anniversary of ICMCI, we realised that our prestigious organisation was started thanks to the thoughts of representatives of the Management Consulting industry mainly coming from the Western world. In 2005, together with other international colleagues, I was in Beijing celebrating the involvement of China and other Far Eastern Countries in ICMCI; in 2006 I was in Moscow celebrating Russia and all other East European Countries; in 2010 I was in Jordan living an amazing experience and seeing at first hand everything new that was growing in the region immediately before the start of what would become well known as the "Arab Spring".
ICMCI was driving this journey, organising these national and international events, and facilitating the growth of the Management Consulting industry in those regions, thanks to the introduction of the CMC certification process and the global recognition of the CMCs on a reciprocity basis. Together with the growth in the number of our members, it was clear that all these developments were able to provide value for our CMCs in terms of facilitating their networks, sharing knowledge and expertise, and exploring new business opportunities. Finally, we have now held in Vilnius the first International Conference open to all Management Consultants, as the culmination of this lengthy journey that we have all been on.
But this is not the end....
On 25-27 September 2013, I will be in Johannesburg celebrating the new Congress of ICMCI. Moving along our long and visionary journey, ICMCI will live a new real challenge, opening new and exciting perspectives by welcoming representatives of the African Institutes of Management Consultants, and especially so many colleagues from all over the world that will meet there, as well as many African colleagues. Something new is going to happen in Johannesburg for our organisation and also for each of us, definitely!
I started this article by writing "I was there", and it is true... Being there I have learned a lot; I have met so interesting people and old and new friends; I have changed my professional and personal outlook.... But it is much better to say that, thanks to the vision and the voluntary tasks of many professionals coming from all over the world who can say "I was there", ICMCI has created something truly unique in the worldwide Management Consulting Industry. The energy experienced in Vilnius comes from the energy of each of the ICMCI volunteers of the past and of the present.
The next challenge for us is very close, and it is in Johannesburg on 25-27 September: I wish that all of you have the same privilege to say, in the future, "I was there" .
See you in Johannesburg
Chair of ICMCI 2011-2013