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In Insecure Times, Status Matters

October 5, 2011

Would you like to increase the status and influence that you have in your organization?

Last week, I attended a Government conference where a senior official was talking about the importance of professionalism. In his speech, he highlighted  the extent to which innovation influences a profession’s status because this is the characteristic that generates real interest and respect. Capability is assumed; innovation makes us distinctive.

IACCM research shows that only 10% of those who perform contract and commercial management are innovating – which should help us understand why the perceptions and status of our role are often so mixed.

The speaker observed: “To implement new approaches, we need a profession that is committed collectively and personally to keeping up to date with emerging industry trends and with learning and development”. This comment goes to the heart of the IACCM mission. The hunger to learn and to develop new approaches is evident in some members and is also a noticeable characteristic of some organizations, but as the research cited above illustrates, not a majority.

Do you have that commitment? Do you ensure that you and your team have access to industry trends and learning and development? Are you staying abreast of innovation in contracting – its role, structures, terms and policies?

There are numerous ways this can be achieved: I wonder how many of these approaches you are using:

–       The IACCM member network. Have you built a personal contact group from within IACCM’s 23,000 members?

–       Ask the Expert calls. How many of these weekly calls have you or your team listened to and acted upon?

–       IACCM member meetings and conferences. Have you attended a meeting? Do you offer to host or speak at meetings?

–       Research projects. How many research surveys have you contributed to? Have you read the results and taken action, or alerted management? Have you ever initiated an external research survey?

–       Message boards. Do you make use of message boards to gather outside opinion? Have you contributed to them?

–       Learning and development. Do you and your team have structured approaches to personal and organizational learning? Do you undertake objective assessments of skills and performance, including periodic benchmarks against similar groups outside your organization?

–       Advisory services. When was the last time you sent a question or made a call to IACCM to gather information or discuss an opportunity or challenge that you face?

Professionalism is something that is collective and individual. Every one of us makes a difference to how all of us are viewed. As a rising profession, we have so much opportunity before us – so long as we make the personal investment in innovating and implementing new and higher value approaches.

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