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The 22 year journey

September 28, 2021

September 1999. The summer intern had left. Alone, staring at a computer screen with a rudimentary website to keep me company. A handful of supporters, no income and just a belief that this was a journey that mattered, that the world would benefit from commercial and contract management becoming recognized disciplines.

It was thus that the journey began. Twenty two years ago, IACCM had its official launch in a small shared office in Armonk, New York. I bought a cake to celebrate. No one came – so I ate it all. I’d had no ambition to develop or run a not-for-profit membership association. It was not part of my life plan. But I knew from 25 years of business experience just how much value business and society could gain from the professionalization of commercial and contract management. And the more push-back I received, the more determined I became.

Now, 22 years on, it is so gratifying that this week I have received hundreds of messages on LinkedIn from friends, colleagues, members and even a few complete strangers acknowledging the journey. I reflect on how I have felt ….. at times exhausted, at moments downhearted, but each day uplifted by the small advances, achievements and those I’ve met along the way. It’s the knowledge of helping someone, of making new discoveries, of looking back and realizing just how far we have travelled, how many places we have been and lives we have touched ……

It’s a journey that never ends. There are always new discoveries to be made, new recruits to train, new methods to promote. But it is no longer a lonely journey, no longer just a few voices seeking to find their audience. With the top consultancies all promoting the discipline, with a fast growing body of academic support, with increasing media attention, the original mission has been fulfilled. Commercial and Contract Management are disciplines and those who adopt them are reaping the rewards.

This month, I step back from being a full-time employee of IACCM (now World Commerce & Contracting). I remain President and continue to contribute to research, training and member engagement, but now in a consulting capacity. My belief and enthusiasm, my wish to serve the CCM community, remain undimmed, but the continuing journey is benefitting from fresher legs, from embarking in new directions and climbing higher peaks.

I have many wonderful memories and there are more to come. Thank you to everyone who has joined me on this journey. You have given it purpose and made it not simply worthwhile, but truly a pleasure.

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