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About the author


Tim Cummins

I am the President of World Commerce & Contracting (formerly known as IACCM), a non-profit organization that I founded in 1999. In 2019, I was also appointed as a Professor and Chair, International Commercial & Contract Management in the School of Law at the University of Leeds, in the UK.  And finally, confirming it as a banner year, I was the winner of the 2019 Financial Times ‘Market Shaper’ Award.

Like many practitioners in the world of contract negotiation and management, I stumbled into the role, having come from a background in Corporate Finance. My early involvement as a Commercial Manager was in the automotive industry, handling export markets, and from there to a negotiation role in Aerospace. In 1985, I was recruited by IBM, to join a small team focused on ‘business terms improvement’ and to develop internal bid and negotiation capabilities. From a role in the UK, I was rapidly moved to European HQ in Paris, and then to join Corporate Marketing in Armonk, NY. Following a brief spell back in Europe overseeing Marketing Support, I returned to the US to lead a Corporate project to reengineer the global contracting process and organization.

In 1997, with that project coming to an end, I decided to abandon a career in the Corporate world and to become an entrepreneur. I rapidly learnt a new approach to taking risks and gained a new respect for the challenges faced by Sales. After working to build and sell one venture and successfully establishing a second, I returned to the field which really fascinates me and founded IACCM. Over the next 21 years, the Association became the global forum for innovation in trading relationships and practices. This growth was accompanied by an increasing role in advocacy and research, expanding our mission and role. In 2020, this expansion was reflected in a change of name, to become World Commerce & Contracting. It is a wonderful place to be, offering cross-industry, cross-functional, multi-national insights to the complex world of business and negotiation at a time of unparalleled change.

My background as a student of History, a lover of politics and social development, a fascination for communication and writing have equipped me to use these tremendous experiences as opportunities to learn and offer what I hope to be helpful insights and ideas on the evolution of business organization, motivation and management.

And in the process, I have had the chance to meet many wonderful people and to be part of a dedicated, passionate team at World Commerce & Contracting. We inspire each other – and collectively, we hope to inspire the world, because high quality contracting and commercial practices really do make a difference!

  1. Hi, Tim:

    I’d like to offer you free book review copies or copies to giveaway on your site of GLOBALITY: COMPETING WITH EVERONE FOR EVERYTHING and DOING BUSINESS IN 21st CENTURY INDIA.

    GLOBALITY: COMPETING WITH EVERONE FOR EVERYTHING is not about the expansion of business activity from West to East, but about companies competing with everyone from everywhere for everything. The Boston Consulting Group’s Harold L. Sirkin, James W. Hemerling, and Arindam K. Bhattacharya present a stunning wake-up call that reveals how rapidly developing foreign nations will assert themselves as major economic powers in the next few years, threatening America’s long-time dominance.

    Meanwhile, India is the second, fastest growing, free market economy in the world and everyone is taking notice. India is a vast country with a swiftly expanding middle class eager to become westernized. At the same time, significant cultural differences and other impediments compound the challenging arena for outsiders. Learn how to understand and succeed in this emerging market with DOING BUSINESS IN 21st CENTURY INDIA :

    · A survey of the most promising sectors for investors

    · How to navigate the often complicated laws, rules, and regulations

    · The keys to understanding important cultural differences

    · Advice on sales and marketing

    · Relevant background and history

    · Examples and interviews with prime professionals in India

    · And more

    Please let me know if this exciting opportunity interests you and reply with your mailing info.


    Valerie M. Russo

    Web Publicist

    Hachette Book Group USA

    237 Park Avenue, 15th Fl.

    New York, NY 10017

    Direct dial: 212-364-1173

  2. This article is extracted from a paper entitled Collaboration & Innovation: Organizing To Shape Outcomes, Rather Than React To Them. Copies of this longer paper will be sent on request.

    I’d like to be send the longer paper. thanks

  3. Hello Tim: I was at your after dinner discussion on 15 October to the Invensys group at Tylney Hall. I wanted to say thank you. You touched on many interesting items some of which I would have like to pursue a bit further. In particular the tantalizing mention of the “mysteries” and the tendency even now to hold onto some exclusivity in one’s field by controlling certain know-how and expertise that is not generally known, and how that is a tactic. I believe some of our folks get a bit put out when their jurisdictional expertise is under fire not to mention their Blackberrys! How classic. It seems those of use who are non-attorneys were more open to the possibilities. In any case, thank you for your time and efforts and best wishes to you.

    Kind regards,
    Mary T. Kinsella
    Invensys Systems, Inc.

  4. Hi Tim
    I’m very interested in you blog and the IACCM! If you have a look at our website and blog you will understand why – and! We share a common interest in making sure service contracts in particular deliver I think! I shall watch your blog with interest and I’m certainly going to subscribe to Commitment Matters
    Kindest Regards
    Wendy Mason
    G&W Consulting

  5. Christo Crous permalink

    Hi Tim
    Could you please forward me your contact details. You used to write articles for our tender pages in City Press, but my colleague who handled the articles is no longer with us and I would like to continue our sound professional relationship.
    Christo Crous

  6. Nthabiseng Ramanaledi permalink

    Hello Tim

    I accidentally found your blog whilst looking for companies dealing with contracts management. I just started my own consulting firm, which handles procurement, contracts management and compliance and I am fresh out of university with a burning passion for this industry. I would really like to be mentored by someone like you, in advising me how to navigate and run my business to its optimum. I live in South Africa and there is a huge gap in the business market for this industry and i know i have a good chance of making a success of this business. I would really like to hear your thoughts about this. You can contact me on my email any time. I look forward to hearing from you.

  7. Hi Tim,

    Read your blog on contract outsourcing. We are currently working on a report on Contract outsourcing. We would like to interview you for this report. Please do let me know if it is possible and send me your email id, so that I can take this forward.


  8. Arian Alexander Danilovic permalink

    Hello Tim,

    I’ve been following your posts via IACCM for a couple years now. It’s really a great resource for people in the industry and highly valued material.

    I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on the link between sustainability and procurement. Namely, how more advanced procurement can positively impact cost, environment and safety. If I’ve missed a post touching on this subject please let me know.

    Arian Danilovic

    • Arian, thanks for your comment!

      Yes, a number of blogs have touched on this issue – I will send you some links.


  9. Tim,
    We have enjoyed your blog for quite some time now. Keep up the good work. We would like to be in touch about potential collaboration. Please email us at

  10. drewslegrand permalink

    Hi Tim:

    I stumbled upon your blog through my good friend Google (you may know him as well). I was researching about my newly obtained position as a contracts specialist when I found your article titled, “Contracts Management – Career or Dead-End.” Thank you for posting this article with insight on the role from an experienced contracts manager.

    With just recently being introduced to the corporate world, I was hoping I could pick your brain with a few questions. I would really appreciate your time and hope to hear back from you soon. Now, my questions:

    1.) I graduated with a Marketing – Supply Chain Management degree from a university of which does not rest in the ranks of an Ivy League or Top-Tier list. However, I landed a job as a Contracts Specialist with an Oil & Gas company in Texas. My role will be working on contracts that are not seen as transactional – they wil require sourcing strategies and even some auditing. Would you consider this role integral to the business? Being a newcomer, I don’t quite understand the importance of my role. The personnel on the operations teams can’t stand the supply chain team (I know because I’m a prior intern with this company). If my role is so significant, why is it underappreciated?

    2.) In your ‘About the Author,’ you introduce yourself along with a very accomplished background having multiple positions and even a few entrepreneurial ventures. With my future background as a Contracts Specialist implementing sourcing strategies, would you consider this a advantageous position to transition into management consulting? Compared to sales, or, a finance manager at a dealership? What aspects of your background in contracts management did you carry with you into other roles?

    3.) Lastly, as a former Contracts Manager, do you have any advice you would be willing to pass on? Did you too find trouble dealing with operations personnel? If so, how did you stand your ground and battle it out with the engineers with a professional attitude?

    Thanks again Tim. I hope to hear from you.


    • Drew,
      These are great questions and the type of issues that face many newcomers to the contract management field.

      Why is Contract Management a great place to be? The answer to that is because it should offer an enquiring mind incredible opportunities to learn many facets of business, which can be applied either within this field or in other areas.

      Whether or not the CM role is a dead-end depends a lot on the company. But it also depends on the individual and the extent to which they gain recognition for their contribution. So becoming seen as a controller, an auditor, is not a good idea. You need to think how you can improve the worklife and success rate of those you interface with. Surprise those engineers by going to them and asking how you can help. Whether or not hey see you personally in a positive light is up to you.

      Remember that successful contract management assists in delivering good results and outcomes; it is not about finding fault, pointing out problems, allocating blame. It should be a proactive discipline that reduces the chances that things will go wrong. Use your analytical and problem-solving skills; challenge processes and practices that you can are damaging relationships, internal and external. Be a change agent.

      You will find a couple of articles in this month’s Contracting Excellence that offer further insights to the questions you ask and also a link to a webinar on this subject that we did last year. The e-zine is available at and will be issued later this week.

      Finally, if you are serious about this career, you will likely want to pursue IACCM professional accreditation. If you are with one of the oil majors, the chances are ty already use our programs so you may be able to get into a future cohort through your company.

      I hope this helps – don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have more questions.


  11. Hi TIM, appreciate & enjoyed reading your blogs on contract management. i have worked in roles driving large contracts in ousourcing/ telecom/ IT services contracts. I believe as its important to have balanced contracts in place its equally important to manage & track them well. I have seen most of companies failing in compliance and SLA governance. I would like to get connected with you on understanding this more; will appreciate connecting with you on my email address below.

  12. Tim,

    I have been following your posts already at IBM, from which I retired in 2006, I was part of your regular IACCM calls first on an IBM company ticket, then on my own membership. In fact I believe we had contact to each other at our common time with IBM C&N. I continue to enjoy some of the WorldCC calls but my membership will expire this year, and as I am not active in my profession any more I do not intend to extend it. Thanks for your thoughts and the knowledge you are distributing together with your team. It was a long journey with you.

    All the best or 2022 and let us hope that Corona will expire soon.

    Best regards and many thanks again.

    Thomas Breth

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