Go West! Looking back to move forward

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Go West! Looking back to move forward

By David Pich FIML, chief executive of the institute of Managers and Leaders

I suspect that, like me, you’re prone to reminiscing about the past. I’ve certainly noticed that as I get older I find myself thinking more frequently about days gone by. I was recently at a team building event with the IML Member Engagement Team and everyone had to pick a random question that had been written on a folded piece of paper. One staff member (aged 23) picked, ‘what era do you wish you had lived in and why?’ She responded, “the 1980s. Because the fashion looked so cool.” I was slightly baffled. I was sitting there thinking, ‘are there really people in my team who weren’t around in the 1980s?’. My next thought was ‘the fashion really wasn’t that cool’.

I suppose that’s part of life and progress though. Things move on and we tend to reminisce about the past through our own lens.

It’s much the same when I talk to Members about the long and illustrious history of the Institute of Managers and Leaders (IML). In 2017, when we decided to rebrand from the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) to IML, I visited more than 25 cities to talk to Members about the reasons that underpinned that decision and about the desire to see management and leadership accepted as a profession. The rebrand was based on the premise that to continue to have a significant impact on management and leadership practice, the organisation needed to evolve. As AIM, we had done our job in education and training. It was time to turn our attention to the continuing professional development of managers and leaders and to introduce the very first professional designation for management. It was also time for IML to partner with our local world class universities to enable us to meet our vision of ‘creating better managers and leaders for a better society’. We couldn’t do this as AIM, because AIM had a business school and an MBA and as such, was viewed as competing with those same tertiary institutions.

The past 12 months has seen a strong start to this new direction for IML. We have launched Chartered Manager as the gold standard designation for management. Our campaign – Go Chartered – is really starting to resonate with individual managers and leaders, as well as with corporates. For example, IML was recently selected by an organisation in Melbourne as its leadership development partner. This organisation will put all 40 of its managers through the Chartered Manager designation process. We have also formed innovative partnerships with Griffith University and Deakin University, and we are talking to a further nine universities about offering their students a pathway to Chartered status.

However, there is one aspect of the past that I often think about. Back in the days when AIM Membership was tied to the AIM training business, we were a truly national professional membership body. We had a presence across all seven states and territories. As IML this has not been the case. Despite the organisation having a significant membership base in Western Australia, we haven’t operated ‘out west’. As a result, IML’s Members in WA have missed out on the suite of face-to-face products and services that we have developed and delivered right across the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory and South Australia.

This was one of the key questions that I heard loud and clear during the rebrand consultation period – ‘when will IML be a truly national organisation as AIM once was?’

Well, I’m delighted to say that I have an answer – now! IML is going west. We opened the IML Perth office on Tuesday 4th September 2018. We also delivered our very first leadership development event in Western Australia on the same day, called ‘Creating a Mentally Healthy Workplace’. This is a very significant step for the organisation and one that is long overdue. I would like to welcome WA to the IML family.

In some ways it’s back to the future. IML is now once again a truly national management and leadership organisation.

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