Address by the Chair to the 2020 Annual Meeting of ICMCI
Dwight Mihalicz, MBA CMC®
14 October 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Introduction and Logistics
This is our first virtual annual meeting. Welcome, and thank you for joining us in this format.

As you know, we will be holding this annual meeting in two sessions to provide suitable opportunities for our Delegates, anywhere in the world, to participate.

In order to facilitate to-day’s discussion, you have all received a copy of this year’s annual report, the related documents, and links to a video presentation of each officer and Committee Chairs elaborating on the written report.
This session is being recorded, and minutes will be distributed as we typically do.

Our Bylaws allow for us to host virtual Annual Meetings of Delegates. We are assured of quorum by virtue of the electronic voting following these two sessions.

First, I would like to welcome you all to this event. It is a pleasure to see you if only virtually. Donna and I are sorry not to be with you in person, to share a meal, and some laughs as we do our business together. Let us take pleasure that we can see each other, if only virtually, and that more will be attending these sessions that is normally the case.

We are living in extraordinary times. The global pandemic of Covid-19 has created a situation that has disrupted us in ways that no-one would have thought possible at the beginning of 2020.

This health crisis comes to us on top of already disturbing crises. Global damage from natural disasters is increasing steadily. Weather patterns are changing and becoming more extreme. Wildfires, floods, droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes and typhoons are increasing both in number and in the geographical areas they impact.

These consequences of human development are creating havoc.

They have also accelerated several other disruptive trends.

Economies are increasingly vulnerable in the face of increasing isolationism. The world’s largest economies are not only not collaborating, the two largest are increasingly confrontational.

Technological change is accelerating. New and better ways of doing things are pushing aside large established industries.

There have been unprecedented changes in the way people work. There have been increasing numbers of disrupted workers. As a result, there is increasing dissatisfaction with the status quo.

We are also facing disruption in our own industry, management consulting, and in consulting more broadly. New entrants into the industry, whether they are fresh out of university, changing careers, or retiring, are entering our industry in ever-growing numbers, but they are not becoming members of our Institutes. They simply do not value the concepts of Institutes and Certification in the same way that we and our predecessors did.

These are indeed scary times in so many ways.

But there is one thing that I have faith in.

I have faith in the resilience of human nature to take whatever life hands out, to make the best of it, and to thrive in spite of it. 

We, as management consultants, have a challenging but important role. As we ourselves are being disrupted, we need to be aware that our client organizations are either in disruption, or soon will be in or threatened by disruption.  There is no more ‘steady as she goes’. We need to be able to pivot in an instant so that we can be leaders in helping our clients to do the same.

And this is exactly where our global profession can have the greatest impact. This ability to find each other, and share form each other, and build projects together – this is the value of the global profession of management consulting.

Each of you are demonstrating this in your Institutes. How can you improve the profession in your territory and bring more members into the fold so that you will be stronger? At the global level, our job is to work across the Institutes to help you succeed and be stronger so that you can serve your members better.

Now is the time for us to make great strides.

Think of change management. One of the first challenges is to unfreeze the organization. To create that dissonance in the work force so that they will accept and enable the desired change.

Our whole world is now in that state of dissonance – that desire for change from where we are now. We are seeing changes in workforce approaches, and pivots in business models that have taken place in weeks or months instead of years. The world has never been more open to figuring out better ways to do things.

Who better to lead and demonstrate these better ways than management consultants? This is what we have been trained to do. We instinctively get beneath the surface, get past the symptoms and find those root cause issues that need to be tackled.

If you want reinforcement of this fact – read again the Annual Report that has been presented to you. Think about the amazing amount of expertise and wisdom that has gone into the successes we have had this year, despite – or maybe because of – a global pandemic.

We are primarily volunteer driven.

Our staff organization puts in tremendous effort, and in fact a large part of their time is also volunteer, because for sure we do not pay them for all the hours they put in.

At the committee level, this work is 100% volunteer. This work is reflected in reports you have read. Then multiply this by 50 or 100 to reflect the volunteer efforts of all of you, in your Institutes doing what needs to be done to improve the profession and support your members.

In my role as Chair I have had the honor to meet so many of you personally, and many more of you virtually. I continue to be impressed and humbled by the great thinkers and motivated volunteers that give so much of themselves. Thank you.

I cannot recognize our volunteer works without remembering one of our own who cannot be with us to-day. Our friend and colleague from Austria, Gerd Prechtl, passed away Saturday night. I know you, like me, are missing his smiling face on this call. Gerd has been a leader in our profession for many years, with an unparalleled passion and commitment to the Certified Management Consultant and all it represents.  Gerd, you will be missed.

Now, it is time to get down to business. In the spirit of Gerd, and all of our friends and colleagues that have come before us, let us put our mind to the growth of this great profession.