Recently I was reflecting on our Association and how we serve the profession. Allow me to ruminate a moment as I consider management consulting to be a noble profession though not entirely blemish free.
Ignoring the few visible ethics breeches, the profession within which I have worked for my career is a net positive contributor to economic and human gains — our engagements work.
Yet, management consulting within the U.S. is likely the largest unregulated, unlicensed professional service. It is up to us, the individual management consultant (whether as a solopreneur, within a small to larger boutique consulting firm, within a large professional services firm, or even within industry or government as an internal consultant) to do something positive about our individual and collective professional image.
Role of IMC USA
Each of our members have their own consulting specialities from Strategy, Operations, H/R, Profitability, IT, and so forth. We, as an association, are embracing of your practice area(s). We are not about your skills or techniques. IMC USA offerings are not based on what you consult in, but how you consult. We help you develop and sharpen your consulting skills and competencies.
How you consult is about the skills, techniques, learnings, and credentials you acquire to better serve your clients, and indeed society at large. These become synonymous with professionalism. Simply put, there are five offerings:
- Adherence to an enforceable Code of Ethics
- Understanding and Practicing from a Consulting Competence Framework
- Adherence to a Code of Professional Conduct
- Internationally-recognized Certification as a Management Consultant
- Training in International Standards for Consulting, ISO 20700
Together, as a package, what you offer to your clients (your ‘skills,’ or your ‘What’ you consult in) become amplified and augmented by ‘How’ you consult. It is my contention, and that of many of my peers, that being a practicing professional and highlighting this in all marketing, online and otherwise, further separates you from an estimated 1,000,000 other consultants.
How would it feel and, indeed, how would you be more successful if you seriously considered not only your skills (What you consult in) but How you consult? Do you adhere to a Code of Ethics, a Consulting Competence Framework, and a Code of Conduct. Are you certified in the very thing (e.g., management consulting) that you profess to do? Are you trained in an international ISO standard as relates to management consulting?
As management consultants fighting for our next ‘gig’ we try to differentiate ourselves and our practice from all the others who compete for time, attention, and dollars. We tend to do this by segment we serve and/or our experience in that segment. My belief is that, while appropriate, this marketing does not go far enough, especially considering the sheer numbers of people involved in consulting. Why not, look instead at how you consult.
- Do you tell your prospects and clients you adhere to an internationally recognized enforceable Code of Ethics?
- Do you understand and live up to a professional Code of Conduct?
- Do you know there is an international Consulting Competency Framework?
- Are you Certified?
- Finally, do you use the checklists in ISO 20700 to improve communication and project clarity?
Take a few minutes and surf https://imcusa.org, look at the Code of Ethics, the Code of Conduct, the Competency Framework, Certification, and training in ISO20700.
Such is my rumination and how we serve the profession.
November 15, 2023, 2:00 pm EST, Virtual | The Ethics Hour: The High Cost of Ethics Lapses
When clients are convinced that a consultant will act ethically, they are more inclined to entrust that firm with sensitive data and critical projects. But what happens when consultants violate their client’s trust? Is there a price to pay for ethical lapses? Is there a way to avoid ethical traps?
Join us for this panel discussion as we explore these and other questions through the lens of a highly publicized ethics lapse. We will explore the ramifications of ethical violations and how adhering to an enforceable Code of Ethics can help both clients and consultants guard against ethics breeches.
The Ethics Hour is a quarterly series focused on understanding the intersectionality of business and ethics. During each segment, we welcome special guest speakers, from policymakers, organizational leaders, corporate leaders, and industry leaders who discuss relevant and hot topics in a webinar format.
December 7, 2023, 2:00 pm EST, Virtual | CMC® Town Hall Meeting
The Certified Management Consultant® (CMC®) credential stands as the globally recognized “gold standard” certification for management consultants. IMC USA serves as the certifying body in the United States. IMC USA’s rigorous CMC® certification process provides a robustly valid and reliable set of measures of a consultant’s understanding of the processes and ethics required for providing high-quality consulting services.
In this 45-minute session, IMC USA’s CMC Committee will present the components of the CMC®, the requirements and qualifications for candidates, and the process. This virtual meeting will cover the latest information and updates from CMC Global (formerly ICMCI), the organization that sets the standards for the CMC®. Attendees will learn about resources available to prepare for the CMC®, the CMC® process, and the requirements to attain and renew the CMC® credential tri-annually.
Management consultants who seek to better serve their clients, grow their business, improve their skills, and/or practice within a solid ethical framework are encouraged to go through the certification process.
The Institute of Management Consultants (IMC USA) offers management consultants in the United States the opportunity to become a Certified Management Consultant (CMC®) – an internationally recognized credential as the gold standard in business consulting certifications. The CMC® serves as a differentiator for consultants and provides their practice and their clients additional value within a framework of Business Insight & Aptitude, Practice Capabilities, Consultative Behavior, plus Ethics & Professional Conduct.
Show Your Level of Knowledge
Certification as a Management Consultant from IMC USA (CMC®) demonstrates to potential clients a high level of expertise and knowledge.
The certification also helps business consultants and consulting firm owners/principles run their business more efficiently and have stronger relationships with their clients. Certified Management Consultants® are supported by a Code of Conduct that ensures you keep market value and attractiveness into the future.
What it Takes to Be a CMC®
Achieving a management consultant certification is a worthwhile goal. To become certified, IMC USA has several requirements for eligibility and steps to ensure those who gain the CMC® certification have thoroughly presented their ability to work at a higher level among the current pool of consultants.
While this process can feel daunting, IMC provides education, tools and community to help raise the bar for each individual consultant and help the industry to elevate in ability, knowledge, and ethics. The bottom line is this: certification through IMC sets the standard and provides the support for consultants to move to the next level in their career.Get started today!
Enroll in IMC USA online, on-demand budget friendly programming to accelerate your consulting practice and achieve your professional goals:
QuickStart is an online interactive training program that:
- Teaches the essentials to create a successful consulting practice
- Serves as a proven foundational framework which includes consulting process and ethics facilitated by an experienced Certified Management Consultant (CMC®)
- Provides a peer group after the training to support your business growth.
Management consultants should attend if:
- You’re just getting started in consulting or if you’re an experienced consultant adapting to an ever-changing marketplace.
- You are uncertain about methods to find prospective clients.
- You are struggling to articulate the value of your consulting services.
- You’re looking for a peer group to help you grow your business
Establish yourself as a credible and reliable consultant in the eyes of your clients with the help of the ISO 20700 Guidelines.This course will help you understand the ISO 20700 guidelines for the effective delivery of management consultancy services. The use of this ICMCI checklist tool will help you apply these guidelines on all your projects, creating transparency between you and your clients.
Any management consultants interested in furthering their professional education should considered this valuable three-module program.
Mastering Management Consulting
In this course, individuals can learn the fundamentals of management consulting from successful, experienced consultants.
- Do you want to deliver more value for clients?
- Are you just starting a new or re-focusing an existing consulting practice?
- Would you like to have more confidence about the right steps in a consulting project?
Participants will learn how to identify client needs, create winning proposals, win more projects, deliver better results, design effective project plans, and execute successful consulting engagements.
The objective of this Code of Ethics interpretive (COE-I) is to provide IMC members with a better understanding of the IMC Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (the COE) and a richer view of what it means, both to them and to their firms. This version retains the original text developed in 2001 by authors Jacobsen, Shays, and Sharp, but updated to reflect the evolution of the COE. Numerous “cases in point” have also been added to provide realistic examples of the points made in the related sections of this document. Astute readers may observe that some of the cases described in connection with specific sections of this document could be used equally well as examples for one or more other sections. This is not accidental; rather, it illustrates the complexity of ethical issues in today’s consulting practice. Read the full overview of COE Interpretive.
Welcome New Members
- Erica Holthausen, Connecticut
- Ahmed Kamara, Maryland
- Ana Gonçalves, Pennsylvania
- Yewande Adekoya, Texas
- Rustam Kalimzhanov, International
There is no better time than now to join IMC USA to begin taking your consulting practice to the next level! Join today and receive membership through December 31, 2024. That is all of this year for free and a full year in 2024 at the regular dues amount:
- $325 Professional Membership plus $50 application fee.
- $195 Young Professional Membership plus $50 application fee.
- $95 Student Membership, no application fee. Student ID or transcript required
- $80 Associate Membership, no application fee. Must be a member of a global institute.
- $995 Affiliate Membership, no application fee.
Membership is your passport to success. Enroll in a number of online, on-demand programming at discount rates for all career levels. Begin your path to the globally recognized Certified Management Consultant® (CMC®) designation. Connect with your colleagues in your city, coast to coast and internationally. Take advantage of several membership perks. Attend our annual conference. Special invites to webinars and town hall meetings. Participate in business development sessions. Get known by potential clients in our online directory. Become eligible for an award. Develop your leadership skills by volunteering. At IMC USA, there are resources for just about every management consultant. Join today, save money and begin taking your practice and clients to new heights! https://imcusa.org/membership/.