Much is written about the importance of developing leaders and last week, at IACCM’s European conference, the concept was turned into action.
Based on a program created and designed by IACCM’s Chief Operating Officer, Sally Hughes, twenty high fliers – all under the age of thirty – gained the chance to step into a new and challenging environment. Stepping out of their normal roles in legal, supply management, contract management and commercial, they were able to appreciate the true meaning of ‘commercial thinking’ by interacting with each other. They benefitted from direct interactions and mentoring by ‘leaders of today’, they were exposed to transformational ideas and emerging technologies, they networked with each other, gaining an appreciation of commercial roles in Europe’s leading organizations. And at the conclusion of the conference, each team presented on their view of the future, how the commercial role will look five years from now.
Not surprisingly, there were many applicants for this program and those selected took real advantage of it. The feedback from their employers has been tremendous, immediately recognizing the insights (and outsights) that these future leaders gained. “The program is so important, something I feel so passionate about,” commented Sally. “There is such change going on around us – we desperately need young ambassadors, advocates for new thinking and a readiness to embrace the future. I see so many professional associations trailing behind the needs of their members; at IACCM, we are determined always to stay ahead and help our members prepare.”
The presentations were impressive and reinforce the IACCM vision of commercial teams that are increasingly integrated, breaking down some of the functional boundaries that inhibit business performance today. But they cannot yet be shared because teams from Asia and the Americas will shortly be undergoing similar experiences at IACCM’s up-coming conferences – and then IACCM members will have the chance to vote for a global winning team – future leaders who have a vision of the role they will be playing five years from now.
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