CIPS Past Presidents’ meeting

As I mentioned , I was away at the CIPS Past Presidents 'do' yesterday.  An interesting session.  There's not many meetings I go to these days where I'm the youngest that's a big plus!  We had 11 Past Presidents present yesterday afternoon and for dinner, including the President from 1975, and several guys in their eighties; still pretty damn sharp and very interested in what CIPS is going.

It really fees like the Institute is at a real key point in its history.  Biggest in the world now on most measures; 15,000 students in China for instance (yet there cannot be a branch structure apparently because that isn't allowed in China)!  And CIPS is winning work in education and training all over the world, and developing links with the UN and other key organisations.

On the other hand, UK membership is pretty static, the recession  and the cuts in public spending still to come have had and will have an impact on revenues.  And (my personal opinion now) organisations such as Procurement Leaders in the big corporate market, and IIAPS (see here) as an education provider are or could be serious competitors.    The Past Presidents tried to contribute something to the debate; I'm never sure whether we are just seen as a nuisance or whether the current executives get something useful out of the combined 300 years or so of relevant experience in the room!

So where does CIPS go next?  How does it appeal to the emerging generation who have grown up with Facebook, Twitter and so on?  How does it meet local needs while developing a global brand (if indeed this is what it wants to do?)  How does it work with commercial partners and other stakeholders while managing risk and protecting its special attributes?

Fascinating questions to be answered;  good luck to the team at Easton and the volunteers who have to answer them; and thanks for a very good day yesterday.

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First Voice

  1. Andrew Coulcher:


    Glad you had a good day – it was really was a pleasure to meet you and the other past presidents and great to have such a lively debate on many of the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead of CIPS.

    From my point of view the feedback was both challenging and insightful and has certainly provided more food for thought as I piece together our Knowledge strategy.


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