Monday, 13 June 2011

Whither CMI?

Recently I questioned the relevance of the CIPD to learning and development professionals who are not part of a corporate HR department. My conclusion was that, while we have been relatively neglected, the organisation is still well worth membership.

To be consistent, I should comment on the other body of which I am a Fellow, the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

On the face of it, the critique I offered of the CIPD (robustly defended by a CIPD representative in the comments to that blog post) applies even more so to CMI. And yet it’s all about expectations – I don’t expect the same close attention to my own professional specialism from a body as broad-based as CMI.

Bizarrely, given that it is open to all managers, CMI has a smaller membership than CIPD – about 80,000 members compared to over 120,000. There may be many reasons for this, but perhaps close attention to professional specialisms is part of the explanation.

Under Ruth Spellman’s leadership, CMI has been modernising and improving. There seem to be greater efforts to develop branches, and I can see improvements to publications. Management Today has always been a top class magazine – much more readable and professionally produced than any other business magazine in the UK. Now the other main CMI publication, Professional Manager, has stopped looking so antiquated and is actually worth reading.

But there has to be more to CMI than magazines, and I see little branch or networking activity that’s of benefit to me. I wonder if others have similar experiences? (Sits back and awaits response from CMI staff scanning the web for criticism to combat…)