Board of Trustees - Strategy Review

This annual strategy review was undertaken by the CMI Board on 25 November.  Five topics were considered: brand, employer links, younger members emerging from HE and Apprenticeships, international and Chartered Management Consultant.  See the outcomes here

Question 1 – Brand awareness and reputation

How do we use HE / Apprenticeships to strengthen our brand reputation with key stakeholders (Government, employers, media) by boosting CMI as a driver of better management practices and therefore productivity?

Status update - Spontaneous awareness is low and although we have a clear position on what we stand for – better (and more inclusive) management and leadership; we need to shout louder and reach more people with the impact that better management practices have on productivity.  Need to (a) align to the external agenda, focusing on post-Brexit Britain and the need, now more than ever for strong management and leadership to drive up productivity; (b) launch a campaign focusing on the importance of middle management, using key role models and repositioning middle management as having a critical role to play; and (c) focus on achieving a much longer tail of deployment of existing content, with better amplification using social media 
Macro approach
• line management aligned to productivity – explicit links back to productivity
• Collaborate with universities and employers to develop quality ‘line management index’
• Apply industry sector focus: advanced manufacturing; retail; financial services; social/healthcare

Micro approach
• Engage hearts and minds on middle management agenda; create an inclusive ‘community’ around this; focus on both the good and bad

Channels to have most impact
• CCMI engagement programme
• Trustees and other volunteers as ambassadors – provide toolkits and collateral to use
• Twitter; Instagram
• Shareable content platforms
• CEO breakfasts

Assessment of risk to mitigate: what if the worst was to happen?
• We do a lot and don’t make impact, or what we do damages reputation
• We lose authoritative stance and a place at the table as a result

Question 2 - Apprenticeships to transform EP/Employer
How do we use the Apprenticeship opportunity to transform our relationship with employers and partners?

Status update - Apprenticeships give us an incredible opportunity to demonstrate how the levy is actually an opportunity to invest in management skills and therefore drive up productivity.  But we need to change our business model (and exit the declining, low margin, unscaleable world of direct delivery) in order to give ourselves the chance to go after this opportunity.  Therefore we will (a) create a clear, compelling, end-end solution on apprenticeships that is equally powerful in the hands of our partners; (b) target the right ‘platinum’ delivery partners and the right employers to ensure we are focusing our resource in the right places in order to maximise impact; and (c) work in partnership – moving towards a less transactional, partnership model (with ‘platinum’ partners) the like of which we have in HE, with up-front payment and exit direct delivery completely.

• Exploit our position of having led the Trailblazers in management and leadership
• Engage with employers to reduce likelihood that they see the levy as a payroll tax
• Create awareness of how organisations can use the levy – use case studies; actively promote the benefits to employers asap – there is a current window of opportunity
• Identify drivers and hooks for the employers themselves
• Gain hearts and minds – use Companions in particular for this
• Create demand and pull through amongst employees
• Case studies with strong employer brand association
• Make the case re positive impact and return, eg staff retention, culture in a rotating workforce
• Overcome negative terminology of ‘apprentice’ and ‘middle manager’
• Use partners to amplify the benefits to SMEs
• Understand how procurement is undertaken within employers

How can we make the transition as effective and timely as possible in transitioning to a partnership business model?

• Take learnings from HE partnership strategy successes
• Think carefully about resource and skills capability – are there enough good ‘suppliers’ of CMI qualifications?
• What is important to an employer in its decision why to choose one provider over another – eg influence comes through CMI showing employers that CMI qualifications lead to more effective managers
• Keep tight on quality - we won’t compete with ILM by being ‘lax’
• Create pull from employers for the quality of CMI and associated impact
• Tap into what that impact is, eg making employers more effective
• We need ‘intel inside’ reputation to create demand with employers – so define/demonstrate what our ‘intel’ is, and the impact on management practices and productivity

Are we willing to take the risk of moving out of direct training delivery; what if the worst was to happen?
• Timing issue re short term loss of revenue from direct employer training business
• But, we must be willing to do this – the bigger risk lies in not capitalising on apprenticeship opportunity – it’s the right thing to do
• Direct delivery is not necessarily on mission and it reduces our creditability – there could be a risk that we continue ‘off mission’ activities because of fear of income loss – finance comes second to mission?
• Risk re capability / skills / resource
• We need to maintain position with employers,, and sustainable relationships with all partners – so CMI will be their preferred Awarding Body and won’t think of switching to competitors
• But, have we given enough thought re the ‘credibility’ of the competition from ILM, Pearson etc?

In summary:

• Be prepared to spend, including from reserves if necessary
• Make clean break away from direct training delivery
• Focus on apprenticeship prize – clear message about what CMI stands for – mission based
• Imperative to develop transition plan – consider as part of overall business planning and revenue model – assess, in context of full CMI budgets, whether we can withstand the potential loss of contribution on reserves through this change of tack
• If we focus on ‘demand pull’, how quickly can this deliver the ‘lost’ revenue?
• Two pronged approach:  create pull through with employers and partners
• Engage with quality partners
• Move quickly – gain advantage as the first to make a move – the quicker we can influence employers to ‘buy’ from us, the better 

Question 3 - Young Membership surge
How do we use our HE growth and emphasis on Apprenticeships to create a membership surge amongst young people? 
Status update - The success of the HE strategy and future of apprenticeships mean we have a swell of young people, at early stages of their career, where we have an opportunity to convert them into membership in order for CMI to be a ‘career partner’. Increasing conversion above c3% will enhance delivery against our mission as well as improve our membership demographic.  Therefore we will (a) embed the CMI offer and increase awareness of benefits of CMI during the time of study; (b) build and offer career resources to improve employability, eg career development centre, future leaders and prove the positive impact that CMI has on increasing employability; and (c) look for opportunities to work with partners to convert members at scale, embedding conversion in the core proposition and building a compelling corporate membership offer.
What insight would the Board find helpful in considering these approaches?

• Imperative need for insight – we don’t know enough
• Focus on the absolutely critical pain points for Students – which could actually come towards the very end of their course; when does a Student want to know about us?
• At what point do graduates realise their need to do something – eg build components of a good CV
• Also, be the bridge for Students between them leaving university and finding an employer that will give them a job – consider offer of work placements / internships?
• When they leave university, graduates are not actually managers at that stage – emphasis on life skills - focus on transferable skills
• What can only CMI do?
• Understand the value
• Collect evidence that CMI ‘has actually helped me’ – you have to be in CMI to practise and get ahead – social mobility angle
• Identify 3 key opportunities and do them well – re pain/inspiration points; apply stop/start approach – if something is not working, move on to something else – don’t do things for ever – TEST, LEARN and MOVE ON approach
• Multi-channel presence on campus – personal contact, inclusion in prospectus, open evenings, banners
• Get academics on board
• CEO/CCMI Masterclasses – share career stories from role models – “I’m in the same Institute as the Permanent Secretary/CEO of xxx company” etc
• Younger role models – connectedness to those who have ‘made it’ just recently
• Apply segmentation to the Student population – ie between activists who are savvy enough as to what activities will look good on a CV; and non –activists – who are not bothering to do relevant activities that will stand them in good stead for the future – get to the 96.5% who are not necessarily ‘switched on’ re their futures
• ‘Future Leaders’ is seen as a motivating title – sufficient enough to intrigue, ‘connectedness’; add ‘magic dust’ elements
• Leverage CMI networks – we have members across all specialisms and sectors
• Business Schools are/have to be ‘bothered’ about Student employability and earning capability
• Don’t underestimate the impact of TEF (Training Excellence Framework) – re scoring of HEIs re graduate level employability
• Force CMI presence onto business school timetable
• Get intelligence from employers re what they expect from job candidates; would they give weight to CMI qualifications for example?
• A legitimate action is direct research with Students in their 1st, 2nd, 3rd years

What should be our objectives in the use of social media to support these approaches?

• Need insight into channels to use – we don’t know enough
• Younger people will pay to subscribe, eg Netflix – apply £4 per month approach to CMI subscription, rather than £50 pa?
• Increasing innovation
• Reach widest audience – stories to interest younger people; drip feed of CMI ‘snippets’

What are the risks; what if the worst was to happen?
• Should be low risk – with huge upside
• Sky is the limit
• Indirect risk to longevity and sustainability of Business School partnerships
• Needs care re level of spend
• Risk re resource – scaleability
• Price point is a key factor

Next steps

Insight plan for February 2017 Board of Trustees meeting

Question 4 – International
How do we develop an International Strategy that leverages our University partnerships and our professional pathways to build CMI’s brand reputation without compromising the 3 very important areas?

Status update - International development is big opportunity for us, not least as our existing domestic partners are driving it through their own globalisation plans and the market opportunity could be significant for us.  Therefore we will (a) target the right jurisdictions (Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia), supported with an integrated, multi-faceted presence (HE partners, local member networks and professional body partners); (b develop indirect relationships with international partners of UK HE partners; and (c) develop selective direct relationships, balancing brand association benefits of working with elite partners and developing relationships with progressive, business-engaged universities.
What is the Board’s view on the proposed rates of growth for direct/indirect relationships?
• Has to be HEI-led – fatal if we don’t
• Focus on extension linked to UK HE partners
• Constrain growth to meet the quality hurdle
• Develop ‘Partner Support Template’ – Malaysia as pilot and blueprint
• Needs dedicated resources to develop – UK or local?
• Aspire to e-test ‘full on’ support in each jurisdiction – local CCMIs, events, Management Book of the Year etc
• Guard against brand devaluation 
• Ensure don’t distract from or undermine UK priorities re HEI growth – as this is pivotal to CMI success

What should CMI’s relationships be with local management institutes in target jurisdictions?

• 4 jurisdictions seem right
• Avoid risky jurisdictions
• Quality assurance paramount
• Do one right – and cascade from there

What are the risks; what if the worst was to happen?
• Risk to quality of delivery
• Risk re low quality partners
• Money; resources; reputation if quality not sustained; risk to UK HEI relationships if it does not succeed; distraction from UK mothership’; 

Next steps:
Show as separate stream re income and costs in business plan for February 2017 meeting of Board of Trustees

Question 5 – ‘Chartered Management Consultant’ (ChMC)
How do we make ‘Chartered Management Consultant’ a success, boost our brand reputation and member community without compromising the 3 very important areas?

Status update - The development of ChMC is supported by both our IC members and by the MCA.  However, to make it a success, at scale, the buy in from large consultancies is critical.  Therefore we will assess what the right commercial model is to achieve success (eg licensing through MCA) and whether there is a plan B.  Is this vision critical for CMI?
• Clearly a separate strategy stream – needs separate team
• Risk re lack of bandwidth in CMI – imperative for partner collaboration
• CMI has responsibilities to fulfil as ChMC Awarding Body
• No depth of experience in CMI on consultancy front
• Need to do it well or not at all
• There is interest from consultancy firms – re retention, advisory section career path 
• Seek an appropriate partner, ideally MCA, to execute it, with Martin Cook continuing as Lead player and with CEO and appropriate CMI support
• Gauge level of success after period of 12 months

• Develop and apply transition plan for successful ChMC pilot to run through to 31 December 2017 and then gauge outcomes
• Then review in terms of longer term structure and support teams 
• Ensure we give it a bit of ‘oxygen’ re support during the transitional phase