I’m pleased to be writing my first update for you, the members of CMI who live and work in the South-West. I have lived in Cornwall for almost 20 years. Although it’s been home to me, I became very aware, early on that from a career perspective living so far away from the metropolis and main cities, that it would be tough to grow professionally working in the far west. As I got to know Cornwall, I came to understand that my home – close to St Austell, wasn’t even the far west – there was another hour to get there!
I have been interested and involved in talent development for most of my professional life. In the late 1990s I was one of the founding directors of The Talent Foundation – a charity set up to help people be the best they possibly could be in the workplace. We did this by helping people understand what they enjoyed and what they were naturally good at. If you can find the combination of those two things – you can achieve amazing things both professionally and for you and your family. My title there was Director of Possibilities – chosen by the CEO because I always tried to stretch organisations and people to see possibilities for themselves that initially they couldn’t. I wanted them to re-imagine themselves and what they could be – what was their true purpose in life? It worked for many people.
Last week I chaired my first Regional CMI Board Meeting. I had the chance to meet my Boardroom colleagues who are a great group of people committed to the CMI cause and to helping raise the standards of management and leadership for people and organisations in our region. However, it became clear to us that we need to reflect on our own purpose as a board and how best we serve the members in our region.
The region is huge. The challenges and opportunities in Bristol and Bath are vastly different from those in, for example, North Devon or Cornwall. Plymouth as the Ocean City is developing a strong identity and Exeter has firmly established itself in a number of areas and has the advantage of easy transport access. Somerset has really varied challenges because of its proximity to the city to the north and rural nature to the south.
What all this means for us at the CMI is we have to again look at how we help best our members in the different regions of the South-West. The Board is committed to that agenda and I will be meeting with all the Regional Chairs in early November to tackle that question across all regions of the UK. The Board will also begin recruiting for new members in the coming months so I encourage you to look out for those communications if that is of interest.
Although I have been a member of the CMI for a long time and a Companion for the past ten years, I have only attended one event in Cornwall. So for all the region we need to find that combination of what we are good at and what we enjoy. I would welcome your views. What do you need, hope and expect from the CMI in the South-West? Do let me know.
Terry Corby CCMI