INTERVIU Reema Nasser, director executiv ICMCI: A consultant who has been awarded the CMC has met world class standards of competence, ethics and independence

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reema-nasser-interviewReema Nasser has been contracted for the role of Executive Director for the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) since May 2013, before then, she was the Executive Director of the local institute; the Institute of Management Consultants and Trainers of Jordan (IMC-Jordan). Reema carried that role since 2006 where she was able to drive forward the acknowledgment of the local institute as well as the international council and the related certification with the local and regional community, stakeholders, and sister associations.

The achievements at IMC-Jordan provided Reema with hands on understanding of management consulting and project management as she was able to secure three major grants, host the ICMCI conference, introduce the PMO service, and conduct two trade missions. The trade missions required proper understanding and preparation for both the local market and the target market in order to put forward a proper value proposition.

Before joining IMC-Jordan, Reema worked at a local IT company from 1991 till 2006, where she climbed the ladder and gained the title of Training Center Manager during her last 4 years. During the years within the IT industry, Reema was able to gain hands on experience in business development and marketing, product know how, and support services. Products included both hardware and software, where the last software product Reema was responsible for was the internet banking solution.

The accumulated experience provided Reema with good contacts among the many industries in Jordan whether with the businesses themselves, the associations, or the related government entities, this combined with the managerial skills with regards to organizational development, business development, change management, and communication.

Reema holds a BA degree in Economics and Statistics and Political Science from the University of Jordan.

Finantare.ro: Can you please explain to the Romanian audience the mission and values of the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI)?

Reema Nasser: To answer your question, I would also have to give you some history. In May 1987, thirty-two management consultants from ten countries met to explore the common ground between professional institutes which were known to certify individual management consultants. At the end of the two day meeting the delegates proposed the formation of an International Council of Management Consulting Institutes to improve the certification of management consultants around the world. IMCs of seven countries formed the founding members of the new Council.

With that background, one can say that ICMCI is the authoritative international membership organisation for the development of world-class professional standards, and to establish the CMC designation as the international benchmark for individual management consultants.

The goal of ICMCI is to promote a closer working relationship between all management consulting institutes or organisations primarily dedicated to the registration or certification of individual management consultants. The purpose of this closer working relationship is to accelerate the achievement of mutual goals of the national institutes, particularly to assist them in raising the standards of the profession of management consulting and to create worldwide recognition and acceptance of the CMC (Certified Management Consultant) mark.

In recognition of the role management consulting plays in world trade, ICMCI was granted Non-Government Organisation (NGO) status with Special Consulting Focus by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2001.

Since 1987 the Council and its national member institutes have agreed on an International Code of Professional Conduct, international definitions within the profession, an international Common Body of Knowledge, minimum certification requirements and reciprocity of CMCs between member institutes. By the end of 1991, almost all nations with mature management consulting certification processes were represented on the Council.

The specific Mission of ICMCI in partnership with its members is:

  • To elevate the standards of management consultants worldwide, and to provide the international community with the confidence that these standards, combined with the certification process of its member institutes, will ensure that certified management consultants serve their clients with world-class competency and professionalism.
  • To support the creation and development of national professional institutes throughout the world, as well as encourage information sharing, networking and reciprocity between institutes adhering to ICMCI international standards and its code of conduct.

Finantare.ro: What does the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) mean? How can a management consultant receive this certification?

Reema Nasser: The CMC is a unique global qualification which rigorously assesses candidates to ensure they meet the ICMCI standard for the essential qualities for management consultants (Knowledge, Skills, Competence, and Trustworthiness). When one sees the initials CMC following a consultant’s name, it means that he or she is a Certified Management Consultant and has met strict certification requirements of the institute of management consultants in his or her country. A consultant who has been awarded the CMC has met world class standards of competence, ethics and independence. The award is recognized in all countries where there is an ICMCI member institute and is useful in all 192 member nations of the UN, of which the ICMCI is an NGO.

As a competence based qualification, all holders are required to maintain their competence through a programme of continuing professional development or education activities, these activities are judged by their impact on the holder’s competence, not by the hours they take to complete.

The ICMCI is the body that has the national institutes as members, and those in return cater to all the national corporate and individual memberships. ICMCI does not accept individual membership, therefore anyone pursuing the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation is advised to become a member of one of the national Institutes (IMC’s). A list of all member institutes is available on the home page of the ICMCI website (www.icmci.org).  

For example, a consultant in Romania seeking the CMC would have to contact AMCOR for membership and certification.

Of note, ICMCI has recently founded the CMC-Global Institute (CMC-GI), as the international institute that caters to all the individual consultants operating in non IMC countries.

Finantare.ro: Please give us 5 reasons why a Romanian management consultant should go to the process of CMC certification?

Reema Nasser: I believe every management consultant around the world should seek the CMC Certification and not just in Romania. However, to answer your question, I would like to highlight that the benefits of the CMC impact both the consultant and the client, as for a client selecting a management consultant who is a CMC ensures that the consultant meets the profession’s standards mentioned previously and those are competence, ethics, and independence and all these imply with respect to performance, experience, knowledge, skill, and most of all trustworthiness. In short, the CMC facilitates the selection and evaluation of a management consultant when a client is recruiting.

As for the consultants, the benefits vary, and I can name a few as the CMC is:

  • The recognised qualification in all the ICMCI member countries and therefore it is internationally portable.
  • Formal recognition of the Knowledge, Skills, Competence, and Trustworthiness of the consultant.
  • A means of enhancing attractiveness for employment and recruitment.
  • The mark that ensures a consultant can meet high standards of performance, experience and ethics.
  • The stamp that guarantees a consultant is up to date with regards to international standards and best practices especially as continued development is a requirement for maintaining the designation.

In addition to above, the CMC enhances opportunities to work outside one’s country, as reciprocity between all IMCs is established, and knowing that Romanian consultants provide their services all around Europe as well as Asia where the CMC is acknowledged among all member countries, I can say a CMC would enhance exportability of the his/her services worldwide.

Finantare.ro: How this certification can influence the decision of the client in his quest for qualified and reliable consultants?

Reema Nasser: Internally, awareness of the CMC within Romania is one of the main objectives AMCOR is pursuing, as Government entities are the main user of management consulting and spreading knowledge of its benefits and impact is a main factor towards enhancing the delivery of this profession internally and elevating it to an international level.

As previously mentioned, a client selecting a management consultant who is a CMC ensures that the consultant meets the profession’s standards mentioned previously and those are competence, ethics, and independence and all they imply with regards to performance, experience, knowledge, skill, and most of all trustworthiness. In short, the CMC facilitates the selection and evaluation of a management consultant when a client is recruiting.

Finantare.ro: The Romanian CMC directory consists of 37 management consultants, according to AMCOR’s website. What these figures show us about the degree of professionalization of the management consulting market from our country?

Reema Nasser: The management consulting market in Romania is still young taking into consideration the profession started beginning 1990’s, it is also small with around 800 companies servicing the market, knowing that 80 firms (10%) are members of AMCOR, then the 37 CMCs is a satisfying number and will shortly grow to reflect the 80 companies in the near future.

Having said that, I would like to highlight that one of the main factors hindering the speedy growth is the rigorous process a consultant has to follow in order to gain the CMC, no one says it is easy; however, with AMCOR’s awareness spreading of the benefits, mainly the exportability factor, and AMCOR’s advocacy efforts with the government, I believe more will be applying and joining the existing CMCs as the effort is well rewarded.

The latest event AMCOR held that took place in November with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is a proof that partnership with ICMCI and its IMCs is an important step international organizations take in order to locate local consultants, as the CMC status is a mark of professionalism that is to be benefited from, and those CMCs are the core of the professionalism of management consulting in Romania.

Another sign of the professionalism of management consulting in Romania is the local award that falls in line with the ICMCI international award, the Constantinus. This award is being managed by AMCOR at a national level, and winners are automatically nominated for the Constantinus international award.

Finantare.ro: Which are the main highlights you could tell us about your professional career?

Reema Nasser: My career started in 1991 and the highlight was in 2006 when I joined IMC-Jordan as the executive director. As I became involved with all that ICMCI stands for, I became aware of the huge efforts being put forward on daily basis to follow the mission and reach the goals both at a national level among all the IMCs, and at an international level with the collaboration of all within the ICMCI. This culminated in joining ICMCI in the same role in 2013.

Since then, it has been an exhilarating roller coaster ride! I have met many of the professionals that are making it happen, those who work for elevating this profession and making sure its delivery is according to the international standards and best practices. Those that are working for the benefit of a belief they have, I started being involved with those who are my role model. You can say I am now in my own Luna Park and enjoying every minute of my time!

Finantare.ro: Having a vast experience in the field, what do you think being a professional in the consultancy area means?

Reema Nasser: Being a professional in our profession means Knowledge, Skill, Competency, and Trustworthiness. Those are the guiding stars if I may call them, knowledge of who and what and how, skill to act, deliver, guide and provide, competency to decide, risk manage, and succeed, all enveloped with following an ethical conduct to maintain trustworthiness with the client.

Please remember that clients of management consulting are all other sectors and businesses, a management consultant delivering up to par is one of the main contributors to a stronger economy, as a management consultant contributes to better products, better services, stronger businesses, and they are factors in increasing national GDP directly and indirectly. And to be able to make sure this happens, consultants have to prove that they are worthy of this responsibility. This worthiness is tested and approved in the case of CMCs.

Finantare.ro: Last but not least, if you would be so kind as to offer some valuable insight and advice for some of our readers, we’d appreciate it.

Reema Nasser: There are two main ideas I would highlight. The first is that being a part of an association that validates your ethical delivery of your services is a huge benefit. Codes of conduct and ethics are the main pillars of a successful professional whether in management consulting or any other profession. That is why you see them evident among doctors, engineers, lawyers…etc, and it is about time everyone realizes that they are also a pillar to our management consulting profession as we handle the lives of companies, we build foundations for success, and we stand by great ideas and entrepreneurs.

Activities among the associations build togetherness, increase knowledge sharing, and for sure contributes to the continuous learning and development that all professionals need, especially with the fact that AMCOR for example was involved with the team working on the European standards for management consulting, and now is active with migrating those into the ISO standard as are most of the IMC’s internationally.

The second main idea I would like to highlight is that a better informed client is also a great factor towards a successful consulting project; a client that knows more about who is worthy of the mark of the CMC, and thereby a consultant that a client can venture into the unknown with. And my belief is that a consultant with the CMC mark is the safest most rewarding partner on that journey.

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