I was first approached to gauge my interest in joining the IUMI Nominating Committee at the Paris conference in 2011. My initial reaction was that “this should be an easy job” following my time as a member of the IUMI Cargo Committee and as Chair of the Joint Cargo Committee in London. All I would have to do was sit in on a couple of meetings each year and attend the odd Technical Committee (TC) meeting at the spring and September conferences. Life would be easy.
What has followed has been somewhat of an education over the ensuing years. The modernisation of the IUMI organisation, initially instigated under Ole Wikborg’s leadership and driven further by Dieter Berg in his tenure as the current IUMI President, has meant that the skills required to serve as an active and valued Executive Committee (EC) member and, especially, President are substantially more challenging than I had initially envisaged in Paris.
This has meant that the Nominating Committee has had to agree those characteristics which define the best candidates to take IUMI on to the next stage in its evolution. As much as an individual might love to embellish their CV’s with ‘a stint on the IUMI EC’, the commitment, workload and drive required should not be underestimated. This is no more so than when considering the role of IUMI President. I’m sure both Ole and Dieter would not mind me mentioning that the amount of work required just to fulfil the basics of the role was much more than they had initially envisaged.
Indeed, the role of an EC member now requires, as a minimum, a commitment to the following;
- Acting as an ambassador for IUMI
- Being prepared to present to local markets on IUMI matters of interest
- Being prepared to represent IUMI on a global basis if the President is unavailable
- Attending a minimum of four meetings per year
- Taking ownership and delivery of particular IUMI projects e.g. education, political topics, etc.
- Being prepared to chair sub or working groups
I think it is fair to say that the perception of the Nominating Committee had been ‘chequered’ in the past…… “It’s a secret society”, “It’s who you know, not what you know”, “What are you really doing in my technical committee meeting?” I’d like to think we have tried to improve this perception more recently.
The new Articles of Association have certainly helped in defining roles and responsibilities and we have hopefully become more transparent. We have liaised with the member association secretaries, TC Chairs and council members to try to get better engagement to develop a continuous pipeline of talent for future EC members and Presidents of IUMI. Indeed, the role of the Nominating Committee is just that – to nominate candidates to the IUMI Council members for election at the Council meeting at the September conference. We can only do our job properly if the country member associations take an active role to assist us by identifying future talent and by proposing those suitably qualified candidates for consideration.
Through all of this, the assistance of the Technical Committee Chairs and members is greatly appreciated by allowing the Nominating Committee members access as observers to their meetings. We are always open to discuss what is required to be a successful EC member and would encourage anyone to consider whether this is something they would wish to be part of in the future.
New people and new ideas are key to IUMI’s future success and it is in all our hands to deliver.