ICMCI celebrates the first year of ISO 20700: Guidelines for management consultancy services and international consultants day: "Shining a light on management consulting"
Stakeholders from twenty countries attended the event to demonstrate their support and discuss how the standard will evolve and be implemented in the future.
Vienna, Austria. ICMCI held its event celebrating the one-year anniversary of the launch of the ISO 20700, the first published service standard.
Stakeholders from twenty countries were in attendance with representatives from six international organizations. The agenda covered areas of the ISO 20700 strategy, opportunities, implications of possible routes for the consulting industry and consultancies to strive for successful engagements.
The event took place at the WKO Sky Lounge - Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and included a follow up event celebrating International Consultants’ Day 2018.
The welcoming speakers were unified in their support for the ISO standard and its potential to make a difference. Ms. Ulrike Rabmer-Koller, UEAPME - European Crafts and SME Association - President and WKO Vice President, stated “We intend to strengthen the SME involvement in and awareness on the standardization process” and continued by saying “Standardisation is becoming increasingly more important to access new markets and for SMEs need to have the opportunity to spread their wings.”
Ms. Elisabeth Stampfl-Blaha, Managing Director Austrian Standards, and Former ISO Vice President Technical Management addressed the participants by highlighting that services make up an overwhelming part of the global economy and this explains a growing need for International Standards in the services sector. Ms. Stampfl-Blaha stated: “The International Standard ISO 20700 helps to clarify expectations between management consultants and their customers and is the basis for transparency and trust. This event brings together an outstanding variety of expertise from so many countries of the world for discussing the current and future implementation for this important standard.”
The ICMCI board members present at the event also acknowledged the value of the standard. Sorin Caian, Chair of ICMCI, stated that “Management consulting is all about adding value. There are two components that help assure this: professionalism and ethics and both are apparent and instilled in the standard.” Robert Bodenstein, PC 280 Chair commented that “Management consulting is a young profession, in most countries it is not regulated in any way. IS0 20700 helps to achieve common goals that can be agreed between consultants and clients”. This was followed by Ilse Ennsfellner, Chair CEN TC 381 saying “Together, management consultants and clients can shape our future, The IS0 20700 standard will be a best seller as it clarifies the rights and responsibilities of both the provider and the user of the service.”
The event included an address by Karl Grün, Director Standards Development at Austrian Standards International, Standardization and Innovation who focused on the strategy of ISO on service standardization and what we can learn from the standard especially in terms of outreach and post publication activities. According to Mr. Grün: “A standard helps to answer the question: What does good look like? ISO 20700 does this for the delivery of management consulting services.”
All participants were involved in the discussions and contributed to shaping the next steps for the implementation of the standard after listening to our panelists. All contributors were in agreement that the standard will enhance the confidence of clients in consulting, boost impact of projects, and contribute to the economic and social progress. Natalia Makova of EBRD stated that: “EBRD – European Bank for Reconstruction and Development works with over 4,500 local consultants in 30 countries, and to date has supported over30,000 advisory projects with SMEs, to the Bank is planning to incorporate ISO 20700 to the training courses for local consultants in order to support them in delivering better results. Adnan Atwa of UNIDO -United Nations Industrial Development Organisation- included in his panel address: “ISO 20700 lays out the basics of the delivery of management consulting services. From my service, documenting and standardizing the basics is very important.” And continued by saying: “I believe that ISO 20700 is an important guiding document that contributes to enhancing good governance and professional practices when providing consulting or technical assistance services.”
Discussion focused on change and the speed of change. Sorin Caian talked of the uncertainties of where management consulting will be in 5 years, and that change should not cause fear. Frank Wagner of FCSI focused on what we can learn from the development and implementation of other standards and concluded by saying: “Fair competition is important. ISO 20700 provides a baseline that members in the association can follow. The starting point is to develop tools for both consultants and clients. FSCI (Foodservice Consultants Society International) will be outing considerable effort behind this.”
As an Academic Fellow of ICMCI, and a practicing management consultant, Greg Richards tapped on the creative part of management consulting and that “Some would say that standards impede creativity. In fact, standards help creativity because they constrain your focus and allow one to be as creative as possible within the bounds of the standard.” As in training the next generation of consultants: “It is important to help them understand the rationale behind and the application of the standards in the field of consultancy. Overall, such an understanding helps them to become better consultants, and in my view better managers if they choose not to enter the field of consulting.”
Mr. Jack Yao of CCPIT - China Council for the Promotion of International Trade- shared with participants the experiences of implementing ISO 20700 in China and the steps already taken by them to establish the website and translate the standard to Chinese. Dr. Frenn of IRI (Industrial Research Institute in Lebanon) focused on how the implementation of the standard will “assist them at a national level and that it will contribute to the success of the institute”.
As part of increasing awareness of the standard, CMC-Global launched a number of tools and actions including the self-declaration list, the tailored training programme targeting consultants and clients, and the www.iso20700.org website.
ICMCI (CMC-Global) is an international membership organisation and a network of the management advisory and consultancy associations and institutes worldwide, who have a common purpose and shared values and goals.