Hi Fellow IIB’ers
Allow me to set the scene, because 2004 was quite an interesting year.
It was a year of high-profile global politics and if it proved nothing else, it proved that the only difference between a politician and a flying pig, is the letter “f”.
In 2004 the Google initial public offering ( IPO ) raised US $1.67 billion.
Facebook was launched as a social networking site only open to students from Harvard in by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates.
LinkedIn was still in the ‘Early Adopter’ phase approximately 18 months out of its official launch. By 2004 it was changing the landscape of professional business networking and we saw the launch of a new global sector called ‘Business Social Media’. Who would have guessed that 13 years later it would be acquired by The Microsoft Corporation for $26.2 billion and soar to a global membership of 562 million business interested members world-wide.
2004 produced an early insight in what later became known as ‘Fake News’ when Piers Morgan was dismissed as editor of the Daily Mirror after the newspaper published fake pictures of Iraqi prisoner abuse. Which proved that the only difference between a news editor and a flying pig, is the letter “f”.
Twitter never existed.
The remains of a previously unknown species of human was discovered in Indonesia. Named Homo floresiensis.
Several thousand miles away after watching a popular movie called Meet the Fokkers, British Archaeological Scientists confirmed a positive sighting of 25+ Homo iibsilverfoxexecutiveassociateensis in the same office building in Watford, England.
And so it began…
I remember joining my October 2004 IIB Residential Business School (RBS) class at the IIB HQ in Watford. There were approximately 25 other eager candidates who had invested in this career enhancing opportunity.
It was a global collective of aspirational executives all eager to learn and successfully graduate into a professional brain trust of Silver Fox professionals with an average age of 55.
As I surveyed the opening meet and greet session, I met with accountants, CEO’s, engineers, finance traders, business consultants and advisors. Most were nervous, after all we were about to embrace ‘change’ and nothing is more uncomfortable for mature business people than change.
I’d like to state for the record, that although I had been a specialist consultant for a number of years I still believe that my financial investment in the IIB’s RBS was one of the best Blue-Chip Investments I’ve ever made.
And so, I consider the 11th October 2018 as a significant 14-year milestone in my business consultancy career and I attribute this to the fact that the IIB RBS provided me with deep and wide foundation for me to facilitate my career transition into business growth consultancy.
Building a long-term sustainable consultancy career based on a solid foundation was the most valuable thing I learned on my IIB RBS.
That solid IIB foundation is as strong today as it was when first constructed 14 years ago.
The next life-long valuable lesson I learnt was not to resit ‘change’ but to anticipate, expect and embrace it.
If you need any further supporting evidence, then think about this. Many business sales, marketing and growth strategies utilised by professional business consultants that worked 5 years ago, simply don’t work in today’s marketplace.
Whether we like it or not, we consult in a technology driven business market place and change manifests at a lightning fast pace.
Several things can be analysed after a proactive 14-year status in any professional organisation. The first is that I have accumulated 14 years of valuable business specific analytical data and Intelligence which I utilise on a day to day basis.
I’ve made lots of business friends who I’ve worked for, and with, and I’ve passed on contractual work to lots of IIB’ers and continue to do so.
Despite the advance of online and digital business networking, I remain of the opinion that the IIB fraternity is one of the most outstanding networks of professional business consultants I have ever worked with.
In 14 years, I’ve seen new IIB executive associates work hard and find their niche in a very competitive business consultancy sector. I’ve been inspired by many of these consultants.
From my own personal observations, I’ve met lots of IIB’ers during the last 14 years and an extremely high percentage of them proved to be extremely competent and professional business consultants and advisors.
I’ve also met five or six consultants who in an amusing kind of way have provided irrefutable proof that human life exists on planet Pluto. And I’m glad I met them, because we are all different and fortunately I learnt something new from each of them.
During the last 14 years I’ve witnessed various operational changes at HQ and I’ve seen how proactive professional consultants have embraced these changes in a positive manner to strengthen their business consultancy businesses.
I still attribute the longevity of the IIB to the founder Linden Dyason being a business visionary who was astute enough to choose an excellent management team to support his early vision.
14 years on I am still meeting and working with new business associates, some of who I have never met until recently. In fact, I recently met with another 14-year-old IIB veteran for coffee near Windsor Castle where we shared a very useful 3-hour consultation session.
Contracts like this one reinforce I miss not having frequent group meetings or an annual conference. But I guess that’s one of the negative aspects of ‘change’. Technology delivers an alterative meeting choice these days, one were people interact online without having to leave their offices.
Has the IIB been all plain sailing, obviously it hasn’t. How could it have been. It’s a network of global specialists, which by definition creates its own problems, ego’s and issues. We are never all going to see eye to eye and that’s okay, because as professionals the IIB instilled shared values in us. Most times that’s enough to maintain the required Status Quo.
In summary, I’m mindful of a quote I frequently use. Amateurs practice until they get it right, whereas Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.
After 14 years I know the IIB concept of professional networking still works and I remain proud to be a proactive member of the association. But we do need to start proactively communicating with each other again
And I still get a buzz from meeting with new and old IIB associates.
If you feel a tad detached from the IIB and a little despondent due to changes, then take a moment to reflect on the wisdom of Eric Idle of Monty Python fame…
“When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
Don’t grumble, give a whistle
And this’ll help things turn out for the best
And always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the light side of life
If life seems jolly rotten
There’s something you’ve forgotten
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing
When you’re feeling in the dumps
Don’t be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle, that’s the thing.
And always look on the bright side of life” (3 min video) …..