The routine of meeting at the boathouse, rowing together, and debriefing at the end, day after day, facilitates the growth of close friendships. What always amazes me, though, is the strong connection we feel with members of other crews when socializing after a race. Even though we’re meeting for the first time, we share a common bond—our passion for rowing—which leads to fun and lively conversation.
This feeling of camaraderie is a key reason I love IMA® as well. If you’re like I am, your first IMA friends came from the “local team” (i.e., the chapter). For example, maybe you really clicked with someone you sat next to at that first IMA chapter event, such as a dinner or baseball game. Then you agreed to be a chapter officer and over time developed tight bonds with other chapter leaders.
As time has progressed, your IMA network has likely grown. If you regularly attend IMA’s Annual Conference & Expo, you no doubt look forward to seeing familiar faces from years past. And if you’re active at the global level, participating in one of IMA’s technical or advisory committees or even on the IMA Global Board of Directors, you have surely expanded your relationships and felt the camaraderie of being part of these groups.
That said, don’t limit yourself! Like the rowing community, all IMA members—nearly 140,000 of us from 150 countries around the world—share a common bond.
We are, of course, management accounting professionals. More specifically, we are part of IMA, the greatest association of accounting and finance professionals in the world. We share common values, participate in similar activities, and benefit from the same training, resources, and thought leadership. And the common bond is even stronger for those of us who have earned the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) and can share our experiences of preparing for and taking the exam that’s IMA’s “global passport for business.” Even if we’ve never met, our IMA connection can lead to enjoyable and engaging conversation.
This reality was underscored for me over the last few weeks of November 2021 during what I personally dubbed my “Great European Adventure.” Our first stop was in Istanbul, Turkey, where I had the honor of having dinner with Kerim Kazgan, CFO of Sanmar and president of IMA’s Turkey Chapter, and the rest of the chapter’s leadership team. We had a wonderful time talking about the chapter, IMA, the CMA, their incredible city, careers, and life. It was fun, entertaining, and inspirational.
After Istanbul, I had the privilege of meeting members in the Netherlands, Italy, Luxembourg, and Germany. The conversations flowed easily. Thanks to our common bond, there was a great sense of connection and no limit to the discussions. In each case, the easy camaraderie made it difficult to believe we just met. That’s the power of IMA! I encourage you to tap into that power as well.