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Preparing for the Unpredictable

By Jeffrey C. Thomson, CMA, CSCA, CAE
July 1, 2021

Thank you to the many members around the world who attended our virtual Annual Meeting of Members in late June.

 

Along with the fantastic stories and updates shared by IMA® leaders and members at that meeting, I discussed IMA’s priorities for the year ahead. These priorities are shaped by our strategic plan, to which the IMA Global Board of Directors recently added a fifth goal: “Prepare for an unpredictable future by investing in capabilities that support agility and resilience.”

 

We learned this past year that we must have the systems, financial resources, and talent to provide flexibility when faced with extreme challenges. COVID-19 strengthened our resolve to be prepared for unexpected challenges. That commitment will support our growth in CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) candidates and drive value for our members. We’ll succeed with our:

 

Investments in technology. I’m proud of the technology investments we’ve made to better serve members, including those that enabled IMA staff to provide customer service, address educational needs, and develop new offerings, including free continuing professional education (CPE), all while working remotely. And our new state-of-the-art website, launching in 2022, will deliver a more mobile-friendly, content-rich, and multilingual experience with better search capabilities.

 

Investment in products and services. IMA now offers more than 160 hours of CPE—including all ethics courses, nearly 65% of our e-learning courses, all webinars, and various virtual events—as a free member benefit. We will continue to develop educational products that address in-demand skills, such as technology and data analytics. We also will develop research in emerging areas like sustainability and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

 

Investment in hybrid learning types. Among the unexpected benefits of the pandemic was the increase in virtual learning. I’ve heard from members that IMA’s value pricing on many of our events fostered engagement and inclusivity—with record numbers of members taking advantage of opportunities they might not have otherwise been able to. We will continue to explore hybrid learning as a more inclusive, cost-effective option for our members.

 

Investment in new markets, partners, and people. CMAs will be essential to the long-term economic recovery of their organizations and society, so we will seek out new opportunities to extend the reach of the CMA program into more geographic regions. We will continue to grow our network of review course providers, most recently adding globally recognized educational leader Becker to our expanding list of strategic partners. We’re also hiring in-house legal counsel to help us navigate the challenges of entering new markets.

 

IMA begins fiscal 2021-2022 with a strong balance sheet and commitment to a strategic plan that creates more growth in the CMA program, advances IMA’s position as a thought leader, enhances IMA’s value proposition with its educational offerings, and invests in technology to enable a superior member experience. I’m excited to see what lies ahead as we face a volatile and disruptive future, together.

 

Jeffrey C. Thomson, CMA, CSCA, CAE, is IMA president and CEO. He also is a member of IMA’s Bergen-Rockland-Meadowlands Chapter. You can reach Jeff at jthomson@imanet.org or follow him on Twitter: @IMA_JeffThomson.
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