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Better managers. Better leaders. For a better society.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I would like to thank the many AIM Members who have contacted me personally since I joined to wish me well in my new role at this great Australian organisation.

I would also like to thank the Members who have offered me advice, suggestions and questions during my continuing visits to the cities and regional centres. There is undoubtedly one question that has cropped up more than most, both on email and at the various Meet the CEO functions. It is this; what does AIM stand for?

Following the recent restructure of AIM into AIM and AIM Education & Training, you are now Members of a dedicated membership body. As part of this renewed focus, I believe that AIM should represent you - its Members - by being the spokesperson and the advocate for sound management and leadership practice. Whether you work in a large multinational, a small local business, your own business or the public sector I believe that AIM should represent you in promoting better managers, better leaders for a better society at every opportunity.

Thought leadership and advocacy will lie at the heart of AIM’s strategy. We will begin discussing, researching and presenting ideas across a broad policy platform that will be based five core management and leadership pillars:

Managing and leading today. The impetus of this policy area will be to determine the challenges that you as managers and leaders in Australia are facing in your roles right now. What are the economic, political, societal and environmental factors that are having the greatest impact on managers today, and how do we operate as effective leaders in current conditions?

Diversity in management and leadership. AIM already has a proud history of advocating for greater gender diversity in Australian leadership through initiatives such as International Women’s Day and The Outstanding Women Series. We believe that AIM must grasp the nettle and explore diversity in a much broader sense. By investigating, discussing and advocating for older workers, young managers, LGBT leaders and greater cultural diversity generally, we hope to begin affecting real change in the diversity of Australia’s boardrooms. In short, diversity matters! And AIM needs to lead the charge for a much broader diversity discussion.

Managing and leading in Regional Australia. AIM is – and will remain - well represented in regional Australia. It is incredibly important that we represent the managers and leaders outside of Australia’s major cities by engaging in meaningful conversations with them about the unique challenges they face. Whilst we have started to put together a new regional events strategy to connect our regional Members with each other and the broader business community, the greater goal in this policy platform is to advance the interests of regional leaders and managers in policy development at every level of government.

The future of management and leadership. By investigating current trends in the field, we hope to determine what the future of leadership might look like both locally and further afield. What will the workplaces and organisations of the future look like? And how will you manage and lead in this brave new world? What are the skills and knowledge you will need to drive your business - Australia’s economy – forward? AIM needs to be at the forefront of the future direction of management and leadership.

The societal impact of sound management and leadership. The goal of this policy area is to scratch beneath the surface of the reality of modern day management practices to consider their impact on people and on society. How do we effectively balance our work life and home life? What impact does sound management and leadership have on mental and physical health, and how do we promote healthier workplaces? In essence, this policy area is about AIM practicing what we preach whilst at the same time calling for a much more holistic view of the outcomes of good management practice on the broader Australian community.

At its core, this new direction in thought-leadership is about AIM finding its voice and giving you – the Members – a clear voice in shaping the management and leadership agenda in Australia. My vision is to see AIM establish itself as the ‘go-to organisation’ amongst the business community, the media and government for opinion, comment and action on management and leadership.

Admittedly, these are lofty pursuits. But I believe that, as Australia’s preeminent membership body for management and leadership professionals, we must AIM HIGH and we must guard against being limited in our ambitions.

As I mentioned last month, I strongly believe in open lines of communication, so I welcome any and all feedback on our developing policy and advocacy strategy from AIM’s Members. You can reach me at