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  • Simon Rickman

It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but credit where it's due


Yesterday, I spent a fruitful morning speaking to members of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (https://www.cicm.com). Organised by the very professional team from Forums International (https://forumsinternational.co.uk), we explored how 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People' could be applied to the intriguing world of credit management.

To be honest, it didn't take too long to make the links. Just looking at the CICM's website, their 'messaging' aligns to the principles of the 'Habits'. It starts with their mission, which is to “….promote excellence in credit management and raise awareness of its vital role in business and the community.” On seeing this, I had the feeling that we would be talking the same language, as my business purpose is to "“Realise the value of your people”. I was right.

I provided a summary of each Habit, and aligned them to one of the CICM's 'values'. For example, the CICM is 'Professional, by taking ownership, delivering on promises and displaying honesty and integrity'; this is the very essence of 'Be Proactive' (Habit 1). The CICM value 'People, by supporting, recognising and rewarding the contribution made by others, and being considerate'. Quite simply, this is 'Win-win' (Habit 4). And the CICM is 'Progressive, by challenging the status quo and seeking continual improvement and innovation'. This is as good as saying 'Sharpen the saw' (Habit 7).

But the real 'value' comes when you get your participants to start applying the Habits to their own work environment; whether it's in their own role, or in their team, or function, or organisation. That's where the light bulbs come on (if they haven't done so already). In a matter of just 15 minutes, they managed to generate 20 ideas that could be explored further.

So, I am indebted to Laurie Beagle at Forums International for asking me to be a guest speaker. Having sat next to Barbara Freedman, a Fellow of the CICM (who happens to be my mother-in-law), at a Fellow's dinner, Laurie was taking a risk. I'm glad he did.

The feedback speaks for itself, with 95% of participants rating the topic as 'highly relevant' to them. This was backed up with comments such as, "Brilliant presenter", "Very engaging", and "Food for thought". I can assure you that my mother-in-law wasn't in the room! Now with that reference to 'food', I could do with a cup of tea.


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