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U.S./U.K. Chapters Come Together for First-ever Joint Webinar

Thanks to the initiative and vision of two motivated volunteer leaders, IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) recently offered, for the first-time ever, a jointly sponsored webinar between a U.S. and U.K. chapter.

The webinar, which provided one hour of CPE credit, was the idea of IMA Joplin (Mo.) Tri-State Chapter President Jim Williams, CMA. Having heard that the U.K. Chapter had conducted a joint webinar event with the IMA Cairo Chapter, Williams approached U.K. Chapter President Fatema El-Wakeel, CMA, to see if she would consider something similar.

“She was all for the idea of bridging continents,” Williams recalls. “The senior leaders from both our chapters met over Skype to select the topic and decided quickly on innovation, which is very popular right now. Choosing the speaker was easy: I had heard Patrick Stroh’s excellent presentation at the IMA Annual Conference & Expo in Denver, and he became the obvious choice.”

The timing of the event was easily worked out: since Joplin, Mo., is on U.S. Central time, holding the webinar at 7 p.m. in the U.K. meant that it was dinner time there, lunch time in Missouri. Tara Barker, IMA community relations manager, helped to work out all the technical details.

More than 50 people attended the webinar, which was titled “Innovation Value Executive Primer” and held on November 28. Stroh, president of Mercury Business Advisors, led the talk, covering such topics as:

  • Developing an end-to-end process for designing, aligning, launching, scaling, measuring, and monitoring innovation;
  • Five specific innovation activation channels and the strengths and weaknesses of each; and
  • Best practices of applying “innovation governance” to harness yet not stifle resources.

An archive of the recorded webinar is available here. [Please note: Recorded webinars are not eligible for CPE credit.]

Notes Williams, “The feedback we’ve received from our members has been very positive. Given the advancement of technology, these kinds of joint events are certainly possible and popular. I’d definitely recommend this type of cooperative event for other chapters – any time you can get people with common interests and diverse backgrounds together you’re adding value to the profession.”

El-Wakeel echoes those sentiments: “We had members from all around the world, not only the U.S. and the U.K., and based on the feedback, attendees learned a great deal from Pat’s insightful discussion. Our chapter would definitely like to continue collaborations such as this – with U.S. chapters as well as those from other regions – as getting speakers to discuss topics that are relevant cross-culturally both enriches attendees’ experience and allows members to get to know each other better.”

Williams is also open to conducting future webinars, using different platforms or topics. “We really can learn a great deal from each other. It would be especially valuable to talk about, for example, differences in doing business in other countries or the international nature of management accounting,” he says.

For more information on the IMA Joplin Tri-State Chapter, please visit http://joplintristate.imanet.org/home. Information on the IMA U.K. Chapter can be found at https://imaukblog.wordpress.com/. Chapters that are interested in offering a similar event can contact Tara Barker at tbarker@imanet.org.

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