What makes an organization great? Is it a solid financial position, a spotless reputation, a cadre of talented staff and volunteers? Each of these elements is a contributor, but one of the main drivers of organizational excellence is the willingness to adapt and respond to shifts in the market. In short, it’s agility enabled by a passion for innovation.

Innovation is one of IMA’s five global core values, principles that enable us to carry out our mission of providing a forum for research, practice development, education, knowledge sharing, and advocacy of the highest ethical and best business practices in management accounting and finance. Here’s how we define it: We believe innovation and a spirit of continuous improvement are engines that keep us relevant, vital, and growing. Our culture embraces creativity and seeks different perspectives. We behave like owners of a business, managing risks and identifying new opportunities in serving members and advancing the profession.

IMA Global Board of Directors member Brad Monterio, who also serves as chair of IMA’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, recently inspired staff members with a special presentation. Brad speaks all over the world on many topics, including innovation, and he shared these insights:

  • There’s an innovator in all of us. Innovative ideas don’t just come from those “at the top, the senior executive team, the strategists.” Anyone can—and should—be an innovator.
  • Innovation doesn’t have to change the world. An innovation can simply be an incremental change, just a small improvement to internal business processes that cuts costs or increases through­put with the same or better level of quality.
  • Innovation starts with an idea. I’m reminded of the quote by the late innovation strategist Cynthia Barton Rabe: “Don’t let what you know limit what you can imagine.” In practice, this means that if you can envision an idea that can make a meaningful change, don’t overthink it right away. There’s plenty of time to experiment and justify the idea with a business case.

At IMA, we’ve long believed in innovating for our members and seek to encourage this spirit of continuous improvement in everything we do. We’ve embodied this principle in some of our recent initiatives, such as our enhanced Management Accounting Competency Framework and cutting-edge Education and Career Services offerings (like on-the-go microCPE and new courses on topics related to management accounting in the Digital Age). We’ve also made upgrades to our member user experience with new features for the myIMA dashboard, such as auto renewal, and improvements to the dashboard experience of our non-U.S. members, to name a few examples.

We are constantly seeking new opportunities to better serve our members. I encourage all of you to be innovators and share your ideas on how IMA can improve your member experience!

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