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Chairs Message Nov/Dec 2018

View profile for Darren Whelan AILFM
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As I write this, temperatures have already plummeted to near zero. Looking out of the window, Summer and Autumn appear to be greeting one another as old friends as we begin the transition from one season to another. Summer, and 2018 overall, almost seem like a distant memory as the holiday season fast approaches. I for one, am looking forward to some good quality downtime with loved ones at year end – not forgetting the copious amounts of food and alcohol that will be on offer (and accidently consumed). I’m also looking forward to not talking about VAT, unless of course it stands for ‘Vodka And Tonic’!

As this is my first message as Chair, some good news for you - I’m a big believer in less is more. As the song goes ‘It’s All About You’ (if you didn’t know, McFly!). For me, listening is key, so I will try to keep my messages short and sweet and more importantly, light-hearted.

So, 2018 was fast paced. We saw a lot of change within the industry and we continue to see change like we’ve never before. Regulatory change is upon us and lurking around the corner. Technology continues to drive businesses and move at a pace most of us struggle to keep up with, forcing us into change – but is change a good thing?

The ILFM also hits 40 years young this year and like the rest of us, is also in a period of transition. As Sue steps down and I step up, like all Chairs before me, I have a vision – a clear vision driven by technology and more importantly, you, the members. That vision does not radically differentiate from the vision of the original founders of the ILFM had way back in 1978 but it does strive to take us forward, to that next step as an organisation and in order to do that, we must all welcome and embrace change.

Over the past 40 years, we have achieved some good things which have helped shape and form the organisation we are and deserve to be, today. However, whilst excellence starts from being good—a good membership body, a good member of the finance team, a good member of the family, good leadership, good management—it is important to understand the deeper meaning of stepping up. We can’t afford to be left behind.

Stepping up is about leaving your excellent performances behind. Reconfiguring yourself so you can move with the demands I mentioned earlier. It means leaving your comfort zone to navigate a newer, better way of doing things. It means growing up, learning from past experiences, gathering more tools, sharpening our minds, developing our talents, adding more skills, meeting new people, expanding our level of influence, and many more. It seems easy but nothing can be more difficult than doing what appears to be easy.

So, you’re probably thinking “how does this affect me, Darren?” The short answer is, we can’t do this without you – it’s that simple. First and foremost, we were formed to assist and help members and that has always been my motivation and drive for sitting on the Executive Council. Over the coming months, we’re going to be looking to you, to help us improve the experience you receive. To give you an idea of some of the changes and ideas ahead here are some of the things we’re either working on or looking into; 

• Reinstatement of the online forum; 

• New online support chat tools and functionality

• Online knowledge base

With the SRA Accounts Rules changes imminent, these quick wins will be key. 

As I sign off, take a moment to reflect on what you’re passionate about; what changes you would like to see and whether you would like to make a difference in something that matters. If you have something to contribute, no matter how small, please just drop me, Tim or the office an email.  

It’s time to step up not stay put and more importantly, it’s time to put the ‘U’ back into ‘Value’.

“If not you, who? If not now, when?”