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After a long and fulfilling career in contract and commercial management, I find it especially gratifying to see the growing influence and contribution of today's practitioners.  While some may still be struggling to establish visibility and recognition within their organizations, others are steaming full speed ahead - nothing is more energizing than meeting those enthusiasts at IACCM's annual conferences and in particular when we are presenting our Innovation Awards.

As we all know, 'innovation' has become a critical element of today's organizational success. No one can flourish without it. Members of IACCM are increasingly at the forefront with exciting new ideas and initiatives – as evidenced by this year's 81 entries in our annual Innovation Awards program.

Some of these were about new ways of operating, simplifying or streamlining functional process, raising skills, tackling bottlenecks. Others were about effectiveness – delivering new forms of agreement, empowering the business, raising measured value from contracts. Overall, they represented the imagination and determination of individual practitioners and groups to really make a difference.

Chairing IACCM events is in many ways a highly emotional experience. As founder of the association, I remember clearly the days when there was nothing, when no one could define the role of contract and commercial managers, when there were no meetings or aspirations for the future.

I am truly grateful to those who not only inspire us all with their ideas and initiatives, but also take the time to share their achievements for the benefit of us all.  Looking out at the sea of enthusiastic faces fills me with real pride and affection for the community that together we have established.

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