Council Brings New Hope to HKIM
In August 2012, riding on a promise to revamp the Institute, a new Executive Council was elected. Chairman Sherman Lam reprises his role between 2001 and 2003. At the same time, Stephen Lau, one of the founders of HKIM and its ex-CEO, was invited to volunteer as Chief Executive Officer. We spoke with both of them to get an idea of things ahead.
HKIM: What are your plans for change?
Lam: Firstly, the new Council is determined to break from the past. I see HKIM as a marketing professional body which is singularly focused on the benefits of our members and society. The time when HKIM was perceived as a trade association serving the self-interest of a few has gone. HKIM should return to its mandate to provide a sustainable platform for practitioners who advocate marketing excellence and integrity.
Lau: Professionalism, sustainability and service are also the key words for revitalizing the Institute. The HKIM is uniquely positioned to represent the marketing profession. Over the years and through the collective efforts of previous councils, committees, advisors and members, we have built up a strong reputation in Hong Kong, China and the Asia Pacific region. It is something we all treasure and is too important to sacrifice.
HKIM: What will be your priorities at this moment?
Lam: While the process of redefining the mission statement of HKIM will be ongoing, There are several immediate tasks ahead:
• rebuild the immediate financial strength of HKIM;
• rebuild the trust and acceptance from members, partners and collaborating organizations;
• refocus resources on its mission as a marketing professional body;
• rebuild the professional standard in the practice and image for HKIM;
• disassociate with questionable individual/organizations and discontinuous activities that may have any relationship these individual/organizations.
Together, the Executive Council, with the Management Team comprising the CEO Stephen Lau and General Manager Horace Wong, will be working to reposition the Institute. These include fixing deficiencies in the membership structure, revamping the quality of activities by creating an Activities Accreditation Scheme, establishing a code of conduct and ethics for marketing practices and defining the governance of the Executive Council.
Lau: In the meantime, work is continuing on the 30th anniversary celebration programs – a Gala Dinner on November 22 and a 30th anniversary talk series. These programs share the theme “Development of Classic Hong Kong Brands from the 1980s”, featuring well-known local brands and their development in the past three decades. Both are designed to put HKIM back to the forefront of the marketing scene
HKIM: How about your longer term plans?
Lam: We are looking at many things with the Executive Council and Stephen. Amongst the priorities are these:
• rebuilding the needed expertise, resources and infrastructure;
• turn HKIM around and make it financially and operationally sound;
• sustain a viable business model and underlying infrastructure for HKIM to fulfill its mission;
• create a healthy leadership succession model in support of HKIM’s long term development;
• rebuild the image and reputation of HKIM as “the voice” of the Hong Kong marketing professionals, and liaising with the government to deal with local marketing issues.
HKIM: That sounds like quite a handful!
Lam: There are no easy answers to these challenges and objectives. Most of us realize it will take a very strong team to work hard for many years to achieve what we set out to do. The Council must formulate the right strategies to generate the needed resources and activities that will enable HKIM to deliver on its promise.
Lau: We face many problems. First, a depilated image for HKIM as a result of programs and activities which deviated from our professional standpoint – a complete re-build of the HKIM brand is required. Second, a poor financial position attributed to low income streams from our programs and activities, burden further with a sizeable fixed overhead. We both see an immediate need to implement high quality programs to avert the downward trend.
HKIM: Do you have any message for our members?
Lam: Together with Vice-Chairman Philip Pau, a very committed Executive Council, and the Management Team, we promise to try our best to turn the Institute around. Yet it will be the members who will matter the most in the process. It is very important that we have your help and support to rebuild the future of HKIM to serve the best interests of the marketing professionals and the society
Lau:Turning the Institute around is a huge task. Luckily we have a dedicated Council and strong committees, on top of many long-time members answering to our call for help. Please pitch in and make HKIM great again!.
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Click here to see the profile of our new Executive Council.