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The world is awakening to contracts

Posted by Tim Cummins, President of IACCM, Professor, Leeds University School of Law; Chair, International Commercial & Contract Management | Aug 19, 2018 3:37:00 AM

IACCM has recently announced the formation of the IACCM Council, an elected body of members who will be key in the Association’s governance and value delivery. Council delegates will benefit from their unique connection to a powerful network of professional thought-leaders and their access to world-class research. This article provides background to this exciting new development.

It was back in 2016 that the Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmstrom for their work on contracts. At that time, the awards committee observed:

“Modern economies are held together by innumerable contracts.  As such relationships typically entail conflicts of interest, contracts must be properly designed to ensure that the parties take mutually beneficial decisions”.

This quote is just one that is illustrative of the growing realization that contracts are of fundamental importance to business success and social welfare. From being almost an administrative after-thought, they are rapidly emerging as critical economic instruments – and the contracting and commercial processes that underpin good contracting are gaining increasing executive and political focus.

A community racing to keep pace

All of this explains the massive growth of IACCM – the only global, cross-functional non-profit association dedicated to contract and commercial management. The growing demands on this community to drive increased value, to enable greater collaboration, to design and implement new commercial models and deliver high-quality outcomes has placed tremendous stress on a limited resource pool and demanded urgent investment in tools and skills development.

A coherent response to these pressures depends on the continuing rapid development of professional skills and a readiness to do things in new and different ways. Fresh approaches to negotiation, the adoption and deployment of technology, creation of new commercial and financial models, greater focus on usability, simplification and problem elimination – these are just a few examples of the steps that must be taken to deliver value and manage risk.


IACCM supports its members through a commitment to thought-leadership and research. This requires strong and pro-active member engagement, plus a readiness to develop and adjust the association’s governance framework to keep pace with the times and ensure value – a challenging issue for an organization that embraces every industry and operates in 165 countries. The IACCM Council is a new body that offers the opportunity for members with personal ambition and commitment to engage with their peers on a global, cross-industry basis. Elections to the Council will be undertaken on the basis of geographic regions, industries and topical interest groups to ensure a balanced and representative mix within this important and influential body.

For more details about the IACCM Council, or to register interest in becoming an elected member, please click here.

Topics: contracting excellence, contract management, communication

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