“My Journey with the ISM”. Roger Bradburn, COO of the ISM

I first joined the ISMM back on the 4th March 1986. Maggie Thatcher was Prime Minister and the country was enjoying the late 1980s “Yuppie” boom. I was working in sales for Bourns Inc, a California based electronics company. Their UK Managing Director, Philip Bullus, was a big fan of the ISMM and knew John Fenton, urged me to join, so join I did.

The ISMM had a large membership on those days, perhaps 10000 or so. This was the era before LinkedIn when mobile phones cost around the same as a small car (and were nearly as big). The “CRM system” consisted of a back seat full of manila files, although new technologies were coming through. Finding out about sales was a genuine chore. There was no Google, so to find ideas on sales techniques you read books from the library or took the odd course if you could afford it. “Sales and Marketing Management”, the ISMM’s magazine at the time, was a wealth of information and became compulsory reading. Over the years, I helped develop the ISM’s range of Ofqual courses, hosted London events and ran a centre for the qualifications. It has been an interesting ride.

The world we live in now is very different. We have social media, google and CRMs. People often ask me if I think the ISM as it now is, is still relevant. In many ways it is more so. The pace of business has changed dramatically. The “gig” economy means we need to be more connected than ever and no amount of technology will ever beat meeting real people.  We also need more skills. Although the world has moved on since 1986, the ideas the ISM was founded on are more critical than ever.

Roger Bradburn, COO of the ISM holding his original membership certificate from 1986, accompanied by Rachael Bourke, Membership Manager.