Bringing together a multi-state organisation under one unified national banner can be enormously rewarding – both for the organisation itself, and for its stakeholders. As we head further into the ‘Asian’ century and toward an increasingly globalised business culture, the benefits of combining a number of independent state-based divisions to create a unified, national Australian brand identity and voice will strengthen the brand and open up new opportunities for interaction, engagement and competition on a global scale. A single, united voice will be heard far more clearly on the world stage and the pooling of resources – including information, skills and revenue – unlocks new pathways for development and innovation, inevitably bolstering the return on investment for stakeholders, whether they’re staff, shareholders , members or investors.

For AIM in particular, merging into a single, unified body also reflects the professional reality of its Members. The barriers between interstate business operations have long since been overcome and most professionals now operate on a national scale. Our laptops, Skype accounts, email and iPads mean for many of us, working from a stationary office is a thing of the past. And we expect our professional networks and service providers to be equally moveable.  A professional development organisation such as AIM that can effectively travel with us and support our needs wherever we may be is surely of far more benefit than one that is anchored to our home state or city.

A merger also seems – at least to me- to align with the core vision and values of AIM – namely the advocacy, support and development of integrity and excellence in management and leadership at a national level.

Of course bringing together four independent and wholly self-sufficient offices to combine into a single entity is no mean feat and won’t be without its challenges. There will be compromises to accept and sacrifices to make. But the entity that emerges, a national AIM brand with the best of each state united under one banner, will be far better placed to engage with the challenges of the 21st Century business landscape and become a major player, thought-leader and influencer of the management industry, with a voice that will be heard around the world.

Rob Thomason FAIM is the Executive General Manager, Business Development at CPA Australia.