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The current Holy Grail in management is finding the app that hasn’t been written. So far my search for one such app (I’m kind of reluctant to let you know what the subject is given that someone will go out and write it snatching my IP and tens of dollars in royalties out from under me) has proved fruitless. There was the Industrial age, the Nuclear age and now it would appear we are in the App Age. There are the app-savvy (the kids who also knew the coolest bands), app-envy (jealousy over a person’s app which just seems to do everything you wish your equivalent app would do) and the app-alations ( a range of mountains in the north east of America). That said, my blog runs out of steam unless I give an insight into what needs an app (and we need it NOW).

I belong to quite a few professional organisations. It’s a man-thing;  like collecting tools in your shed. You can add but you can never throw an old one out to make space for the new. Actually this tool analogue is working well so I will stick with it for the time being. Just as tools need to be kept in good working order, so one’s professional memberships need to be well oiled and ship shape. As with anything of any gravitas, in management it has an acronym which is CPD. That is continuing professional development. And on the face of it is isn’t unreasonable. You want your surgeon to he across the latest techniques after all when he or she is about to cut you open. But if you have been a free-wheeling managerial gypsy like me, picking up a rag-tag of professions along the way, then you are faced with the annual spectre of ensuring your CPD is up to date. The first challenge is remembering who has what points and then when are they due. If you have two professions with the same CPD reporting period then the final month for CPD renewal can be a mad frenzy of booking into a range of events (many of which of only marginal interest) in order to cross the magical line. Never again, you pledge, but by the time you get back to the office your commitment to being more organised either dissolves or is forgotten. The professions who insist on CPD for the retention of post-nominals do so from a fairly lofty position. But professional organisations need to be wary of conflicts of interest. The satisfying of CPD through expensive courses provided by the very organisation insisting on them, can appear at times to be anti-competitive. Some who organise it such that their annual conference is a way to cover most of your CPD obligations in one fell swoop can be a bit overly-congratulatory when – guess what – their conference is really well attended, but singularly poor in content by comparison.

I made some hurried calls the other day to find out when the deadlines were for my 6 professional bodies. On calling the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) I was initially relieved to be told that they do not have CPD. After hanging up however my evaporated. Why is it that this profession some of us call management doesn’t have any requirement to have its membership keep up with latest trends? Believe me there is nothing more fast-changing than the world of management; and it touches practically everyone’s lives.  Surely we owe it to all those within our charge to keep abreast of what’s happening, even if it is to consider then reject (there are more fads in management than probably any other profession).

So here is my message to some digital savvy app writers. Can you please write an app that seeks out all my CPD requirements from the various professions and monitors and prompts when the time is right? That way I can rest easy allowing my  i-phone to do all the heavy lifting.  And to my friends in the management profession, let’s make sure we app-ly latest thinking to keep our team members happy and focussed.