Novotel Lisbon MI on the way up 2The Maturity Institute is now two years old and, as Council Chair, I feel this is an appropriate time to produce the first of what will be an annual newsletter to bring everyone up to date with developments.  It is also a time to reflect on our progress while always looking forward to the next challenge with optimism and growing confidence.

Back in 2012 the present, founding, members of the Council decided that there was a desperate need for a new, professional management body to focus on human capital management with an over-arching goal of societal value creation. This was the first challenge and from that seed we built a core governance structure that we believe will stand the test of time but will have to evolve as we grow. We have also formulated our guiding principles and strategy that will drive us forward.

Some observers have described MI as a think tank, and we are more than happy to be viewed as leading and shaping thought on the future of organizational management, but our most important role is as a ‘do tank’. We are assembling a diverse group of talented, highly motivated and mature thinkers who are primarily practitioners, ‘doers’, with the capability to change the way the world works.

The emphasis of maturity is not on the HR function …

On behalf of MI, Stuart Woollard and I were appointed by Peter Cheese (CEO of the UK’s HR professional body – the CIPD), to advise on their Valuing Your Talent (VyT) project. We offered the CIPD MI’s, open source, ARC framework for use in this development.  Unfortunately they chose to take VyT in a different direction and we decided to step back.  However, MI remains very happy to collaborate with any other professional institution that shares our goals, values and principles and see maturity as a way forward for the HR profession. We will let you know if there are any developments on this front as there are indications that there may be.

In July we decided to change our original name from IHRM (Institute of HR Maturity) to simply MI  This surprised some but IHRM was never intended to be focused only on the HR function.  The maturity scale was always, first and foremost, a basis for assessing the whole organization’s attitude and philosophy towards human capital management. We still warmly welcome HR professionals who want to develop mature thinking and approaches; it is of course the HR function that is often best placed to drive maturity within an organization. But we offer an equally warm welcome to, among others, accountants, bankers, financial analysts and general managers.  Maturity is a whole management, whole organization, paradigm.

This is why our second major challenge has been engaging with a wide range of organizations to raise awareness and educate.  This has enabled us to achieve sufficient traction to generate significant momentum that will lead us into 2015 with great expectations.  This has included connections, meetings and presentations with: –

As you can imagine, because we are openly and actively challenging the existing business management paradigm, some of these meetings are bound to be of a sensitive nature. Therefore we will only be able to report on progress at a point when the details can be made public.  However, we are highly confident that we will have some very important and exciting announcements to make during the first half of 2015.

So what have we been up to in 2014 …..?

MI is truly international. The current Council covers Australia, Iceland, Ireland and the UK and over the last 12 months I have personally spoken as MI Chair at events in Denmark, Dubai, Czech Republic, Iceland and Norway and been interviewed by local HR/business magazines in Prague and Lisbon.

Our Council member and Principal Academic, Professor David Collings and I made HR magazine’s ‘Most influential’ list.  The significance of this might not be readily apparent but we are offering an alternative to conventional HR so we welcome such recognition in conventional journals.

MI’s Associates and Affiliates

We have been working hard at building a group of trusted Associates who can help us to build momentum behind MI by growing our reach and providing ideas and input into how we can evolve.

All our Associates now have to undergo an MI Orientation and have several interviews with our Council before receiving approval.  This is not a numbers game; we have to ensure that everyone truly understands the nature of maturity, our underlying values and our approach. Our aim is to set the highest professional standards and assure quality in all we do if we are to become the pre-eminent, professional management body.

We already have Associates in Chile, the UK, US and Portugal and are actively developing additional Associates ‘designate’ in other locations across the globe (these are all individuals pending orientation and final interviews) with a view to appointing more throughout 2015. Our current group includes:

  • Pat Turnham, in the US, has been very active in engaging with her contacts within SHRM (the American Society for HRM) and organized a joint webinar for us hosted by Kaplan University, where she was formerly the SHRM Chapter President.
  • Carlos Botelho organized our first Orientation outside the UK in Lisbon.
  • Sarah Dudney arranged a joint, information event with the CFA (financial analysts) and several pension funds.
  • Matt Sinnott, our comp&ben specialist, will form part of our MI project on reward but has just taken on a new senior role at RBS so will be delayed until the second half of 2015

Our Affiliates, after attending Orientation, are also spreading the word and arranging speaking events with organizations such as the American Chamber of Commerce in Dublin. 


We have now successfully run five Orientations to date with the next UK date on 11th and 12th March 2015.  These are designed to attract a wide spectrum of people from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds but with a core set of values that match MI’s.  The group at the London Orientation in December included an ex-Goldman Sachs banker, a representative from a progressive accounting firm and an executive search consultant alongside experienced, senior HR professionals who are drawn to MI for a variety of reasons.

On the academic front…

  • Asta Bjarnadottir’s original research into maturity in Icelandic organizations goes back to 2004 and is updated regularly
  • Dave Collings recently produced the first paper looking at talent management through a maturity lens
  • Arney Einarsdottir is working on the world’s first PhD around the theme of maturity and using the original research approach as a basis.
  • Carlos Botelho is already researching maturity in Portugal but in 2015 will be applying more of the criteria from MI’s ARC framework

On gender ….

In November Asta and I co-presented at a short conference in Reykjavik on ‘Women in society is not a gender issue – it’s a maturity issue.’  This is the first time that gender equality has been placed within MI’s framework of organizational maturity which requires utilising the full potential of all human capital if we are to achieve the greatest value for society.

On HR analytics ….

MI is avowedly evidence-based and therefore how we measure what we do, analyse the causes of problems, diagnose and prescribe solutions is a cornerstone of our approach.  This is why Stuart Woollard and I will be presenting at a City HR breakfast seminar on HR analytics on 27th January.  Maturity is a key issue in HR metrics and analytics – the measures used can only ever be as valuable as the level of maturity in the organization.

Maturity analyses, assessments and ratings ….

Council member Rob Scott completed the first Australian maturity assessment for New South Wales Water earlier this year and is now building maturity into his ongoing advisory work. We are also regularly reviewing maturity in a range of organizations.  If anyone would like an initial discussion, in total confidence, about maturity assessments or ratings then please get in touch.

With the momentum we have now established we are all looking forward to a very interesting and fruitful 2015.

Thank you to everyone who has helped to make 2014 one of great progress and early success for MI. We wish you all a merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.

Paul Kearns, Chair


Comments are closed

Previous posts