Richard Popple is one of the first contributors to this section of the web site, and in the related correspondence noted that he became President in 1999, within 9 years of joining the Institute of Management Consultants, and wondered if this was a record. It probably is, and so I asked him how this came about. He commented:
"My sponsor on joining IMC was Air Commodore John Miller, a qualified barrister who, on retirement, took up a senior position on the staff of Windsor Castle. He certified, correctly, I believe, that the work I did in my final RAF appointment was consultancy: I played a leading role in the redesign of the confidential report form for RAF officers and the advisory notes for reporting officers. I was accepted in IMC as an Associate but my ascent began quite early.
I was sitting next to Helen Benedict at a Midlands branch meeting when the chairman called for a volunteer to be branch treasurer. As I had been trained as an accountant officer by the RAF, I said to Helen that I would be willing to be considered and, before I had finished, she was on her feet to say that they had a volunteer. Thus I became a member of the branch committee and later, by a process of inevitable gravitation, branch chairman with a place on the IMC Council.
I had to be formally elected to Council before I could be President and that was arranged in 1998 by Geoff Kitt [President 1994 – 95] and Kate Hook [then Director of the IMC]. The story of my life in brief!
I was also active in the IPM/CIPD, being twice Branch Chairman of Hereford and Worcester and therefore a member of Council. I chaired a lot of upgrading panels from member to fellow and contributed to discussions on improving the promotion process so I am now a Chartered Fellow in my own right and an Honorary Life Fellow but no longer active due to age. Between the RAF and setting up my consultancy practice, I was Senior Personnel Officer of a company of some 8,500 employees, then practice manager of a set of barristers’ chambers. All good cross-fertilisation."