The National Contract Management Association (NCMA) is seeking an innovative leader who will think deeply about the community we serve and our value proposition to our members. In this role, you will have full support from the Board of Directors to reevaluate every aspect of our revenue model, from our membership model and how we price and package our services, to how we deliver high quality conferences and education programming in our Chapters. You will forge new relationships and find new alignments with other organizations, effectively positioning us against competitive threats. You will be the guardian of our reputation, ensuring that our products, services, and training are relevant, of the highest quality, and responsive to the ever-evolving needs of our organization.
This year, NCMA became an ANSI-accredited standards developer, giving the organization the opportunity to meaningfully differentiate our training programs and develop coursework that literally sets the standard for the profession. NCMA provides a neutral forum where government and industry come together for the open exchange of ideas and to advance the contract management profession, and we still have significant untapped potential. You will help us expand our reach, increasing the visibility of and respect for the next generation of contract management professionals, making NCMA more agile in response to changes in the environment and more sustainable for many years to come.
NCMA is the world’s leading professional resource for contract management professionals. With over 18,000 members in government and commercial industries, NCMA is dedicated to the professional growth and educational advancement of procurement and acquisition personnel worldwide. With five highly-respected industry certifications and three highly successful conferences a year, NCMA strives to serve and inform the profession and offer opportunities for the open exchange of ideas in neutral forums.
With 30 talented employees, ample financial reserves, and revenues of over $7 million, NCMA is financially stable and growing. NCMA’s strength lies in our loyal and diverse base of membership representing the full spectrum of contract management professionals across government, industry, academia, and the nonprofit sector. As Executive Director, you will advance NCMA’s role as the go-to source for the latest knowledge, standards, best practices, metrics, and training; expand the audience NCMA serve; increase the visibility of, respect for, and understanding of the profession, enhancing our ability to recruit and train the next generation of employees; advocate for the profession, creating greater access to key decision-makers; and strengthen NCMA to be more sustainable, agile, and adaptive in the face of external challenges and rapid advances in technology.
Priorities of the Executive Director
Within your first year, you will work with the NCMA staff and Board of Directors to initiate meaningful improvement in the following areas:
Strengthen the revenue model. Once you understand the competitive landscape NCMA operates within, you will take a deep dive into the products, services, and programs that drive revenue in the association, exploring how we can leverage our strengths to improve the relevancy of our offerings. You will develop strategic business plans for how to adapt current offerings, giving members what they value most. (This may include creation of new products and services and/or alignments with like-minded organizations, and calculations for return-on-investment of different pricing strategies and packaging of products and services for the most member value.)
Grow membership retention, loyalty, and value. NCMA has historically attracted the majority of our members in the government procurement segment of contract management. You will help us expand the definition of who could be an NCMA member, broadening our reach beyond our current audience and tapping into new prospective audiences in adjacent professional areas (supply chain, pricing, proposal management acquisition and compliance, commercial, state and local government, etc.). Your work will ensure that the right value proposition is developed for each market segment, leading to improved retention, member loyalty, and perception of value received.
Revitalize membership offerings. In this role, you will not only broaden the definition of the market space in which NCMA members operate—to include adjacent industries, international locations, and early-career professionals—but you will also develop a new pricing strategy for NCMA products and services. You will lead us to develop new approaches that support member engagement through a reevaluation of the concept of “community.”
Grow the training programs. As an ANSI-accredited standards developer, NCMA has the opportunity to meaningfully differentiate our training. You will continue this important effort, getting the Contract Management Body of Knowledge (CMBOK) accepted as an ANSI standard within 12 months, and then elevating the effectiveness of our adult learning and educational programs, leveraging technology to deliver high-quality programs that appeal to professionals at every career stage in the contract management field. (Having ANSI-accredited standards will encourage adoption of coursework by universities and other education providers; allow NCMA to develop new assessment tools for both individual and organizational capabilities and compliance with best practices; and potentially have the curriculum recognized by government agencies as an experience equivalency.)
Elevate the prestige and respect for the contract management profession. Your work reevaluating the NCMA model and strengthening our programs will better position us as a leader in the industry, with a strong reputation for being relevant to changing times. This change in perception in the field will be evidenced by increasing numbers of university programs with an increasing number of graduates selecting the CM career path, creating a recruiting pipeline for NCMA members; increasing numbers of job descriptions that require NCMA certifications as a job requirement or equivalency; increasing compensation for individuals with the NCMA certifications; increasing numbers of journals, RFP’s and vendor proposals specifying the ANSI standard or NCMA certifications; NCMA being widely known for facilitating best business practices, not simply managing compliance (key decision-makers know that the best contracts people understand both business development and compliance); and increasing demand for NCMA professional development and continuing education (offered both online and in-person).
Lead the team. With 6 direct reports and a staff of 30, you will provide strategic leadership for the organization, developing and coaching employees to ensure a strong cohesive team. You will evaluate the organizational structure, ensuring our ability to turn strategy into action, sustaining our growth, and wisely leveraging the talents of our volunteer leadership.
Qualifications of the Executive Director
Experience with developing new revenue models and launching new product offerings.
Experience broadening the definition of who could be a member and rethinking membership pricing and value proposition. This includes expansive thinking about member engagement (micro-volunteering, online communities, Conferences, etc.).
Experience developing and marketing education offerings (certifications, standards, professional credentialing), expanding the market/audience and delivery methods.
Experience evaluating the competitive landscape, positioning against competitive threats, wisely leveraging technological advancements, and turning strategy into action.
Skilled Association executive, skilled at managing through managers.
Attributes of the Executive Director
Curious. You are attentive to the external landscape your organization operates within, and you think strategically about how to leverage organizational strengths to achieve competitive positioning and a strong reputation in the market for high quality programs.
Innovative. You identify short- and long-term challenges and implement creative solutions to address those challenges. You are comfortable with ambiguity and know when to gather more information and when to take committed action.
Inspirational. You have an exceptional ability to communicate with staff and stakeholders at all levels. You are confident, engaging, persuasive, and you articulate a clear vision for the future. People want to follow your lead.
Active leader. You have an inclusive leadership style; you know when to delegate and when to dive in, appropriately leveraging the strengths of staff, volunteers and partners to achieve the greatest results without overburdening the team.
Communicative. You believe in transparency and shared goals, where everyone can easily see how their contribution supports the overall organizational goals.
Solution-oriented. You know how to operationalize strategic goals into tangible action, ensuring the right people are positioned in the right roles for a team that works and wins together. You see the big picture, monitor key performance metrics, and take the action necessary to produce results. You plan ahead, set clear timelines, and hold yourself and others accountable.
Business-savvy. You are skilled in the art of business and evaluating ROI on new initiatives. You know how to bundle packages and services, define trade-offs, and price membership in a way that produces maximum member value.
Diplomatic. You are sensitive to circumstances of others while demonstrating certainty and fairness about what can or must be done now. You build trust and buy-in and dedicate time to building successful and effective relationships.
Honest. You are humble, authentic, and you learn from your mistakes. You earn trust by your actions, and you faithfully keep your promises. You are seen as an “honest broker.”
Agile. You are responsive to member requests and changes in the landscape. You know how to align the team to quickly take advantage of and leverage new opportunities.
What’s Attractive to the Right Executive Director Candidate?
This is an opportunity to apply your expertise in all aspects of association management to grow the portfolio of NCMA, rethinking the revenue model to increase our reach and influence in the community.
You will be supported by a Board of Directors who is ready for change and will give you the running room you need to make an impact.
We have a strong leadership team and respectful, collegial staff who are dedicated to NCMA, and work as a team to serve our members.
We are financially stable and poised for significant growth.
To Apply for the Executive Director position with NCMA:
Use the “Apply” button on this page, or email your resume to Bob Corlett at firstname.lastname@example.org with “NCMA – Executive Director / 2018-2318 ASAE” as the subject of the email.