North American Leadership Institute Meeting (LIM) 2016, San Diego Sept 21-25, 2016

WinnieLiemBy Winnie Liem, Director of Communities, Southern Ontario Chapter

Project Management is Not Enough…

Were the words of Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez, this year’s Chair of the PMI Board of Directors.

For many in the room, this statement rocked the very core of their professional existence. Was PMI giving up? What lies ahead for us as project professionals and volunteers?

As a volunteer with PMI since 2012, I have seen the organization transform itself more than once and move the yardstick ahead by its commitment to grow the profession and to innovate — based on solid research (Pulse of the Profession® and Thought Leadership).

Mark Langley (President and CEO, PMI) went on to explain PMI’s envisioned goal that “Worldwide organizations will embrace, value and utilize Project Management and attribute their success to it” by focusing on 3 markets: (1) Practitioners (2) Organizations (3) Academics.

The Practitioner market is easy to relate to as a chapter leader, since we need to continually focus on the evolving needs of our membership. Common themes evolved around how chapters need to innovate and prioritize areas of greatest impact.

lim_pic2South New England Chapter lead the way by developing programs that would have the greatest impact on member retention, while the Montreal Chapter introduced Personas to profile its major user groups. The London UK chapter aligned its programming to the Talent Triangle, to help practitioners track PDUs with ease.

Focusing on Organizations, PMI is continually working with corporate partners to promote how organizational maturity in project, program and portfolio practices will help organizations to reduce risk, cut costs and produce better business outcomes. Imagine in the near future the establishment of a “Chief Project Officer” role in every organization, aligned with organizational objectives.

Perhaps the largest area of potential growth is in the Academic Market. Note that by 2020, half of our workforce will be millennials. The challenge for most chapters is being adaptable and agile in how it engages and attracts people from the young generation. When engaging our volunteers who are millennials, do we clearly articulate the purpose of their work? Millenials respond better when we inspire and articulate goals and vision rather than instructional. Another ideal way to engage the younger generation is to tap into the work being done with the PMIef, whose motto is Project Management for Social Good®.

PMIeF is a charitable nonprofit organization that develops and delivers innovative programs and educational resources including scholarships, grants and awards that strengthen both teaching and learning.  

Finally, as volunteer leaders and project managers we need to strive to become the Leaders We Wish We Had.

lim_pic3According to Simon Sinek, our biology (Endorphins, Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin) plays a major role in our journey to becoming a great leader and the mistake many leaders make is focusing on RESULTS rather than the PEOPLE. Simon says Leadership is a Choice and we need to choose to be the leader we wish we had.

lim_pic4Vinh Giang captured our imagination through his magical abilities, and reinforced through his personal experiences the importance of Perspective, Influence and our Beliefs. Vinh challenged us to continually gather new perspectives, surround ourselves with the best mentors and to stay on course with our beliefs.

lim_pic5Mel Robbins gave us the courage to take a step towards our goals with her simple yet effective 5 Second Rule, which pushes us to act on our goals by counting down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and GO!

Attending LIM is truly a highlight of being a PMI volunteer. Aside from the knowledge and networking gained through 4 days of sessions and keynotes, there were phenomenal opportunities to meet the superstars of the PM profession and make connections that would be life changing. Having met PM professionals from every continent, I was assured that when visiting abroad, I could look up a local chapter and be warmly welcomed.

If I were to approach Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez again, I would tell him that “Project Management IS enough”, as it is the foundation for so many possibilities. I encourage you to sharpen your skills in the areas of the Talent Triangle and to explore where volunteerism can take you. Perhaps it will be to Chicago for the 2017 North American LIM!


2017 Schedule of Leadership Institute4 Meeting Locations and Dates


James Snyder, Founder of PMI


Antonio Nieto-Rodrigues, Chair of PMI Board of Directors


Mark Langley, President and CEP PMI


Eleven of your SOC board members attended the PMI Leadership Institute Meeting (LIM) in San Diego at the end of September for three days of learning, networking and education to enhance our chapter operations

(1)    Learn about PMIef here.
(2)    View Keynote Presentations online here.
(3)    Read about the Talent Triangle here.
(4)    Look for current volunteer opportunities here.
(5)    Find a Local Chapter near you here.

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