IAM North American Conference - A Shared Journey

USA Event

18 Nov 2021

IAM North American Conference - A Shared Journey

As we think about the recent IAM North American Conference, we pause to understand what it means in the big picture. Over 300 professionals who are passionate about their belief that Asset Management is vital to the North American quality of life came together in Chicago to compare notes, to teach, to learn, and to share in a community that is the Institute of Asset Management. A strong core of volunteers pulled together to deliver a conference based upon the ideas, stories, and concepts that our members felt were important. Consultants, vendors, and asset owners pooled resources and experiences that dealt with successes and challenges to help one another along the asset management journey. Thought leaders from across the globe came to teach the practitioners here and, in many cases, came away learning about new methods, philosophies, technologies, and innovations that the Canadian and American spirit have introduced to the profession.

We learned a lot about the industry, about best practice, about successful journeys and the characteristics of organizations who have been successful. We learned from Mildred Chau, Program Executive of Enterprise Information & Asset Management with Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York, that an alignment between the Financial and Operational view of assets is critical to success. We learned from Copperleaf’s CEO Judi Hess how important the understanding of your organization’s value framework is to strategic asset management. We learned from John Hardwick, Group Executive with Networks New South Wales, and renowned asset management author, that asset management success can quite often be tied to the successful establishment of a strong asset management culture.

Beyond our keynotes and plenaries, we learned from Robert Hitchcock of the Central Arizona Project the importance of benchmarking for initiative prioritization. National Grid shared with us their lessons learned, insights, successes and challenges that have defined the first phase of their journey. We learned a lot about working with Risk, from Baris Salman of Syracuse University, from author, engineer and IAM member JD Solomon, and from Gary Ruck of Deighton. And these are only a few of the topics that were addressed.

Throughout the conference, the themes of transformation, process, vision, culture, and organization were prevalent. The experts, asset owners, consultants, and vendors who participated all understand the importance of sharing what we have learned with each other. Doors have been opened and relationships established in a spirit of cooperation as experts and novices alike realize that our infrastructure needs a united line of sight; that we must work with the end in mind; that we need to eat, sleep, and breath reliability, resiliency, and risk if we are going to be successful at asset management. But most of all, we figured out that we are not in this alone. There are hundreds - at least 300 - of like-minded professionals who are willing and able to help one another succeed.

We've been given new tools to use, new messages to take to leadership, as well as tried and true methods that need only to be unwrapped in a new environment. The IAM Canadian and USA Chapters started the fire a few years ago bringing the concepts of asset management to a land that so desperately needed it. And with this first North American Conference in the books, we've provided more fuel to keep the fire burning.

Next year, we meet in Denver to compare success stories, to address new challenges, and to share our experiences with another wave of passionate asset management practitioners. But let's not wait until then. Keep the communications open, grow the networks that have been established, and continue to share your stories, your challenges, your tools, and your messages. Our profession can seem daunting at times, but if we remember that we are all in this journey together, success is easier to achieve.

To those that could participate in the 2019 IAM North American Conference, we thank you. To those that wanted to, but could not make it, we hope to see you next year. We strongly urge you to reserve your seat as soon as it is announced as our sell out in 2019 left many on the outside looking in! And for those who were not quite sure if the value was there, reach out to any of the IAM USA or Canada Chapter's to talk so that you won't miss out next time.

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