Taking the Plunge: My Experience in the Inaugural CBRM® Course
The course began early on a cool Monday morning in Roswell, GA, in a room full of skilled, professional BRMs. There was a mix of strangers, friends, and the now all-so-familiar faces of the founders of Business Relationship Management Institute: Aaron Barnes, Aleksandr Zhuk, and the godfather of BRM knowledge himself, the distinguished Vaughan Merlyn.
For me, it was a flashback to a day three years earlier, when I was in the same hotel attending the inaugural BRMP® course. While it was a totally different group (with the exception of Terry Krafthefer, also from that class), I still recognized familiar names and faces from the BRM Council, BRMConnect 2015 in Portland, BRMConnect 2016 in Charlotte, and a cadre of BRMs from the Tampa – St. Petersburg area, all of whom were ready and excited to take part in the inaugural CBRM® course.
There was a marked difference this time around, though: every single BRM in the room was a confident, experienced BRMP with real-world experience and a hunger for trading their successes and organizational opportunities with one another.
Not only were the materials rooted in 21st century concepts of driving and optimizing value delivery through BRM influencing skills and powerful communications, but the tools and techniques provided were mature and battle-tested, examples were clear and realistic, and attendee discussions throughout the course were deep and enriching. Collective sharing by all attendees provided example after example of how these tools could be or have been used, providing layers and texture to the course materials.
The course generated a highly charged atmosphere of engagement and enlightenment, which then carried over into unplanned evening events.
“Not only were the materials rooted in 21st century concepts of driving and optimizing value delivery through BRM influencing skills and powerful communications, but the tools and techniques provided were mature and battle-tested, examples were clear and realistic, and attendee discussions throughout the course were deep and enriching.”
When the entire class came together to share dinner and drinks, the day’s discussions continued, opening up collaborative opportunities to share experiences. This lent a collegial atmosphere to the course, made up of highly engaged BRM professionals from wide-ranging industries, regions, and implementations of the BRM practice.
While I’ve been to a considerable number of trainings throughout my career, I’ve never experienced such a level of excitement and convergence between attendees. It’s difficult to say which was more valuable—the course content, or the open discussions with my peers throughout the day and evening.
While awaiting my test score, I left Roswell with more than a new certification. Instead, I left with new tools, new friends, and a reinforced passion for applying the knowledge gained within my BRM practice.
I highly recommend CBRM® as a critical next step in driving the BRM capability in any organization that is evolving towards a service-focused, value-driven culture, as the BRM practitioner can help accelerate this goal through tools and learning internalized as a CBRM®.
Arnie has had a distinguished career in relationship management during the span of over 30 years, in areas like sales, systems integration, service delivery, and consulting. His technical experience ranges from client-server computing to directory services, network and telecommunications, and enterprise management with considerable experience in the healthcare, finance, and manufacturing spaces. Most recently, he has been responsible for starting up a Business Relationship Management practice as an equity manager within a Fortune 500 casualty insurance firm in northeastern Ohio.
Arnie is a Founding Member of Business Relationship Management Institute (BRM Institute). In addition to attending the inaugural BRMP® and CBRM® training and certification courses, he has been an active member of the BRM Council Leadership Team since 2014, as well as a member of the BRM Institute Compensation Committee. He recently became the first-ever recipient of the “Arnie Award,” an achievement set forth by BRM Institute to honor a BRM Institute member who demonstrates “the embodiment and example of an exemplary BRM and BRM Institute member.”