The Institute of Place Management and The BID Foundation are now seeking a new, joint, Executive Director who will be responsible for delivering an ambitious business plan across both memberships.
Professor Cathy Parker (Chair of the IPM and Professor of Retail and Marketing Enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan University) and Dr Julie Grail (a Senior Fellow at IPM and Special Adviser on BIDs), have answered some of the frequently asked questions about the job role.
Cathy has been an academic professor at Manchester Met for over 10 years and is one of the founding members of the IPM, which was established in 2006.
Cathy, Is this position a new position?
Yes, it has come about through the expansion of IPM now that it is has helped form The BID Foundation (TBF), which is expanding so fast. We need an Executive Director to make sure that we deliver on our promises to members across IPM and TBF and function as a useful, influential and collegiate community.
The job is based in a University, is it an academic post?
The successful candidate will be employed by Manchester Metropolitan University, with all the benefits that that brings. However this is not an academic job, it is about building better relationships with our members, delivering the products and services they require and expanding the reach of both TBF and IPM.
Saying that, it is important that our Executive Director is passionate about professional development and the role research can play in evidence-based decision-making. IPM is the sector’s professional body and learned society and TBF has positioned itself to be the trusted and authoritative voice for BIDs.
It is a fixed-term contract, is there any potential to extend this?
The post is a fixed-term position because we are at the early stages of our plans. The impact our Executive Director has will influence our longer-term plans and performance. Therefore, the contract will be reviewed at a suitable point.
Is an in depth knowledge of place management necessary?
We had long discussions about this within IPM and TBF. We ended up agreeing that the most important requirement would be to have an Executive Director who was soon able to be respected within the industry and with the stakeholders that we communicate with on a regular basis. Realistically, some knowledge of the place management sector is needed – but, on top of that, if someone has the skills and manner to show they can listen and learn and quickly gain respect in the field, then that is important.
Dr Julie Grail helped the IPM launch The BID Foundation and its council in January this year. Julie has unrivalled knowledge of the BIDs sector, she has been involved in managing places for well over two decades and is a leading contributor to the original BID legislation.
Julie, what might the first 100 days in the job look like?
The BID Foundation is a brand new organisation that is just getting off the ground so there will be a focus upon internal developmental activity aimed at creating and refining systems and establishing a suitable knowledge/evidence base for members. Alongside this, there will be external facing activity to drive membership, manage critical stakeholder relationships, and generally ensure momentum is increased and maintained across both The BID Foundation and the Institute of Place Management. A joint events programme for 2018 is already scheduled but more input regarding content and speakers will be needed. Some other member services are still in development and need to be worked up and launched/scheduled. Within 100 days you should expect to be totally coherent and satisfied with the internal systems, have established good working relationships with the rest of the team, and to have been visible and in active dialogue with the membership and potential members.
What support would I have?
There is a wide support team within IPM covering a breadth of expertise and activity, from strategic and policy through to marketing and membership administration. Whilst there is some administrative support, there is an expectation that you are broadly self-sufficient in your day to day working practices, drawing upon membership, marketing and other admin support as the need arises.
What can this position do for my career?
This is a high profile position that provides a great opportunity to improve and showcase a wide range of skills in relation to project, policy and relationship management. It will be a challenging role that will provide a wide array of rewarding possibilities and the chance to build long-lasting connections in both place management and academia. It would provide the opportunity in the longer term for a more advanced career opportunity in one of the city BIDs, a policy/strategic role in a similar industry-style organisation, or a more academic role within a university.
A full job description and person specification is available here
Apply for the position through the Manchester Metropolitan University job site, the deadline for applications is the 2nd March.