Today, I received an email which said: ‘Dear Mr Little, Join Europe’s largest HR and development professional body and receive a £20 Marks & Spencer voucher with our thanks. Simply download and return the Affiliate membership form to us by 26 February 2010… Kind regards, Christine Williams, Chartered FCIPD, Membership Manager. P.S. Know a colleague who might be interested in this offer? Forward this email along to them so they can join and receive a complimentary M&S voucher too!’


Comment: I always thought that people joined a professional association to do things like have access to specific information which would be of help to them in their jobs; network with their fellow professionals, and even do some CPD. I never realised that people join professional bodies in order to get money off their shopping at M&S. I’m obviously a bit naive about motivation in the modern business world – unless, by any chance, the CIPD is a bit strapped for members at the moment and so is resorting to this ploy to bump up its membership numbers.


As for this particular invitation, I stand with Groucho Marx in saying that I wouldn’t want to be a member of an organisation that wanted me as a member – especially if they were prepared to bribe me with M&S vouchers.