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Inclusive leaders to vanguard management industry: British Council Country Manager

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CMI Secretary Niranjali Weerasekara, 1st Vice President Kaushal Rajapakse, Chief Guest – British Council Sri Lanka Country Director Gill Caldicott, CMI President Murali Prakash, CMI Immediate Past President Malraj Kiriella, CMI 2nd Vice President M.M.S. Quvylidh, CMI Treasurer Beadle Navaraj


By Maleesha Sulthanagoda 

During the 17th Annual General Meeting of the Chartered Management Institute, UK (CMI) Sri Lanka Branch held on Thursday (21), Ambeon Capital CEO Murali Prakash was elected as President of CMI SL.

British Council Sri Lanka Country Manager Gill Caldicott who attended the 17th AGM, shed new light on the importance of inclusivity as a quality in managers of the 21st century. 

Caldicott stressed that by getting inclusivity right, organisations can stand out from the crowd and succeed in the modern world. “Definitions of inclusive leadership abound but in essence inclusive leadership is firstly about leaders being aware of their own biases and preferences and secondly about how as leaders we actively seek out and consider different views and perspectives to inform better decision-making. Self-awareness always comes first – before we can reach out and see the richness and range of talent that is available to us if we are open to it. By getting this right, organisations can stand out from the crowd and be relevant and successful in the multicultural, multi-ethnic, religious, linguistically varied, ethically conscious and in so many other ways diverse and hyper-connected world in which we all live today,” she added.

She also went on to note that inclusive leaders see potential diverse talent and opportunities as residing in different places and being able to contribute to achieving both competitive and cooperative advantage. “Inclusive leaders gather round them and inspire diverse people with a range of different perspectives and approaches. By doing so they drive organisational performance towards a shared vision and build an enhanced brand,” she said. 

According to Caldicott, the diversity of markets, ideas and talent is driving the need for inclusive leadership. The demand being shifted and more emerging markets with growing middle classes representing big growth opportunities calls for more inclusive leaders in various industries. 

The British Council Country Manager also noted that in order to become an inclusive leader, the person must embody six specific signature characteristics. “There are six signature traits of inclusive leadership. Firstly, ‘cognisance’, because bias is a leader’s Achilles heel. Secondly, ‘curiosity’, because different ideas and experiences enable growth. Thirdly, ‘cultural intelligence’, because not everyone sees the world through the same cultural frame. Then ‘collaboration’, because a diverse thinking team is greater than the sum of its parts. Next, ‘commitment’, because staying the course is hard and finally ‘courage’, because talking about imperfections involves personal risk-taking,” she added.

While acknowledging last year’s CMI Sri Lanka Branch highlights and the achievements of the Immediate Past President Malraj B. Kiriella, the newly elected CMI Sri Lanka President Murali Prakash outlined what he wished to implement during his tenure which includes spearheading a thought leadership process that benefits the members, a robust online platforms to meet, greet, share knowledge and network and complementing knowledge forums were mentioned. 

Also during the 17th AGM, Group Managing Director of the Kalhari Group Kaushal Rajapaksa was elected 1st Vice President of the CMI Sri Lanka Branch. 

Pix by Indraratne Balasuriya

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