Management and politics to the fore at CMI AGM

Thursday, 30 June 2016 00:51 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Charumini de Silva

The Chartered Management Institute, UK (CMI) Sri Lanka Branch held its 15th Annual General Meeting (AGM) recently at The Kingsbury amidst a large gathering of its members.

High Commissioner for the UK in Sri Lanka James Dauris attended the 15th AGM as the Chief Guest, where MalrajKiriella was elected as the President. fgh

Managementand politics

Delivering an interesting speech on management and politics, High Commissioner Daurissaid that he discovered the letter ‘P’ was very special for CMI members as its four values were based on Professional, Progressive, Passionate and Practical — which augur well for Presidents, Prime Ministers and other Politicians as well.

Going back to the CMI’s four Ps of values, he pointed out the word ‘Professional’ sounds like a good first principle for Government as for business leaders anywhere in the world adding that ‘Progressive’ sometimes means challenging the status quo and being controversial, but always with the desire to create a better future. 

“‘Passionate’ is more energy, enthusiasm and belief in making a positive difference, giving our best to deliver what is worth having to our citizens, while ‘Practical’ enables us to simplify complex issues to promote understanding and best practice.”

Stating that politicians like company directors need to be focused on making progress, though it is a word that means many things to many men, he added: “Electorates are quick to smell out a lack of vitality in government when passion is lacking. And we would want to be practical. Electorates are quick to identify impractical and to dismiss those who are pushing for it. We want out politicians to be ambitious, in many ways if not all and ambition necessarily pushes against the boundary of the achievable.” 

Importance of reconciliation

He said, here in Sri Lanka, “get reconciliation right and you can rest much more confident, more self-assured, that the future will bring prosperity and peace”.

Thinking particularly of reconciliation and all that entails, Darius asserted he saw a challenge particularly for professionals as leaders and managers at the top of their professions, in identifying how they could help to get people from different parts of the country, of different faiths, of different political views to recognise that real and lasting reconciliation is so worth having that everyone will want to play their part in achieving it.

“If we take Thomas Watson’s premise that the difference between success and failure in a corporation can be very often traced to the question of how well the organisation brings out the energies and talents of its people, so too in a country the difference between success and failure can often be traced to how well a country can engage its people and bring out the great energies and talents of its citizens, how well it can get them to aim for the remarkable, not settle for the routine,” he pointed out.

Concluding his remarks on a question for CMI members to ponder High Commissioner asked: “Do you feel you are bringing all your skills as a Chartered Manager to bear in helping Sri Lanka aim for the remarkable?”

Four goals

Incoming CMI Sri Lanka Branch President MalrajKiriella outlined four goals that he wished to implement during his tenure which includes; membership development, introduce a recognition scheme for Management Excellence, develop a Chartered Manager program and to organise programs to develop knowledge and skills of managers. 

Noting that Chartered Manager awarded only by CMI, UK was the highest status that could be achieved in the management profession, he explained the importance of the qualification as it was recognised and valued across all sectors.

“Currently our branch has only six Chartered Managers out of the 130 members. In the past we could not introduce this program to locals, hence I would like to develop a Chartered Manager program in the country.” 

Further he said that the Institute would continue with its Management Quiz for the third consecutive year, while recommencing the branch newsletter to update members on events and happenings. 

As CIM Sri Lanka will be completing 20 years this year, Kiriella pledged to combine all their expertise, ideas and efforts in doing a good job for CMI Sri Lanka branch over the next year, while having a close and a continuous dialogue with CMI UK to obtain support as well as encouragement.

Kiriella joined as a fellow member of CMI in 2006 and in 2008 became a member of the Action Committee of the Exco. A year later, on the invitation of past President Colonel Faiz Ur Rahman and then Secretary KeerthiJayaweera, he became an Exco member. Thereafter he held positions of Assistant Secretary and Secretary for a period of three years, following which he was elected as second Vice President. Having served in the Exco of CMI for eight years in different roles, he was honoured to take over the role of President CMI Sri Lanka Branch.

It’s not over till it’s over

Citing a recently-concluded Sri Lanka vs. England one-day cricket match, Immediate Past President VarunaRatnaweera asserted: “Everyone in our camp thought we had the match wrapped up until one last hit by Englishman Lima Plunkett made it a tied match with a massive six in the last ball. That sixer and the tied match teaches all of us as professional managersa lesson — that you can never relax until you achieve your final objective, no matter how easy it may seem halfway through. Hence, as professionals let us resolve to work hard till we achieve our goal. Let’s remember that though individually we are one drop, together we can become the mighty ocean.”

While thanking past Presidents and Exco Members of CMI Sri Lanka Branch for their support extended last year, he noted they were also fortunate to continue their partnership with KPMG Sri Lanka, in arranging evening presentations on timely topics and expressed his confidence that they would join hands with the institute to continue this series on a regular basis.

  CMI Sri Lanka branch felicitated three members who successfully completed 25 years of membership with an award of special recognition and certificates at the AGM.

 - Pix by Upul Abayasekara