The Chartered Management Institute UK Sri Lanka branch held its 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 30 June at the Galadari Hotel. The AGM was followed by cocktails, and dinner at the Salon Anthurium amidst a large gathering of members and their guests.
High Commissioner for UK in Sri Lanka John Rankin, who is also the Patron of CMI Sri Lanka Branch graced this occasion as the Chief Guest.
Delivering an interesting speech at the AGM, Rankin indicated that he was happy to join this event for three reasons. Firstly the link the CMI SL Branch represents between the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka, the Chartered Institutes in UK being special bodies, granted Royal Charters precisely because of the professional excellence that they embody.
Having described the origin and the history of CMI UK dating back to 1945, he recognised with appreciation the significant role the Sri Lanka Branch plays in maintaining a common professional bond between UK and Sri Lanka
Describing it as something beyond that of a symbolic importance, Rankin stressed on the significant recognition that companies in Sri Lanka having individuals with Chartered Manager status from CMI would gain over others when UK companies forge links with local business partners.
Drawing parallels from Her Majesty who had seen and lived through and adapted to many changes before celebrating her Diamond Jubilee Rankin spoke of the importance of high quality management that is more in demand now than ever before
“In finding a way through the choppy waters of change, Managers need to provide clear purpose and direction, communicate effectively with their staff and customers, think and act strategically, manage the growing flow of information and knowledge, and use their resources – both human and financial – in the most effective way possible. Those are all skills that the Chartered Management Institute promotes and helps its members to develop, and those skills are more in demand now than ever before. If I were a company CEO looking to hire a Manager, I would look for a member of the CMI,” Rankin said.
He also said that CMI is about more than simply managing the status quo, or simply reacting to change, the third reason why he was pleased to be attending their AGM
Quoting the late Indian premier, Indira Ghandhi who once said that there are two groups of people in the world: those who make things happen, and those who claim the credit for it and recommended membership of the first group, in which there was less competition for places, Rankin said the same wish to make things happen is embodied in the requirements for CMI membership because candidates need to show how they have developed as a manager and how they have applied their leadership skills to achieve a significant business impact.
“That aim of having an impact in one’s work is one that applies as much in my world as in yours. Diplomacy isn’t simply about attending the Colombo 7 cocktail party circuit, enjoyable though that may be. It is also about making things happen in order to further one’s country’s interests. I would not be a successful High Commissioner if I didn’t manage upon occasion to make things happen: clinching a deal for a UK company, helping the post conflict reconstruction efforts in this country, helping to promote strong cultural and educational relations between Sri Lanka and the UK,” he said, in his address to an attentive audience.
“So the test of good management is making things happen, having an impact in driving forward your company’s objectives and that is a need which in the future will be in ever greater demand. The electronic age, the age of nano technology, the age of green technology, the flat and interconnected world has only really just started.
My guess is that technological changes in the next 60 years will be even faster than before. The lifestyles and ways of working of our grandchildren and great grandchildren will be barely recognisable to us. So too will be the environment in which our companies will have to operate – and indeed the very nature of business. The change will be immense. Somebody will need to help to manage this change, applying the highest professional standards, thinking strategically, communicating clearly, and bringing staff along with them.
The managers who are best equipped to do this in both of our countries, and around the world, will be members of the Chartered Management Institute. I applaud you for your work, and will continue to support it,” remarked Rankin in conclusion.
The newly elected President of CML Sri Lanka Branch Rohitha Mendis in his speech stressed that CMI could take the message of professionalism and corporate governance to every functional area and not just within the management function. He added that it should be a Holistic approach, involving all, spreading across all functional areas and running through the lateral and vertical layers of the organisational structure.
He further said, “Times are tough; now more than ever, for our country economically, socially and politically. Management and leadership is critical. These challenges demand a radical new approach, a Paradigm Shift to management styles and what managers do and contribute to the society. Inculcating values such as Integrity, respect for self and others, Responsibility, Building trust, and engaging employees, empowering them by promoting Integral development of the individual fostering innovation, reducing the environmental impact and most importantly promoting just and ethical practices.”
Mendis added that he has a strong belief that such basic values are the corner-stones of the highest standards of management professionalism and hence, the need to shift from a performance driven culture to a value driven management culture.
The new Executive Committee of CMI Sri Lanka Branch for 2012/13 that was elected unanimously at this AGM comprises of Mendis FCMI as President, Varuna Ratnaweera FCMI and Sunimal Weerasooriya FCMI as First Vice President and Second Vice President respectively. Malraj B. Kiriella FCMI will continue as Honorary Secretary while K. Dharmasena FCMI was appointed as the new Treasurer. The other office bearers elected at this meeting were Ajantha Jayawardane FCMI (Assistant Secretary) and M.M.S Quvylidh FCMI (Assistant Treasurer) while Murali Prakash FCMI, Chinthana Jayasekara MCMI, Shakila Wijewardane MCMI, Dr. S. Udayakumar FCMI, C. Gannile FCMI, Trevor Mendis FCMI, V.M.B. Ratnayake FCMI and G.S. Jayasinghe MCMI were elected as the rest of the executive committee members.