‘Close relationships are key to CIMA’s ongoing success’

Every CIMA president would agree that you need to develop strong partnerships in order to be an effective leader.

During my year as deputy president I was consistently impressed by the members and staff who provided the support, guidance and infrastructure that created a smooth path to the many events and meetings that I attended on behalf of the institute.

Now that my presidential term has begun in ­earnest, it seems logical to learn from my recent experience and adopt the theme of partnership.

Well into its 93rd year of existence, the institute continues to go from strength to strength – and much of its success is based on the forging of strong relationships both within the organisation and externally.

CIMA’s growing global reputation as a key player in the development of future business leaders can be attributed to the close bonds among the institute’s council members, honorary officers, senior managers, staff and members around the world.

And the institute is set to enhance this reputation by building new partnerships – from the recent joint-venture talks with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to the merger of the two Ireland region divisions into one unified body.

As a native of Northern Ireland, I am delighted that the Irish merger is now in place. I consider our members to be the lifeblood of the institute and CIMA has a duty to ensure that they are given first-class support wherever in the world they are based.

This new partnership means that our members will benefit from a greater recognition of the CIMA brand and a broader range of services.

Northern Ireland has had more than its fair share of difficulties, both political and economic. Like many countries that have experienced civil conflict, it has learned that the key to progress is communication and partnership.

Everybody ­stands to benefit from working together – and that is a lesson from which the whole CIMA community of 183,000 members and students in 168 countries can learn.

Moreover, every one of our members has the potential to become an essential partner in their chosen sector. CIMA will continue to promote the unique skills that our members can bring to the table as business partners.

As governments and organisations work towards a sustainable future, it is now more important than ever that our members continue to move into roles where they can use their financial knowledge and insight to help drive companies towards long-term success.

CIMA’s ongoing work with the think-tank Tomorrow’s Company is also focused on developing stronger partnerships between organisations’ boards and their executives.

As we are all aware, corporate boards are operating in ever more complex and challenging business environments. In collaboration with Tomorrow’s Company, the institute is championing the case for what we call “the board mandate”.

This exciting new concept, which sets out the essence of a company’s ­character and distinctiveness, has been well received by a number of leading companies.

We believe that such a working charter can help boards to navigate their way through increasingly choppy waters by facilitating more effective strategic engagement.

Primarily, the mandate would be between executive directors and non-executive directors to improve the effectiveness of boards.

But it would have the associated benefit of improving communication externally with key stakeholders, including shareholders, other investors, governments, regulators and society at large.

There are clearly many new challenges ahead, but we are all part of the CIMA partnership. This provides limitless opportunities to promote and develop the unique and essential skills offered by chartered management accountants around the world.

24/06/2011

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