Help to govern your institute and ensure that it remains the pre-eminent voice of your profession.

Author:Joachim, Aubrey
Position::Chartered Institute of Management Accountants - Viewpoint essay

Although I have very much enjoyed visiting CIMA's many divisions around the world during my presidential year, there is something particularly stimulating about chairing meetings of its governing council. It's here that members with a wide range of experiences assemble to ensure that CIMA stays at the forefront of management accounting. For the good of the institute's future and that of its members, a president must show strong leadership. There's no place for wilting weakness.

These five gatherings of more than 50 FCMAs each year provide a forum for deliberation and debate. Sometimes the debate can be heated, but I am hugely impressed by the council's dedication to maintaining CIMA's first-class reputation. To remain relevant to the business world the institute must be rigorous in its syllabus, thought leadership and internal governance.

To achieve this, we must ensure that we don't become complacent. The demographics of the membership are changing and we must try to reflect this in the council's composition. We need to do all we can to encourage members of the next generation to participate, so that they can lead the institute to its 100th anniversary and beyond. This is necessary both at council level and in the 18 electoral constituencies (ECs) worldwide. These are the breeding grounds for new talent, new thinking and new aspirations. Some FCMAs have told me that they won't seek election to council because the incumbent in their EC is so well respected. But our elections are not a competition; they are about ensuring that CIMA is truly representative of its members. Also, a healthy turnover of directors on any board is an indicator of good governance.

I strongly urge the latest generation of FCMAs to test the water by getting involved in their constituency and, if they enjoy it, to stand for election. Joining the council is an enormously rewarding experience and one that will ensure that the organisation remains dynamic and innovative in its approach to academic excellence.

It has been widely acknowledged that business must focus more on corporate governance in the wake of the downturn. But it's also imperative that professionalism is put at the top of...

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