President's Report to Members - May 2022 International Council meeting
I would like to take this opportunity to let you know what was discussed, as well as some important decisions taken, at The Chartered Governance Institute’s most recent international Council meeting held as a hybrid meeting in London on 5 and 6 May 2022.
Due to the global pandemic environment, this was the first meeting since October 2019 that the Council was able to hold face-to-face. Some members of Council were still unable to travel and so attended by Zoom, but nevertheless the opportunity to meet face-to-face for most was very refreshing. I am pleased to say that all members of Council and most Chief Executives were able to attend either in person or virtually.
2020 + Strategic plan
The 2020+ Strategic Plan which guides our priorities and focus was put in place in October 2020 is structured around 6 key elements:
- Financial stability and sustainability (including our Covid-19 response),
- Business growth in relation to students and members,
- Brand enhancement,
- Thought leadership, and
- Organisational governance.
The Council again reviewed the strategic progress being made against the Plan, and an update on the good progress made is as follows:
- “CGI Global Passport” - Council agreed to create a CGI Global Passport programme that will provide members with the ability to access the events, services and intellectual property from all 9 Divisions. When the programme rolls out members will be able to enjoy the benefits of being part of a truly global organisation along with the support they receive from their home Division. The launch date is January 2023 so please watch for further updates,
- Business growth - a working-group to evaluate opportunities to enhance growth in Southeast Asia was established earlier this year. Whilst the Institute has strong representation in Hong Kong/China, Malaysia and Singapore there are opportunities in other Southeast Asian countries. As governance is global in nature so too is the need for practitioners everywhere to be professionally qualified. The Institute’s International Qualifying Scheme is attractive to many and so we are exploring a range of new opportunities,
- Organisational governance - Council agreed to a set of guidelines for Divisional Committees to consider when they are appointing their representatives to Council. As reported late last year, a Skills Matrix and stocktake of strengths and weaknesses was undertaken……leading to the guidelines to help guide future appointments and therefore Council composition. Long term succession planning is critical and hence the high priority this project has been given,
- Brand enhancement - since the Institute changed its name, brand and and logo, Divisions have been encouraged to adopt as much as of the visual identity as is suitable for their circumstances. The latest development was from the Hong Kong/China Division that closely adopted the name and adopted key elements of the look and feel of the global Institute in their re-design. Each step toward some brand harmonisation and consistency underscores the connected nature of the Institute’s Divisions and is welcome.
Strategic policy agenda
The Institute’s Policy Adviser provided the Council with an update on the broad policy areas that would underpin the Institute’s thought leadership agenda for the coming 12 to 18 months. The Council’s role in shaping the topics the Institute chooses to progress is valuable as the Institute’s diversity is best illustrated by Council’s own membership. Whilst we are all Chartered Secretaries or Chartered Governance Professionals or both, the Institute nevertheless represents a broad church and the policy topics adopted must also reflect this.
Global Institute promotion
The eCommunity continues to be a valuable asset for the global Institute. There are now over 4,300 registered users of the platform and discussion activity continues to grow.
Council was brought up to date on plans to create a new global sub-community for graduates and new members, to commence in September 2022. The Open Forum has been a success but does not necessarily deal with the issues and needs of new professionals. Plans are therefore underway for content to be directed toward those at an earlier stage in their career with blogs, virtual workshops and relevant intellectual property. All Divisions are participating.
A new marketing campaign called ‘Refresh’ was launched to coincide with the Council meeting. The eCommunity is now over two-years old, has grown steadily each month and is a resource that connects members globally. A set of short ‘’how-to’’ video clips has been developed to take new users through the platform as well. As the campaign says…”we are talking 24/7…why not join?” If you have not already joined, I urge you to do so…just click here.
The eCommunity continues to be complimented by the global webinars that the Institute conducts. The Institute uses the webinars to promote its global footprint by always having speakers across a range of jurisdictions and reaching into over 20 countries each time. Participation ranges from between 1,250 to 1,500 participants for each webinar with many being non-members. The most recent on Ethical governance of AI, held in March, is available on-demand here.
Charter and bye-laws
With the assistance of the Constitutional Agreements Committee, the Council has been evaluating some changes to the bye-laws to bring them more up to date regarding electronic meetings, the composition of Council as well as the criteria for membership in line with the recent Professional Standards Committee recommended changes. It is hoped that these possible changes can progress in time for the Institute’s 2022 AGM.
PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS COMMITTEE (“PSC”)
The PSC has now completed its review of eligibility pathways to membership and the assessment framework of the International Qualifying Scheme. Council agreed to the final remaining work that involved a decision on the appropriate tools used to assess a student’s understanding of the curriculum. As many members go on to become the designated company secretary in their organisation, and hence become an officer of the corporation or organisation, the Institute has a particular responsibility to qualify people as ‘’Chartered’’ in a rigorous and responsible manner.
Council also agreed to a recommendation of the PSC to the development of a set of competency standards for Chartered Secretaries and Chartered Governance Professionals. This project is consistent with the Quality Assurance framework that PSC adopted a few years ago. A competency framework, along with an assessment framework, will allow Divisions to structure the qualifying programme for membership in a manner that suits their market. And by developing a set of competencies for each of the Institute’s two professional designations, the resulting qualifying programme can be more targeted to each. The project will involve the input of all Divisions and will extend into the end of 2022 or early 2023.
We were pleased the new Chair of PSC, Professor Alan Au, attended the Council meeting for the first time after having Chaired a meeting of the PSC on 7 April 2022.
Council also ratified the appointment of Mr Wisdom Ncube from the Canada Division as a new member of PSC.
THOUGHT LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE (“TLC”)
The Council received a report on the work of the TLC and the work being undertaken by the Institute’s Policy Adviser – Gertrude Takawira.
The first paper for 2022, Ethical governance of AI was released at the end of February this year and was accompanied by a global virtual panel discussion. Two other papers, one on the learnings of Covid 19 and the other on the importance of the values of belonging, dignity and justice as part of any organisation’s stewardship responsibilities are in the pipeline.
At the time of writing the TLC is also seeking expressions of interest for members to join the Committee. The TLC seeks to have a balance of practitioners, policy advisors and commentators and the interest seen so far will ensure that this diversity will continue.
All Divisions provided Council with an update on how they have adapted to Covid 19 as well as their new ways of doing business and engaging with their communities. . All Divisions have now returned to the office on at least a part-time basis, and all are returning to face-to-face events, but still with a mix of virtual and hybrid as well.
I am pleased to advise members of the Honorary Officers who will assume office from 1 July 2022.
Ms Jill Parratt, from our Southern African Division, will be our next President. Jill is currently one of the Institute’s Vice-Presidents, a Past-President of the Southern African Division and Chair of the Institute’s Constitutional Agreements Committee. When not involved with Institute activities, Jill’s ‘day-job’ is Group Secretary of Liberty Holdings Limited. Jill is also the chairman of Mentor which is a bursary fund for disadvantaged students from 2010 to the present.
The two Vice-Presidents from 1 July 2022 will be Mr John Heaton from CGIUKI and Dr Syed Hamid Aljunid from the Malaysian Division.
I congratulate each colleague on their election.
2022 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The Council has agreed to hold the Annual General Meeting for The Chartered Governance on Tuesday 4 October in Cape Town South Africa. The meeting will be a hybrid meeting and live streamed as was the case in 2021. A Notice of Meeting will be circulated in the usual way.
This meeting is my last meeting as President. Whilst the last 2 years have been a challenging period we maintained our focus on key priorities and achieving results. I am proud of what our global Institute has been able to achieve under these circumstances. I was able to chair only one face-to-face meeting (and 4 virtual meetings) but that did not in any way diminish our accomplishments. I would like to express my gratitude for being given the privilege of serving as the international Institute’s President during these past 2 years. To see the reforms we have been able to achieve, and the plans in place for more to come, has been especially gratifying.
I would like to thank all my colleagues on the international Council for their focus and engagement and all the time freely given for the benefit of our membership. May I offer particular thanks to Immediate Past-President Edith Shih (Hong Kong/China) for her support over the years as President, Executive Committee member and Immediate Past-President. Also to Vice-Presidents Jill Parratt (Southern Africa), John Heaton (CGIUKI) and Dr Syed Hamid Aljunid (Malaysia) as well as Alan Au (Chair of PSC) who serve on our Executive Committee which meets monthly and provides very important momentum to the Institute.
As always, the work of members who serve on Divisional councils or sit on branch committees throughout the world is very greatly appreciated. In addition, the work of the Director General, Tim Sheehy, our Institute Secretary Cynthia Mora Spencer, all the CEO’s and staff in our 9 Divisions as well as the support from MCI is critical in generating support for these recent new international initiatives and very much appreciated.
Peter Turnbull AM FCG
11 June 2022
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