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CILT Presidential Address 2013

The CILT Presidentail Address took place last month at the Hilton Hotel, Kilmainham, Dublin. As is tradition at the beginning of their two-year term of office, the President holds a function and outlines their agenda and goals for their two-year term in the position. On November 26th Finbarr Cleary gave his address to members of the institute where he outlined to them his goals and ambitions for his term as president. He outlined where he sees the institute going in the next few years and how he plans to maintain the achievements and good work that CILT has accomplished over the years.

Mr. Cleary outlined that the country has recently come through very difficult economic times but that we are slowly beginning to recover from this. He maintained that it is vitally important for Ireland to have a sustainable, effective and efficient supply chain, logistics and transport sectors.  He told those in attendance that these are critical sectors if Ireland is to be competitive and we, as an island nation, are to trade our way out of our financial difficulties. The members of the Institute in attendance were told that our profession is a key factor in Ireland’s economic recovery.

Mr. Cleary also addressed the role that the institute as a whole will play in this recovery over the next few years and how it is vital to remain as focused and motivated as ever stating “I am sure we all recognise how important unity of purpose is and the requirement to have a clear sense of direction. An organisation that has it will move forward and thrive. Its members and staff will be more motivated, will get job satisfaction, and feel that their efforts and energies are being used productively. If it is lacking, an organisation will not flourish, with time and energy dissipated in internal disagreements. It is essential that our focus is on the best interests of the Institute as a whole rather than on individual matters, and that we move forward as an Institute.”

When discussing how the institute will fulfil their mission to maintain the high standards of the past Mr. Cleary stressed the importance of having clear goals and objectives going forward. These are to strengthen and grow membership, to expand and raise standards in the institute’s education programmes; to produce policies and learned reports; to communicate through publications and modern electronic media; to provide services to members; to be a significant industry influencer and to be recognised as the professional voice of the industry. In order to achieve these goals, the institute has set out specific targets for the next two years.

Mr. Cleary’s main objectives during his presidential term are

To increase membership by 30%, with a more diversified membership, including a great number of women and younger people.

To expand the number of educational programmes offered.

To have 4 main events and 20 smaller events each year.

To strengthen our Eastern and Southern sections and revamp our western section.

To update our well-established Corporate Governance to take account of the requirements of the new Charity Act.

To improve communications externally and internally through the use of electronic applications and media.

To expand the delivery and distribution of policy and professional papers.

To have on-going improvements in standards, such as through updating, strengthening the content and delivery of our courses, and through research to support policy work.

To provide a worthy service to CILT International and to expand the commercial aspect of services that we provide beyond our borders.

To provide better facilities for staff and members.

To strengthen our earnings so that we can reinvest.

To focus the working of Council and staff on these objectives and on the effective delivery of the projects set out below.

The Council needs to spend its time dealing with work related to these objectives, rather than internal and individual issues.

Mr. Cleary addressed how exactly he plans to implement these objectives over the next few years. He said “To begin with we need to have an integrated and coherent business plan, simply based on a number of key projects that are interlinked and reinforce each other, to have the input and support of Council and staff. We need to organise ourselves to ensure that the delivery of these projects is effective and efficient. This will be done through Council Work groups and with the assistance of nominated staff, both taking ownership of particular projects.”

Mr. Cleary went on to address and outline the key projects that he believes the institute needs to deliver on in the future. One important aspect is education. While addressing this topic in his speech Mr. Cleary said “Education is a most important area for us, as we earn most of our revenue through education and this makes the organisation sustainable.” Speaking on a general note he said “It is good practice that we are constantly looking at how we can strengthen and improve our courses, meet best standards and ensure we are linking to the latest developments in industry and meeting member’s needs. In this regard it is particularly important that through the above initiatives a wider range of continuous professional development programmes are put in place that benefit and support members.”

Mr. Cleary also addressed the visit of the International President, Dr. Dorothy Chan last September. There were many events held surrounding her visit including the global rebranding of the institute at the Guinness Storehouse which was a tremendous success. Mr. Cleary said “We received many compliments about the running of these events. I want to thank Bob Laird and his team for the Trojan work they did, and in particular Michael Lynham for the organisation of the global launch of the new International logo I now propose that throughout the year we run four major events and 20 more focused events, involving visits, seminars, presentations, round table discussions, etc. This will involve contributions from different sections of the Institute and the involvement of Michael Lynham who has expertise in this area.”

Membership decline was also something that needs to be looked at according to Mr. Cleary. Given the recent economic decline membership numbers have decreased and it is the new CILT president believes that it is important to address this “It is important that we reverse this trend and start increasing again. I have already mentioned that we need to improve services to members. All of the above projects will contribute to achieving this objective. In addition to the above I am also pleased to report that we are working towards diversifying and extending the spread of our membership through significant initiatives with regard to women and young people.”

To achieve his outlined goals Mr. Cleary believes the institute should have an approach that is business-like, looking forward and outward rather than looking inward. It needs to be team-based, with a focus on the betterment of the Institute as a whole rather than on individual matters.  Mr. Cleary hopes that if all institute members work in tandem they can achieve this “Let’s support each other. Let us enjoy team work and get a sense of satisfaction from delivering on our targets in a professional, quality way. Let us share that sense that we have a mission, shared goals, and that we are all working together to achieve them.”

Mr. Cleary’s address to the members of the institute was very well received by all those in attendance. The new CILT president was well spoken, focused and driven to achieving the many goals that he outlined in his speech. The Institute seems to have the right person in charge as we enter 2014.


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