CIMA summit calls for things to be done differently

The CIMA Business Leaders’ Summit 2006, themed ‘Unleash your potential’ which was held last week had an eminent array of business leaders from all over the world calling the movers and the shakers of the corporate world to do things differently, while leading discussions on success being hard work or just luck.

Shiv Khera

Shiv Khera, an international educator, business consultant and much sought after speaker and successful entrepreneur who has authored some best sellers over the past couple of years delivering an inspiring key note address, said that more often than not education teaches the learner his or her potential and also the limitations. “Aerodynamically, a bumble bee cannot fly, because its body weight does not correspond to the breadth of its wings, but the bumble bee is not aware of that. So it flies anyway,” he said.

Together with Khera, who presented ‘Winners don’t do different things, they do things differently’, the CIMA Business Leaders’ Summit had much important insights into handling the corporate world by a range of business leaders, including Elmo de Alwis, CEO, Sigma Pharmaceuticals in Australia, David White, a very experienced trainer and consultant, Simon Murray, Chairman, GEMS Limited and Asia Corporate Finance at Macquarie Group of Companies, Hong Kong, Dr. Chintha Dissanayake, Industrial/ Occupational Psychology Consultant of Oxford Psychometrics in Belgium and Dr. Rob Yeung, Director, Business Psychology Consultancy Talentspace, UK.

The President's speech.

Addressing the gathering via live satellite, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that in the next few years he was hoping to see new enterprises being established in all parts of the country. “I would like to see our small enterprises being converted into medium sized ones; our medium sized enterprises being transformed into large scale business institutions; our large scale institutions being expanded to become regional and international players.”

Khera, speaking to The Sunday Times FT said that a country’s product quality and the responsible behaviour of the people are the basic elements of its national pride, while legality and ethicality make a world of difference.

“There is nothing known as third world, but the countries are being labelled as such because probably they are third class. They are labelled as such because they believe probably third class,” he said.

He said when corruption is rampant, decisions are politically motivated than nationally motivated and when people are not committed, a country automatically becomes a third world nation. “Legality and ethicality make a world of difference to a country and these traits should start from the ruling community through to the public. In Singapore 22 markets put up money businesses and this was dealing with the government, which shows their commitment to the country’s chosen character,” he said.

He said that a country is judged as developed not by its booming industry or by technology, but the quality of character it designs of its people. “This is where the third world is lagging. Germany and Japan were countries that were razed to the ground, but they turned around, because of the character of their people,” he explained.

He said that Japan’s development is not due to Kaizen or Just-In-Time (JIT) as is popularly believed, but the Japanese people’s patriotic feeling. “To them the quality of their product and responsible behaviour is patriotism. To them pride in the country means anything made in Japan carries the respect and the dignity of the Japanese and this is the same in Singapore,” he said.

Khera said that Singapore is becoming the education capital of the world and the medical capital of South East Asia due to their commitment to be Singaporean and patriotic in all their endeavours. “The taxi drivers in Singapore are courteous, polite and honest. Once when I inquired from a taxi driver about their disposition, he said, ‘We’re not taxi drivers, but ambassadors of Singapore without a diplomatic passport’,” he said.

He said that Sri Lanka is much richer in resources than Singapore. “In terms of natural resources, Sri Lanka has so much to offer, whereas Singapore has nothing. This can be turned around as a competitive advantage.”

Khera said that there is a world of difference between being content and being complacent. “This is where we need to look carefully. Many emerging economies are complacent and they need to invest in their people and motivate them to get out of this situation,” he said.

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