From left: National Conference Technical Committee Chairperson Anoji De Silva, CA Sri Lanka Vice President Jagath Perera, CA Sri Lanka President Lasantha Wickremasinghe, National Conference Committee Chairman Tishan Subasinghe and CA Sri Lanka Chief Executive Officer Aruna Alwis
Pic by Damith Wickramasinghe
By Harshana Sellahewa
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) has decided to promote the need for corporate leaders to embrace dynamism and agility at the 38th National Conference of Chartered Accountants.
This year’s conference is intended to revolve around the theme ‘Dynamism – Agility in Leadership’. Both local and international speakers will steer over 1500 delegates to think ‘out of the box’ and understand why it is increasingly important to incorporate dynamism within the corporate culture in Sri Lanka and also look at developing more agile leaders, who understand the importance of changing with time, to ensure sustainable and successful corporates. The conference is set to be held from October 25 to 27, 2017, at the BMICH, Colombo.
Addressing the press conference held in Colombo, CA Sri Lanka President Lasantha Wickremasinghe said that as a country that belongs to the fastest growing region, Sri Lanka too can take great advantage of this exponential growth.
“Although we are a small nation, we have the potential to become a global player due to our strategic location on the world map. But, to reach this goal, we need leadership with proper vision. We cannot only expect governments and policymakers to drive our country forward. As professionals, we too have responsibilities to support this forward journey,” he said.
Wickremasinghe explained that there is an increasing need to encourage agility across the broader spectrum, be it at a national level or corporate level “because agility has been identified as an important factor that will drive a leadership to help achieve success, despite increasing volatility, uncertainty and complexity,” he stated.
Wickremasinghe also said that the technological revolution is another reason why more and more businesses as well as professionals and corporate leadership need to understand the need to adapt with time and stay relevant by being more agile and dynamic in manoeuvring businesses.
The 38th National Conference theme was unveiled by Wickremasinghe in the presence of CA Sri Lanka Vice President Jagath Perera, National Conference Committee Chairman Tishan Subasinghe, National Conference Technical Committee Chairperson Anoji De Silva and CA Sri Lanka Chief Executive Officer Aruna Alwis.
Subasinghe said that there is an increasing need to see more agility and dynamism among business leaders, who also comprise of chartered accountants.
“Therefore, this year’s national conference will shed important insights into why it’s important to create agile leaders, who know when to adapt and change with times and more importantly be flexible and move away from archaic mindsets. The national conference is the perfect platform to help influence senior executives and business leaders to understand the importance of an agile culture in an organisation as well as the need to groom agile and dynamic leaders, who not only would enjoy individual professional success but also would help their organisations progress,” he said.
Subasinghe said that last year the conference recorded the highest participation with a total of 1658 delegates taking part in it, which also included top business leaders. “An important factor at last year’s conference was the demand by non-members of the institute to participate in the conference, but due to limited seating capacity, we could not accommodate the ever increasing demand and so we also offer the option of transmitting the conference live via webcast,” he added.
De Silva pointed out that as organisations grow, they become increasingly difficult to change faster as managers tend to confine themselves in their comfort zones, while delivering the rationale for the theme of this year’s conference: “To break these barriers and constantly challenge the status quo, organisations will require visionary leaders and agile leadership is the most critical because without an agile leader it is unlikely that an organisation can develop and inculcate an agile culture,” she said.
De Silva further noted that the agility of few leaders in an organisation would be of no value if most of the other decision makers are dinosaurs and hence this is where the culture of agility becomes so important to ensure the momentum of change continues. “To survive in this highly volatile and complex world, firms must demonstrate agility in fulfilling customer expectations, product design and enhancement, collaborative innovation and organisational structures. Leaders need to develop a level of organisational agility that matches the increasing level of change and complexity in their business environment,” she further said.
Towards the end of the press conference, the members of the press and other delegates were given the opportunity to take part in a ‘Q&A’ session, where they were able to question the heads of the table and they were answered then and there.