Caribbean Gov­er­nance Train­ing In­sti­tute has Full Sched­ule for 2016

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Where the gov­er­nance of a com­pany is con­cerned, there is no more cru­cial hu­man re­source in­vest­ment than train­ing the Board, says Lisa Charles, CEO and co-founder of the Saint Lucia-based Caribbean Gov­er­nance Train­ing In­sti­tute (CGTI) which con­tin­ues to grow in strength and rep­u­ta­tion af­ter al­most two years of offering board gov­er­nance train­ing to or­gan­i­sa­tions in the Caribbean.

In Novem­ber, CGTI con­ducted its lat­est pro­gramme in St. Vin­cent and once again wel­comed top ex­ec­u­tives from na­tional banks and other large com­pa­nies to par­tic­i­pate in the unique three-day Char­tered Di­rec­tor pro­gramme. The Char­tered Di­rec­tor, or C.Dir, is an in­ter­na­tional des­ig­na­tion which in­volves an op­tional two-hour exam based on a three-day course cov­er­ing all as­pects of board gov­er­nance. In the first year of the C.Dir pro­gramme, can­di­dates from Saint Lucia, Gre­nada, Guyana, Bar­ba­dos, Turks & Caicos, Do­minica and oth­ers coun­tries in the re­gion ben­e­fit­ted from CGTI’s ex­ten­sive knowl­edge and ex­per­tise through high-en­ergy, in­ter­ac­tive ses­sions with an in­ter­na­tional fac­ulty of Char­tered Direc­tors.

With train­ing bud­gets hard to come by, it is a credit to CGTI’s vi­sion that Caribbean or­gan­i­sa­tions are show­ing com­mit­ment to strength­en­ing the ef­fec­tive­ness of their boards, and Lisa Charles says the penny is drop­ping that com­pa­nies which don’t are likely doomed to fail. Since the spec­tac­u­lar im­plo­sion of big banks and PR dis­as­ters of big oil, it has be­come clear that an in­ef­fec­tive board can break any or­gan­i­sa­tion, and, as the old adage says, the buck stops at the top.

“Caribbean com­pa­nies are be­com­ing more aware that it takes skill to sit on a board and be ef­fec­tive. Per­sonal skills are part of the story, but pro­fes­sional skills were not al­ways re­quired for board po­si­tions in the past - like read­ing a com­plex bud­get or in­ter­pret­ing mar­ket re­search sta­tis­tics. As Dr. Bart al­ways says, there are three es­sen­tial qual­i­fi­ca­tions that all direc­tors must meet if they are to prop­erly do their job: com­pe­tence, cu­rios­ity and courage. Equip­ping direc­tors with the first C – com­pe­tence – is the pri­mary vi­sion of CGTI.”

A col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Dr. Chris Bart, founder of The Direc­tors Col­lege at McMaster Univer­sity in Canada, and Lisa Charles of Mile­stone De­vel­op­ment, the train­ing and de­vel­op­ment com­pany that is now in its eighth year, the CGTI fac­ulty has a broad ex­panse of ex­pe­ri­ence and ed­u­ca­tion in the com­plex world of cor­po­rate gov­er­nance, which has un­der­gone seis­mic up­heaval over the past twenty years. No longer can an or­gan­i­sa­tion rely on an un­skilled board to de­liver prof­its and div­i­dends to share­hold­ers; and keep­ing the com­pany rep­u­ta­tion above re­proach is just one of the col­lec­tive skills re­quired by an ef­fec­tive board. Ask­ing the right ques­tions to ver­ify, con­firm and prove that all is well fi­nan­cially is an­other, as is making the tough de­ci­sions to safe­guard the in­ter­ests of stake­hold­ers.

Says Dr. Bart: “The mo­ment you look for out­side in­vestors to fund growth, you have to face the level of scru­tiny re­quired by mod­ern com­pa­nies to safe­guard against risk and pro­tect as­sets. They ex­pect an in­de­pen­dent Board of Gov­er­nors to be the ul­ti­mate risk man­age­ment sys­tem. If they fail in that role, the or­gan­i­sa­tion fails.”

Dr. Chris Bart is well known lo­cally for his reg­u­lar “gov­er­nance ad­vice” con­tri­bu­tions to Saint Lucia’s Busi­ness Fo­cus mag­a­zine, as well as to the new OECS Jour­nal. Re­cently the work of CGTI was high­lighted to the Prime Min­is­ter of Saint Lucia, Dr. Kenny D. An­thony, who ex­pressed his sup­port for the Char­tered Direc­tors pro­gramme when he met with Dr. Bart in Novem­ber. With C.Dir pro­grammes for 2016 sched­uled in the Ba­hamas, An­tigua, St. Kitts, Bar­ba­dos, Ja­maica, Do­minica, Trinidad and Grand Cay­man, board gov­er­nance train­ing is be­com­ing one of Saint Lucia’s most in­flu­en­tial ex­ports, and the Caribbean Gov­er­nance Train­ing In­sti­tute is ful­fill­ing its vi­sion of rais­ing the stan­dard of gov­er­nance for boards and their direc­tors across the re­gion.

Prime Min­is­ter of Saint Lucia Dr. Kenny An­thony

with Dr. Chris Bart.

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