WSB Management Team Meeting 2015
The World Scout Bureau (WSB) office in Kuala Lumpur hosted more than 70 colleagues from 20 - 24 January for the WSB Management Team Meeting 2015. It was an excellent opportunity for mutual exchange and learning as management level staff members from all the nine WSB offices worldwide convened in Malaysia. For many colleagues, it was their first visit to Malaysia and to the new WSB office that was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Malaysia on 18 June 2014.
The four-day all management staff meeting was preceded by a Senior Management Team (SMT) meeting on 19 January. I would like to thank the SMT, comprising the six Regional Directors – Frederic T. Kama-Kama (Africa), Dr Atif Abdelmageed (Arab), Jose Rizal C. Pangilinan (Asia Pacific), Iurie Emilian (Eurasia), David McKee (Europe) and Raúl Sánchez (Interamerica); the four Global Directors – Göran Hägerdal (Scouting Development), David Berg (Organisational Development), Lin Lin Yeoh (Communications & External Relations), and Ooi Soon San (Finance & Administration); Sonny Kim (Chief of Staff), Peter Illig (General Counsel) and Srinath Tirumale Venugopal (Administrative Director) for their leadership and commitment in organising and supporting the meeting. Apart from the full day meeting on 19 January, the SMT met at 8.00 am every day in advance of the official start at 9.00 am to take stock of developments from the previous day and review preparations for the current day.
It was a great pleasure to have my colleague from the World Scout Committee, Chairperson João Armando, present with us for most part of the Management Meeting. On day one, after I welcomed all the staff members and shared my personal expectations for the meeting and the objectives set by the SMT, João made an excellent opening address to set the scene for the meeting, providing thought leadership.
It came as no surprise for anyone that both João and I stressed on the importance of focusing on WOSM’s mission – to contribute to the education of young people; and vision – to be the world’s leading educational youth movement, enabling 100 million young people to be active citizens by 2023. We emphasised that to achieve the envisioned growth, there needs to be a change in our mindset, as to how we look at Scouts. Unlike other young people, I told that our Scouts need to belong to a “WE - all about sharing - generation”.
João, meanwhile, emphasised on the importance of unity and partnership between volunteers and staff, and the need to bring impact and promote significant examples on how WOSM is helping to create a better world. “There needs to be trust, transparency, and open communication across the global network of people,” João said.
The participants were also provided with details on the global Triennial Plan 2014-2017, and how the Regions and National Scout Organizations (NSOs) should contribute to its successful implementation.
We were also privileged to have Rabbi Peter Hyman with us – as the keynote speaker. Peter is the Chair of the Messengers of Peace Committee for the Boy Scouts of America and also the BSA National Jewish Chaplain. He has been the world Chaplain at many World Scout Jamborees and has a deep understanding of the values that professional staff can bring to Scouting. His keynote address made a big impact on everyone.
Peter said that the Scout Movement today has to navigate around issues and obstacles unimagined and not experienced by our predecessors. He reminded us to be visionaries in the leadership we provide – to stay true to the Mission of the Scout Movement, and to persevere in the creation of a better world. He echoed the need to embrace change and to be prepared for the challenges of the future.
“You (in your professional role) as the leaders of WOSM must address this urgent and pressing matter – how will we maintain our vitality, longevity, and ensure our effectiveness to preserve our influence on the world stage in the decades ahead,” Peter said.
John Geoghegan, Director of the World Scout Foundation (WSF), in his written message, commended the WSB team for the work done thus far, and expressed WSF’s commitment to continue working with the WSB.
“The work on Messengers of Peace to date has been great, and we need to continue this. We need more stories of success, and figures for what is happening on (the) ground,” John said, rallying everyone to work together to deliver this. “It is amazing how people react when they hear about (the) 600 million hours of service! Well done!” he added.
Training sessions on project management, leadership, virtual working, public speaking and global support assessment
tools were held to build the capacity of participants.
Breakout sessions on Scouting Development, Organisational Development, Communications & External Relations, Financial Management System and Messengers of Peace were also organised. The Q&A and brainstorming sessions during these breakouts tapped into the expertise and experience of many, and drew animated exchanges and constructive ideas that helped us to have a better understanding of each other’s situations and perspectives.
The daily schedules kept everyone busy – full day meetings (some planned and some spontaneous) while the evenings were largely spent on enjoying local culture, food and each other’s company.
To know more, visit World Scouting Storify for posts, pictures and daily highlights of the weeklong WSB Management Team Meeting, the first to be held in Kuala Lumpur.
Overall, the meeting was extremely positive. I believe it served as a launching pad for WSB in this new triennium. With a new Triennial Plan 2014-2017 and a new Vision 2023, it is time now for all of us – staff and volunteers – to march “forward together. Towards impact and growth” – in creating a better world. And remember, tell the stories!