February 2008

President's notes

Assessing CIM’s mandate

By J. Popowich

As my term as CIM president is coming to a close, I look back at the past year and try to assess what I have learned about CIM, its current role and where we might be in the future. We are a world-class organization that is knowledge-based, with a focus on sharing knowledge to set best practices and for our own personal development. However, on the other hand, we are a complex organization of many branches, districts and societies. Together with our small staff in Montreal and Calgary, we are an organization of volunteers dedicated to the CIM cause. We have a broad mandate covering the discovery and extraction of minerals and hydrocarbons through to the making of metals and materials for the good of society.

A question I have from my observations is, given this broad mandate, can we be focused enough to create the best value for our members, our industries and then our societies in general? We continue to be a technical-driven organization; however, we are moving to the softer side of our business – our sustainability and corporate social responsibilities to our communities and stakeholders. Our mandate is now even more complex. We have also seen an increase in competing associations that have evolved for very specific and focused parts of our business.

Some time ago, we undertook strategic planning sessions that looked at our existing organization and how we operate. We have made many improvements over the past few years in providing value to our members, including governance for a large not-for-profit organization. However, is this enough?

So where to from here? Can we be everything to our entire industry? I firmly believe we have succeeded in many areas; however, given our ever-increasing mandate, how do we create a greater focus and outcome for our members?

This year will be the time for asking these questions. In the meantime we have a lot of work to do!

Jim Popowich, CIM President

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