Business Times

‘Get the basics right’, urges management expert

By Quintus Perera

The topmost line in business management is the customer and if any organization forgets this crucial factor and the connection between the drivers and the outcome, it is like driving a car blind-folded, is the view of management guru – Prof Uditha Liyanage, Director, Postgraduate Institute of Management.
He was delivering the keynote address at the inauguration of the 2-day seminar – AAT Sri Lanka International Conference 2011 - organized by the Association of Accounting Technicians Sri Lanka (AATSL) on the theme “Confronting the New Economic Landscape”, in Colombo this week.

This theme was chosen to address the crucial issues of the volatile business environment following the global financial meltdown, natural disasters and the regulatory changes. Dr Sunil Navaratne, Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education was the Chief Guest while Ms Jane Scott Paul, CEO, AAT, UK; Robert Comelli, CEO, AAT, Australia and Johnson Kong, President, HKI AAT, Hong Kong were special guests.

Prof Liyanage said that there are two perspectives – to be brilliant on the basics and the other to look at the big picture to be successful in the business, and there is a more important line – top line, middle line and the bottom line.

In sharing his views, the management expert said that he would dwell upon customer view and the fundamental principles which he believed there is a need to clearly comprehend. He said that in management the simple rule is to be brilliant on the basics.

He said that Tom Peters in the mid 1980s and Jim Collins in the mid 1990s have examined the excellently performing companies and thereafter many management gurus have looked at high performing excellent companies and made one very important conclusion - all these companies did not necessarily have sophisticated systems, procedures and structures.

Prof Liyanage said that all these companies had one thing in common – they were excellent on their basics and there was no ambiguity. The other important thesis is to see the ‘big picture’ and ‘to find your place in it’. He advised the accountants not to remain in silos confined to their accounting departments for if they do that they would forget their place in this ‘big picture’.

Dr Koshy Mathai, IMF Representative Sri Lanka and Maldives; Reyaz Mihular, KPMG Ford Rhodes Partner; Dinesh Methrotra, Chairman, Life Insurance Corporation, India; Ruchi Gunawardene, CEO, Sting Consultants (Pvt) Ltd made presentations. Jithendra Gunatilleke, Deputy General Manager, Lanka Orix Leasing was the guest speaker on “Risk Reliance and Resurgence: The Japanese Experience’ at the technical sessions.

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