Welcome to the blog of Members’ Forum 2017.
My Year as President: Chris Chivers
Why are you doing this, giving up paid work to be involved in CIOB activities for free?
I was often asked that question – mainly by people outside of our sector, during my Presidential term 2015/2016. Every time I quickly and easily came up with the same answer – ‘It was and is an absolute privilege to be working alongside staff and members who are so passionate about what they do to develop the construction industry’
Starting in Cambridge, a world leading city of knowledge provision, the President’s Inaugural dinner at King’s College, the culminating event of 5 days of solid workshops, meetings and debates, was packed with members from all around the globe. The input and effort put in by staff and members alike that week was astonishing and much was accomplished by a disparate group of people from differing cultures who came together with one aim in mind and that was to improve the management of the world’s construction industry and the common link was that they were all wearing the CIOB badge!
Wearing the President’s medal seemed to entitle me to travel from one dinner to the next in very short succession. Initially it was mainly around the UK and Ireland and often times with other Institutions, giving me the chance to tell new people what a great job the CIOB was and is doing to advance careers in construction management. Wherever I went I was met with sincere interest and concerns about how well the Institute was doing, what was being planned next and views on plans that had been published. Much of this, of course would be discussed in an after dinner environment when, in my experience, many direct questions are asked which perhaps wouldn’t have been asked in other circumstances.
In December I had the opportunity to travel for two weeks to China, visiting Shanghai, Beijing and Chongqing. It was one endless succession of meetings from early mornings to late evenings – oh and of course interspersed with dinners and lunches. The Chinese idea of a ‘light lunch’ is somewhat different to the western idea of a sandwich. We met Government ministers, at both central and local levels, CEO’s, MD’s and Principals of large corporations, trade associations and universities all of whom affirmed or reaffirmed their wish and/or intent to be more closely involved with the CIOB. I returned to the UK with 78 more business contacts than when I left and an invitation to return to the CIOB China Conference in Beijing in May.
Chris Blythe, Amy Gough and I did exactly that and managed fit other CIOB business around the full Saturday of site visits, conference and the China branch certainly knows how to organise a conference – oh and dinner!!
This year has, as always for the Institute, been a busy one; I’m absolutely delighted that the “One CIOB” project is now in full swing. It is a huge task but the Board of Trustees were determined to respond to the members’ requirements to provide better members’ services. The representation composition at Members’ Forum has been determined and will be implemented finally by 2018 in New York. The Grade Review of course is almost finally complete but will continue to evolve and to all those doubters of this course of action our membership increase in 2015 was the best the institute has ever had including the upgrade to Chartership from the ACIOB and ICIOB grades.
I am extremely proud to have had this time and opportunity to work alongside such dedicated people endeavouring to support the thousands who range under the CIOB banner, whose daily work affects the lives of people they never meet. Finally, I am equally grateful for the warm welcome and kind words I received wherever I went – we should be very proud of our Institute for the difference it’s people make around the world!!!