Speech delivered by Sir Richard Evans at the extended meeting of ''Samruk-Kazyna» JSC
Thank you. I want to take an opportunity today to support much of what has been said and to emphasize that despite the difficulties we face, the reality is that the Fund and that is all of us, are staring at opportunities across all of our businesses.
Sustainable economic development, modernization, diversification and continuous improvement in performance do not come easily. They are the same objectives that you will find being discussed in virtually every Board room around the world today. There is nothing special therefore about the Fund and the Country in this regard. We may be at a different point on the curve of Progress simply because of where we began from, but issues we face are common to most large organizations.
We should not underestimate what has been achieved to date. Like many others we have come through the consequences of a major economic recession and we are still in tact.
But to drive the Fund forward from where we are today, we have to have the courage to take some big steps forward if we are to achieve the objectives that the President has set for us.
Having had the chance now to work with the Fund for some reasonable time, I think we are at a crossroad and to make really big progress we have to recognize that CHANGE is necessary. CHANGE in how we organize ourselves, CHANGE in how we communicate with one another, CHANGE in our personal behaviors, CHANGE in the values we set ourselves, CHANGE in how we lead our people, CHANGE in how we set examples through our leadership and CHANGE in how we recognize that we are a single team.
All these items basically create the tool Kit that is necessary in any well run organization if it is to achieve success.
You know, thus far the Fund has moved forward very much in a sort of “loose formation”, a sort of series of silos, each quite insular, not sharing common values, not communicating with one another, not sharing knowledge and experiences across the Fund. Some of this is due to the way we organize ourselves but most of it is, to my eye, more to do with staying in our own comfort zone, doing things to way we have always done them, avoiding CHANGE as if it is our enemy.
The fact is that today the whole world is CHANGING. And big companies are changing continuously to stay ahead of the game. Even Governments are now recognizing that they have to change to meet the challenges they face.
CHANGE is not an enemy, it is an opportunity. Those who reach out and grasp it will succeed. Those who choose to ignore it will become extinct.
And do you know what the great thing about change is - it does not require massive financial investments. It’s not a huge capital programme. It’s simply us, all of us using our intellectual capital to behave differently and to adopt a different way of doing things. Providing leadership for others to follow. CHANGE is not a finite programme. In good well run organizations it’s a continuous process.
Take a good look at the President’s recent address to the People of Kazakhstan.
It’s a recipe for change and it puts in place the enables that are necessary to make it happen. He is providing the leadership to change and encouraging us to adopt it.
Look at the opportunities before us. Every single business we are in provides these opportunities and excitement for our team.
As a starter for change I’d like to see the Fund move to a matrix structure. Bringing through such structure our top people into a single team. Whichever of our businesses you are in, first and foremost you are in a “Fund player”! When this happens I will really believe that we have adopted CHANGE.