In the 13 January issue of NCE, reference was made to a warning issued by Roger Sainsbury, when he was President, to Mark Whitby about an article Mark wrote in which he criticised me.
I was aggrieved by the article and considered referring this matter to the Professional Conduct Committee. In the event I did not and, as far as I am concerned, the matter is now closed.
My reasons for taking this course was that the damage that a squabble of this kind between two members of the Executive would cause would far outweigh any personal gratification I might gain.
The governance of the Institution is going through a difficult patch with many challenges to be tackled. There is much talent among the staff and those members who serve on the Council, various committees and boards - but this needs to be harnessed through focused teamwork.
The President must lead this team. I share some of Mark's concerns and frustrations about how the Institution operates and his desire to effect major improvements. The issue is how best to achieve these improvements.
Among the leading members are a number of strong individuals who are very successful in their own careers, make considerable sacrifices to serve the Institution and have more experience than Mark. Marshalling the support of these people behind the policies Mark wishes to pursue will not be easy and requires a skillful hand and respect for the views, whether shared or not, of those members who give their time to the governance of the Institution and the staff of the Institution.
The members of the Institution deserve presidents who will become inspiring and effective team leaders.
Prospective presidents should work to both develop their ideas for governance during their term and build the support of their colleagues to turn these into policy and action - as soon as their feet step on the succession ladder.
Mark is undoubtedly doing a good job on the first of these tasks and I hope he will now put as much effort into the second.
David Bayliss (F), Ledborough Lane, Beaconsfield, Bucks HP9 2DB