July 5th, 2011
11:18 AM GMT
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Editor's note: The following is a transcript of a video message from the IMF's new head, Christine Lagarde, shared on June 30 and obtained by World Business Today anchor Nina dos Santos.

Dear colleagues,

I am very, very pleased to be able to speak to you very shortly after my election as Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.

I feel deeply honored, deeply humbled also, by the level of trust that has been expressed by the Executive Directors to lead this formidable institution and its no less formidable staff, which is its greatest value and asset.

I feel very strongly the importance of our coming together. I know that recent events have not been particularly pleasant for any of you nor for the institution as a whole. And I would really work hard so that we can together overcome the feelings to make sure that we actually focus our efforts, focus the institution, in the right track, which is to produce excellent work with good collective focus.

I promise that I will listen, I promise that I will be attentive to all, and I promise that I will communicate as much as I can, because I believe that the effort of communicating, the effort of listening, the effort of respecting each other will be key to actually strengthen the institution.

The institution itself is renowned the world over for its quality. I believe personally that we can improve that quality by improving its diversity. It is obviously something that is very dear to my heart for all sorts of reasons that you can imagine. But I don’t mean diversity in a narrow sense, and with exclusively a gender focus. I am very concerned that we can enrich the institution as much as we can by using diversity as an asset.

Gender, geography, academic background, culture all that diversity should actually be mixed so well that it produces this unbelievable intellectual talent that you together can produce. And that is really my third point.

There is fantastic intellectual capital in each of you, in the group that you form. And I would really want that intellectual capital to prosper, to produce the best possible work that it can produce.

There is competition in the world. There are some people who argue that the technical expertise can be found in many corners. Well, to me, the IMF can produce the best and it should strive at doing so.

Over the past few years, you have experienced transformation. The institution has to remain loyal and faithful to its core values and principles, but equally it must continue to transform itself. It must be open to new ideas, it must welcome creative thinking, alternative thinking. We must be able to accept that long-standing theories and principles be challenged, and it doesn’t have to be challenged by the higher-ups in the hierarchy. There can be innovative thinking at all levels of the organization and it is by protecting and nurturing that way of producing new ideas that we will actually excel. I will make sure that that is the case.

To carry out its role and its duties successfully, the institution has to be, as I said, relevant, effective, proactive, and legitimate. To do so, we need the things that I have just mentioned: diversity, intellectual capital–collectively enhanced, the richness of diverse academic background.

But we also need to be perfectly legitimate, which means that the transformations that have taken place in relation to governance for instance, must be pursued, must be continued, so that the Fund does belong to its 187 members.

I am not the candidate of a particular country. I am not the candidate or the director of a particular region. And I am not the director of a particular group of countries. I am the director of the entire institution. And as such, together with the management, with which I want to work very closely, together with the Executive Directors, with whom I want to work very closely as well, we must devote our energy and our confidence in each other to actually serve best the entire institution.

I will do my best. To do so I will count on you. You will be able to count on me. Confidence, trust, and energies are reciprocated values, if I may say. I will give it my best. I will expect you to give it your best. I will be there with you on the 5th of July, and my plan is to stay with you for next five years.

I will see you on the 5th.

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