“We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth” – 2 Thessalonians 1:3
Congratulations brethren on the fortieth anniversary of our political independence. On November 30, 1966 the Union Jack was lowered and the Barbados flag raised at the Garrison Savannah. It was a moment in time which signaled our desire to relinquish the shackles of colonialism and, given that sound foundation, assume responsibility for our future.
Until the mid-1980s strategic planning remained mostly a private sector undertaking. Today the national strategic plan (Global Excellence – Barbadian Traditions) has been debated in both houses of parliament. I am sure that Barbadians would like to think that, had there been a formal national strategic plan in 1966, our current assessment of the country’s performance, in relation to many of that plan’s objectives, would have received more than a passing grade. We can “thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because your faith groweth exceedingly”. There are still many challenges that lie ahead, as manifested by the objectives of our strategic plan and these must be overcome before we can conclude “and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth”.
The extent and timeliness of our future progress depends on the success of our governance, leadership and management to mobilise us brethren into a united force to take our country forward on a path to sustainable success. Good Governance is a structure of processes that guide decision making in a problem solving environment. Good Leadership, as described by the late Peter Drucker is a propensity for “doing the right things”. This must then be followed by good management which he contrasts with leadership as “doing things right”.
The strategy for success is embodied in the collective accomplishment of individual projects. These projects may be associated with individual, family, community, company, government department, the nation or the region – whatever the project a generic approach to problem solving will be of great value.
A major challenge is to get the governance right. This hinges on a recognition of the relative roles of the social partners, as I have said so many times before, in this column. The diligent pursuit of the social partnership model is an optimal strategy towards the achievement of the objective of sustainable development and the media has a very important communication role to play. The media should be included in the social partners to act as a catalyst in the achievement of the objective of sustainable development. The role of the government is to provide regulatory and service functions, the role of the private sector is to “do business”, the role of the Trade Unions is to induce harmony between employer and employee to achieve greater productivity for fair compensation and the role of NGOs is to support the other social partners by mobilizing volunteers and garnering grant support from benevolent sources.
Leaders are visionaries. They must keep on dreaming as the environment changes. They must motivate others by inducing a management focus based on “I am, therefore I can, therefore I will” (I still have a treasured note from my mother reminding me of this). The individual must then practise the ten two-letter word philosophy “If it is to be; It is up to me”.
The ICC CWC 2007 event presents a major opportunity to boost the development of the Caribbean economies in keeping with a new vision provided we get the governance, leadership and management right. However, there is a growing tendency for the political leadership to get government involved in “doing business” which should properly be the bailiwick of the private sector. I have heard some political reaction to this that “but the private sector is not doing it”. In this scenario, the answer is not for government to try to do it itself (the public sector environment is not conducive to sustained success in business), but the public sector should assemble resources to focus on innovatively creating a user-friendly environment to entice the private sector to step up to the plate.
Leaders need to think “out of the box”, to engage their colleagues in interactive dialogue to garner new ideas and keep abreast with the changing global environment with its opportunities and challenges. Leadership training is best achieved through a mentorship programme where experienced leaders from at home or abroad work alongside public and private sector leaders to inject new thinking into the enterprise. Management must adhere to the five principles of management: planning, organising, staffing, leading and monitoring & controlling. Management must continually repeat this cycle as the environment changes.
Last week I attended the launching of Club Barbados part of Legacy Barbados which has been established to build on the opportunities created by the massive TV exposure that will accompany the staging of this largest event in the Caribbean. As Mr. Kenneth Gordon, WICB President and Chairman of ICC CWC 2007, said to the private sector in Jamaica last week www.windiescricket.com, “The road ahead is not only an exciting one. It is one of great challenge but even greater opportunity”. Let good governance and leadership prevail!