“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” – Matthew 7:24


In any community, large or small, a solid foundation is the basis of instilling excellence and nurturing success. This is true over a wide range of human activity – from physical construction to sustainable societies. A basic characteristic, integral to this solid foundation, is the productivity of the human being as measured by the rate of output per unit of input.


There are often complaints from many quarters of a society that the rate of economic growth is poor and it is frequently blamed on the level of productivity. We need to maximize productivity and it is therefore incumbent on our leaders to create an enabling environment which includes a productivity policy, recognizing that people are our greatest asset and we must develop them to its fullest.


Survey results, reported in the press recently, revealed that Barbados’ high level of taxation is proving to be a major hindrance to national productivity. This would suggest that a national productivity policy has to be crafted with the impact of other macro-economic factors in mind.


Another foundation plank which is integral to the development of the human being is primary education. If this plank is weak sustainable success will never be achieved. Indeed, we have already witnessed decay in many Caribbean societies today as a result of negligence at the primary school education level. The best teachers are needed at this level to lay a good foundation which suggests a new look at the investment allocation and the prioritization of the use of the government revenue to achieve this.


In order to inject life into society the concepts of productivity and fair compensation have to be promoted simultaneously. Increase in compensation can only be sustained with an increase of economic growth. Economic growth will be stimulated by productivity increases.


When speaking of productivity, we often think of human productivity alone, i.e. how we train and motivate people so that they can become more productive. Productivity can also be enhanced if we use technology (we are in an information age) and if we look at the ways in which we do things (process flow).


Finally, the human being consists of mind, body and soul. The people development strategies at all levels must pay attention to the physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, financial and business health of the individual. The human being is naturally motivated by the grandeur of abundance but does not necessarily know how to achieve this. In this context, there is need to embrace positive affirmations of passion, persistence and patience.

A strong productivity foundation provides a solid base for the growth of society. When successfully implemented, the productivity sensitive environment provides shelter and security for economic growth. Let us be like the wise man who built his house on rock.