Horizon at Sandy Point

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dear Prime Minister

Someone should tell the Prime Minister that coalition governments have the seeds of their own demise  more firmly planted than in any other joint venture. But that these very seeds also hold the secret to success. In coalitions, the population is truly represented in diversity. The key would have to be how to make this diversity work without the discrete elements turning on each other and harming the whole. Truly, it takes work, and commitment, not just to be overly discreet and squabble in secret. It takes the understanding that the way to work for Trinidad and Tobago - like any big and powerful corporation, or even the smallest NGO or faith-based charity! - is to harness the skills and energy to a single vision and simple but easily communicated strategic intent.

The corporations call it "mission vision values" development. Even NGOs have their cause, their aspiration. But it's useful to look at how multi-nationals and conglomerates deal with mergers and acquisitions. This is how they build cohesive leadership teams, indeed how leaders are fostered in humane societies.

First, recognise the value that each individual brings - allow acceptance of shortcomings. Because the strength of a team is not in the strengths of the individuals but in the way the collective meshes and supports individuals and the whole. Then, create the opportunities - space and time and sometimes having to force the issue - many and regularly, for the team of teams to come together to work on common ethics, common aspirations, common messages. Deal with all the issues collectively - CLICO is not just a Financial problem; flooding is not just a Works problem; crime is not only a question of security. Collective mind power can present unusual solutions.

Take another page from the books of successful corporations. Create good governance with a code of ethics. Create a new brand - do we ever need a new brand of government! - in the way that good companies do, through the hearts and minds and wills of leaders. Be the change that we wish to see in the world.

We all know how easy it is to see the flaws. What is not so easy is how we communicate so that we can influence the change. I have tremendous respect for the prime minster and the good people in her cabinet. How I wish for the government's success - not because it is a People's Partnership government but because it is a Trinidad and Tobago government - because we the people deserve this success!

Now, how can we learn to hear the smallest child when he says that the emperor is naked!

But I am sure you know all of this already.

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