Execution in it’s simplest sense is to: get things done. Period. But it’s more complex than those 3 words might suggest. It’s about getting the right people in place, building a strategy around the resources available, and finally implementing the strategy, linking the strategy with people.
– David Lau
It is generally accepted that highly successful organizations achieve stated objectives because they execute with military like precision. And as Lau opines, it is about defining a strategy, accumulate and efficiently deploy resources and assemble people with the correct skillsets. The theory is easy until we allow indiscipline to intervene.
Barbados like many countries in our region finds itself mired in an economic morass. While there is agreement from all quarters that the environment in which we have to manage is a challenging one, we remain divided as a people the path we should follow. It is a situation which cries out for leadership.
In the just concluded 2013 Budget and Financial Proposals the Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler outlined several projects which the government proposes to implement to spur economic activity. BU and Barbadians at large wish the government success. However, it is an open secret that successive governments have struggled mightily with efficiently designing and implementing major projects. Scare financial resources currently at play will likely exacerbate the problem. Despite the public assurance from the Prime Minister that he will ensure projects mentioned in the budget are rolled out to plan, there is little if any confidence by BU that this promise will be kept.
Even if Barbadians were to believe that the grave economic situation Barbados finds itself would spur a change in the albatros moving culture which cloaks this government, we were presented with enough evidence after the delivery of 2013 Budget to be sceptical. It was made clear that the projects to be rolled out supported by revenue and tax measures were critical to Barbados improving its economic performance. Instead we have had confusion in the post budget period.
The Greening Levy was replaced with a Municipal Tax of .07%. A quick calculation however by a burdened and rapidly disillusioned middleclass quickly alerted government to an ERROR ERROR. Minister of International Business Donville Inniss to his credit came public to confirm that the Minister of Finance will have to speak to this matter because there is consensus that a clarification is required. Barbadians continue to wait.
The decision to pass on UWI tuition cost has also created confusion. A few days after Minister Chris Sinckler informed Barbadians that ‘free education’ was to be abolished, Minister of Education Ronald Jones appeared on national TV to announce that the edict was not cast in stone. He indicated that suggestions would be welcomed by his office. Other issues have arisen which suggest that the 2013 Budget was not well crafted.
The point to be made is ever there was a time when flawless execution by our government is required the time is now. To have delivered a budget which is replete with errors which has provoked public hysteria and outcry does nothing to infuse confidence at a time when it is sorely needed. A confidence which is rapidly depleting given government’s decision to send home temporary officers last week with a promise of more to come. Before it is too late the government needs to send strong signals to Barbadians that they are an empathetic lot. They can do this by reducing the size of the Cabinet to 10 and slashing parliamentary secretaries by half. An immediate order to suspend all travel in the public sector for the next 12 months unless deemed urgent by a bipartisan committee of parliament. With immediate effect no wives to accompany ministers on overseas jaunts. All government vehicles to be parked by 5.30PM unless on official duty.
The Barbados economy and society cannot be sliding into the toilet and these jackasses wearing suits continue to operate business as usual. They were elected to serve us for crissakes.