Time to Say Goodbye


Submitted by Grenville Phillips II

Children learning to walk, normally make many attempts until they are successful. When they fall the first, or the tenth time, they never think that they cannot do it. They naturally try again – as they were designed to.

Parents are delighted when their infants try, fall, and try again. A parent never imagines telling their child that since they fell, they are failures. They never encourage their children to stop trying and learn to live on their bellies.

Some children learn to walk earlier than others. We do not call them gifted, or more intelligent. They simply learnt to walk earlier. There is no reward for them and no punishment for those who learnt later. Why? Because normally, every child eventually learns to walk.

That is the essence of the ISO 9001 quality management system. People are managed to continuously improve, without any fear of failure while they learn.

Once our children learn to walk, talk and use the toilet, we send them to school – where they learn differently. Our school system encourages the 20% of students who grasp the material earlier, and to discourages the remainder.

We convince most students that complex information can only be understood by ‘bright’ students. We cripple their minds, by making them believe that they are limits to what they can learn and achieve.

The truth is that every child can learn if they believe that they can, and are taught properly. Those who learn earlier are no more intelligent than those who learn later, they simply learn differently.

The: curriculum, class notes, rate of teaching, and examinations are all designed for those who learn the material earlier. The final insult given to those who do not learn it earlier, is that they are should simply accept their limitations, and learn to work with their hands.

Every year, we damage most of our students, and then blame their resulting behaviour on: them, their parents, the school environment, gangs, or some other scapegoat. We convince them to believe that there are limits to what they can understand, and then wonder why they do not exceed the ceiling to which we have cursed them.

Our educational system damns most people to work in entry-level type positions for decades. Those who do not want to spend their lives in such positions, see no other option than criminal behaviour.

This year, Walbrent College celebrates 10 years of teaching. We have trained over 1,000 people across the Caribbean, including in prison. We have proved that anyone can learn complex information if properly managed. Standards are set high and students generally achieve them – our minimum pass mark is 100%.

I offered to implement the most beneficial parts of the ISO 9001 quality management system, in all statutory corporations in Barbados, at no cost to them. This would have benefitted both staff and customers of these institutions. The implementation time to see results was 3 weeks.

They considered my offer too expensive. Most chose to maintain their existing frustrating management methods. However, some invited tenders to improve the management of their organisations, but effectively excluded any Barbadian from tendering. How did we get so stupid?

There seems to be two purposes of our current educational system. The first is to train 20% of our students to oversee the remainder in the national economy. This ensures that we remain in a similar economic position as our enslaved fore-parents – living hand-to-mouth after years of working.

The second purpose is to convince us that descendants of enslaved persons cannot do any better. We must accept that there is a limit to the competence and integrity of our leaders, and should stop expecting the ‘impossible’.

The only options for us are: BERT, incompetence, mismanagement, corruption, and the BLP/DLP. Barbados’ public services cannot be improved. Barbados’ lawyers are as honest and efficient as they can ever be. The NIS building and the Fort George exquisite structure must be demolished. This is the best that can be done, so shut up, accept it, and stop offering alternative solutions – or else.

Jesus said to persist with giving people the best advice. However, if they will not listen, then try another method. So, this will be my last article for a while. For those who read each week and were nourished, thank you. For those who shared our weekly articles, you do not know how refreshing that simple act was – like a cup of cold water. May God richly reward you accordingly.

For those editors who kept our weekly articles away from their readers, may you grow to understand that all ideas should contend. A special thank-you to: ‘The Bajan Reporter’, ‘Barbados Underground’, ‘Naked Departure’, and other social media news sites that behaved far more equitably than the traditional media in Barbados, in allowing our voice to be heard.

Of course, I must mention Barbados Today, who could easily have followed the directive to keep Solutions Barbados out of the press. Instead, they responsibly decided that the public had a right to know both sides of an issue – not only the politically sanctioned one. Be blessed.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

The Grenville Phillips Column – The End Game – Part 5 of 5, Prepare to Survive

If I were given a choice between accepting US$100M every year for the remainder of my life, or renegotiating the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) for the benefit of the next generation of Caribbean people, I would choose renegotiating the EPA without hesitation.

A simple trick when negotiating a trade agreement with a weaker economy is to offer a head-start.  By negotiating in secret, our negotiators did not seem to understand that when there is no finish-line, a head-start only delays the inevitable.  The Europeans gave us a 25-year head-start, and so far, we have squandered it.

We should remember that the Europeans gave us 20 years to fix our discriminatory corporate tax system.  Our response was to go to sleep on this issue for 19 years and 10 months, and then attempt a quick fix before the December 2018 deadline.  The Europeans rejected our hurried effort, so we accused them of not playing fair.

While we continue to sleep on the EPA issue, the Europeans are preparing to take all the Caribbean’s resources.  Our politicians seem to have done nothing to prepare us since they embarked on this lunacy 17 years ago.  In 14 years, our children will be forced into the nightmare that our politicians signed.  If they are complaining about unfair play now, what will they do when the Europeans’ gloves finally come off?

Since our politicians seem too interested in public relations exercises in pursuit of their lifetime pension, we would be most foolish to depend on them.  Therefore, the focus of the remainder of this article is to help you develop yourself to become internationally competitive.  If you have read all past End Game articles, then you already know why this is critical for your family’s survival.

We are on this Earth to mature.  Therefore, we should never stop developing.  We normally improve at whatever we practise, and we can operate at an expert level after about 10 years of practise.            For your family’s sake, pursue the following steps.

Step 1 – For one month, starting today, try to do everything you do as well as you can.  That would include: speaking, writing, reading, studying, singing, eating, grooming, dressing, playing, cooking, cleaning and working.  Plan to be better today than you were yesterday, and better tomorrow than you are today.  Encourage everyone in your household to do the same.

Step 2 – Once you have consistently done your best for one month, it will become habitual and easier to do.  The next step is to identify a better standard than your own effort and try to achieve it.  You can identify higher standards in books, on the Internet, and/or through the advice of those more accomplished.

Step 3 – Start your own business.  We teach persons how to start and grow profitable businesses with no start-up money, so please attend the next free public training workshop.  Please do not get a ‘trust-loan’ or any type of loan to start a business, because you are almost guaranteed to lose it.  The first law of business is that you always lose your initial investment – leaning what not to do.

Step 4 – Develop your skills.  If you are a labourer, learn to become an artisan.  If you are an artisan, learn to become a supervisor.  If you are a supervisor, learn to become a contractor.  If you are a technician assisting a professional, then pursue the qualifications of the professional.  If you are a draughts-person, learn to become an architect.  Get trained formally or informally.

Step 5 – Improve your professional qualifications.  Join an international professional association in your field.  If you are a student member, become a graduate member.  If you are a graduate, become a corporate member.  If you are a corporate member, then become a Fellow.

Step 6 – Improve your academic qualifications.  If you have CXC’s, then pursue an accredited Bachelor’s degree.  If you have a Bachelor’s, then pursue a Master’s.  If you have a Master’s, then pursue a Doctorate.  If you have a Doctorate, then shepherd others through.

As a legacy of slavery, expect others to try to discourage you by criticising or ridiculing your best efforts.  For the sake of yourself and your children, ignore them.  You have 14 years to become internationally competitive, so start today.

I have a lot of sympathy for public workers mismanaged by politically appointed incompetent supervisors.  Government employees, including those in statutory corporations, should insist on working in an internationally competitive environment.  With 10 years of experience in an ISO 9001 management environment, their skills will be highly desirable and internationally transferable.  If implemented properly, the ISO 9001 system automatically trains persons to become efficient and productive.

For the past 17 years, our politicians and political operatives have immaturely ridiculed this international management standard, to Barbados’ harm.  If your politically appointed manager refuses to implement the ISO 9001 management system, then you have identified a hater who wants to keep you down.  Do not let them keep you down any longer.  Start a side-business, and when it can support your household, look for the first opportunity to leave.

This concludes the End Game series of articles.  You are encouraged to share them.


Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados.  He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

The Grenville Phillips Column – Of Tooth and Tongue

Our detractors keep insisting that we should stop writing about the ISO 9001 international management standard, because the public is generally unaware of it. Only in the politically partisan world does one stop educating the public about benefits that they do not yet understand. Only in that world are proven failed initiatives promoted, while proven successful ones are rejected.

That the public is uneducated about the ISO 9001 management standard is an indictment of the established press, who ignored it in favour of failed management initiatives.

The Public Sector Reform initiative was created with fatal flaws. Every year, it failed to improve public services. Yet every year it was promoted and funded. The National Initiative for Service Excellence (NISE) was also created with fatal flaws. Every year it proved to be a failure, and every year it was promoted and funded.

The judiciary is a national disgrace, and the CCJ keeps reminding us that it is a regional embarrassment. Rather than implementing the ISO system and actually manage the judicial system properly, we have, for the past decade, been talking about implementing some form of mediation and other initiatives.

The government is now ignoring the Public Sector Reform, closing the NISE and the Productivity Council, and embarking on a new management initiative that can best be described as ‘Management by Talking’. However, it is the same failed management approach that we have been trying for the past 4 decades. Its direct opposite is the ISO approach of ‘Management by Doing’.

The BLP’s propaganda directive is to keep repeating the phrase ‘lost decade’ in reference to the DLP’s obvious mismanagement of the economy. However, it is more accurate to speak of a lost two decades, with one decade being managed by the BLP and the other by the DLP. We should remember that it was approximately 20 years ago when the BLP structurally damaged Barbados’ economy.

The established media appear to have received their orders to ignore this and other facts unfavourable to the BLP. Therefore, the public is generally unaware that there is little difference between the level of gross mismanagement by the BLP and the DLP. By our detractors’ reasoning, that is reason enough for us to stop mentioning it. For the record, a section from 13 Oct 2009 Moody’ report follows (capitalised emphasis mine).

“Barbados’ KEY DEBT INDICATORS have been on a deteriorating path OVER THE PAST DECADE, and are now at levels that compare poorly with other countries in the same rating category,” said Moody’s Vice President – Senior Analyst Alessandra Alecci. “While the global crisis has clearly exacerbated this trend, the worsening of debt indicators OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME suggests that structural issues are at play.” .. “These include a steady increase in expenditures, INCLUDING OFF-BUDGET, as revenues have remained at roughly the same level in terms of GDP.”

The political administration that led the government during the decade prior to 2009 was not the DLP. To my knowledge, Clyde Mascoll was the only person in Barbados who was warning us of these “off budget” corrupting no-bid contracts being awarded, and the increasing unsustainable debt. However, when he became a B, the BLP’s bad debts were somehow magically transformed into good debts and our watchdog economists conveniently lost both tooth and tongue – until the re-election of the DLP.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

The Grenville Phillips Column – South Coast Sewage Solution

It has been reported that the sewage problem in Worthing is beyond the technical capabilities of the Barbados Water Authority.  The evidence suggests that that may be so.  However, it is not beyond the technical capability of Barbados. The reason why the problem is allowed to exist is essentially a management problem, and therein lies the solution.

Seeking outside assistance is the responsible thing to do, but only after properly managing the local expertise on this matter.  The problem is not a lack of technical knowledge.  But rather, the management of this knowledge.  Let me explain.

The Auditor General regularly complains about the poor management of statutory corporations, especially in their continual failure to provide audited accounts.  Can members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados complete the accounts?  Of course they can.  The main problem is that Barbados’ resources are being poorly managed.  Is the solution to deem all local accountants not sufficiently competent and invite accounting companies from the US and China to perform the audits?  Of course not.

The Caribbean Court of Justice regularly complains about the poor management of Barbados’ court system.  Can members of the Bar Association and management consultants improve the system?  Of course they can.  But our national resources are being very poorly managed.  How would members of the local Bar Association feel if the Government invited lawyers from the US and China to displace them, and show them how it should be done?

The sewage in the streets of Worthing is evidence enough of bad management.  Can Environmental Engineers in the Barbados Association of Professional Engineers solve this problem?  Of course they can, but our national resources are being very poorly managed.  The management of our public services is so far beyond redemption that not even raw sewage regularly flowing along the streets of Worthing, for over one year, can get them to improve.

In order to provide quick relief, we offered to train all Board members and Chief Executive Officers of our statutory corporations in the customer-focused ISO 9001 quality management system.  We promised them that after 2 hours of free training, they would have both the knowledge and confidence to implement the system in their organisation the following day.

Their sacrifice of 2 hours being trained was to provide almost immediate relief to their frustrated employees and the long-suffering public.  To their utter shame, not one board member or CEO attended.  Therefore, relief from sub-standard public services must be tolerated a bit more until a Solutions Barbados administration.

Grenville Phillips II is the founder of Solutions Barbados and can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

Town Hall to Train Managers and Workers ISO 9001

Grenville Phillips II, leader of Solutions Barbados

To: All Barbadian Workers and Managers

Are you being managed properly?  Are you managing others properly?

There are various ways of managing customer’s complaints, including.

  • fear, intimidation and murder (North Korea).
  • embarrassed by being shouted at by the manager.
  • bored with a conversation with the HR department.

However, the most effective method at permanently solving customer complaints is the ISO 9001 Quality Management System.  It is a customer-focused international standard that has been successfully implemented in public services for the past 20 years.  It is time that Barbados also benefitted.

If you are unsure of what the ISO 9001 quality management system is all about, then you are invited to attend a free public town-hall meeting this Wednesday 29 November 2017 at 6:00 pm at Combermere School hall, where it will be explained to you in detail.

You will learn exactly what it is, how it can benefit all public workers and everyone else who uses Government services, and how you can start to implement it in your organisation and department.  At the end of the meeting, you will have the training and tools necessary to start implementing the system the following day.

After this, Boards, CEO’s and Managers of public services will have no excuse fr the: long lines, delays, late responses, misplaced files, downed computer systems, critical person is at lunch or is not at work, non-payment by credit card, deadline of 3:00 pm for receiving payments, unwritten regulations known only to the regulator, inconsistent regulations, not-at-this-branch responses, staff shortages, broken equipment, supply shortages, potholes, water shortages, sewage in the streets of Worthing, the same excuses, uncaring attitudes, and so on.

Do not delay in providing the public, and your fellow employees, with the relief that they desperately deserve, when it is now within your power to do so.

Grenville Phillips II

Cell: 232-9783

The Grenville Phillips Column–Mr. Prime Minister, We Still Have Options

Submitted by Grenville Phillips, founder of Solutions Barbados

Dear Prime Minister:  Recently, there have been a chorus of calls from prominent Barbadians, insisting that you call an early general election.  Allow me to offer some unsolicited unbiased advice on this matter.

As our Prime Minister, you are responsible for projecting calm during turbulent times, and you are doing this remarkably well.  You are also responsible for holding your Ministers accountable for how they are managing the Ministries which you have entrusted to their care.  Your Ministers typically receive feedback from the public in the form of complaints.  Therefore, you can measure their performance by how effectively those complaints are addressed.

The recent repeated complaints about: pot holes, water shortages, long queues, delayed responses, late payments, etc, suggests that these Ministries are not properly managed.  The ISO 9001 Quality Management System is designed to permanently address complaints to the satisfaction of the public.  Allow me to suggest that you direct your Ministers to implement this quality management system with dispatch.  Please note that implementing this system will not cost the Government any additional money and requires no enabling legislation; therefore, your Ministers should have no excuses.

Mr Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance is different from the other ministries.  The Ministry of Finance’ performance is objectively assessed by the International Monetary Fund and external rating agencies.  Unlike the other Ministries, the performance of the Ministry of Finance can send most of us into a level of poverty, where we would long for the days when all we had to complain about were potholes and long waits.
It is tragic to see the Ministry of Finance floundering despite their best efforts.  They have explained the economic context and have developed careful strategies to address Barbados’ economic problems.  Regrettably, their strategies contain fatal flaws which limit their effectiveness.

There are currently three published strategies for addressing Barbados’ economic problems.  The first is the Government’s ‘Medium-term Growth and Development Strategy, 2013-2020’, which is not working.  Therefore, the Social Partnership has been tasked with defining a new economic strategy.

The second is Minister Estwick’s strategy which the Cabinet has reportedly rejected.  This strategy has not been made available for public scrutiny; therefore, we can only speculate about its contents.  The third is Solutions Barbados’ strategy, which has been available for rigorous public scrutiny for the past 2 years on SolutionsBarbados.com.  It is based on proven solutions, and does not attract the austerity that former Prime Minister Arthur predicts will be in his plan.

Mr Prime Minister, we still have options, but Barbados’ success depends on how well you manage your Cabinet.  Developers of ideas tend to become so emotionally attached to their ideas that they find it challenging to let them go when their idea’s ‘past-due date’ has long expired.  This is how it seems with the Ministry of Finance in developing fiscal strategies with fatal flaws.

A useful analogy is to consider a person making a pitcher of Mauby and mistakenly adding salt instead of sugar.  After the person has used so much Mauby bark, and has included so many diverse spices, he is then unwilling to waste the final product.  So he serves it in hope, while explaining its medicinal properties as justification.  The public samples the salty product and voices its displeasure.  However, rather than wasting the product down the drain and starting a new batch using sugar, he insists on tweaking the salty product, believing that someday, in the not too distant future, he will get it to taste better.

Mr Prime Minister, we have sucked salt for too long enough.  It is time to tell the Ministry of Finance to let it go and consider another plan.  The Ministry will doubtless request another tweaking iteration, but you must refuse them.  If the Ministry of Finance adopts the Solutions Barbados strategy, then you will certainly save the economy from the foreseen ruin of continuing along the current path.

If the Ministry is unable to let go of their plan, then you need to shuffle cabinet responsibilities while you still have options, and place a Minister in the Ministry of Finance who is willing to properly examine alternative strategies, otherwise we are all sunk.

Grenville Phillips II is the founder of Solutions Barbados and can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com