Blog Archives

The 3D thinking posture for Africa’ socio-economic renaissance (pt.1)

analyzing informationI believe our desire to see change and renaissance all over Africa may continue to be a mirage until we are able to make the kind of investments through self-improvements that can make a critical mass of our people to be the kind of person I want to talk about today. I can forgive if anyone above forty decides to ignore this reality. I am above 40 and I’ve worked to be the kind of person I’m describing and I’m consistently making efforts and investments to be more of such as person. It is the most critical way I define my individual effectiveness. So, anyone from age 40 below must not be forgiven if they will not make the effort to be this kind of person. I believe every African from age 40 below should be able to demonstrate these as almost nature. And the human mind can be trained to do so. I call it the 3D-Thinking Posture (The three-dimensional thinking posture).

The first dimension is: Pursuing information. Pursuing information is critical for the human soul anywhere. It means simply developing an almost natural propensity to always expect that there is always something new in the horizon that must be discovered. Believing permanently that there must always be some new lead, a new evolving market, some new technology, and new appointment that can be leveraged on. To not be ready to find or to not have found or discovered something new in this view is to be out of place in a brain powered world. It’s not just about being in tune with the trends but to psychologically develop a habitual mindset that something worth leveraging on is always on the horizon that you can discern, you can engage, and can use.

Moving on with this mindset is what necessitates the next dimension of thinking which is to gather information. This is not just putting pieces of gist and myths together. No! It is more of creating a culture of fact finding characterized by my acronym: M.O.D (modernization, originality, development). An individual, nation or company that places little or no premium on research and development is actually primitive and definitely not globally compliant. Please note that by R&D, we are not just talking about research; and not just about development but really about the extent to which we can use study, observations and interpretations to create, establish and sustain development. The individual should create a special time out of his busy schedule dedicated strictly for looking for useable, transferable and reward-able knowledge in the area of our greatest desires or dreams. Companies, regardless of size, must be seen to be placing a very high premium on recruiting resourceful knowledge professionals to help chart new courses for the organization through fact-finding and research. An entire department or unit may have to be created and sustained to properly maximize this or fact-finding tasks can be given to all units quarterly or something! The benefits are overwhelming as it helps; among other things to be adequately prepared with just in time response methodologies to rise above and take advantage of the intricacies of an increasingly unpredictable marketplace, stay ahead of the competition and in the long-run, create a platform for an industry-leader-status. We must do this or we will fail in our capacity to deliver continuous relevance.

The third dimension is Analyzing and Using Information and Data. Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is information applied. While so much knowledge is available in our time, very little knowledge prevails. The goal of knowledge is transformation and whatever is known that governs not behavior and that does not inspire change, is mere information. But often times, the most credible pathway to knowledge are either divine revelation or analyzing and using information. But even divine revelation rarely comes to all. No. Most of the time it only goes to the mind functioning in the first and second dimension mentioned earlier. Whichever way, after the first and second dimensions, at any level, divine or researched knowledge, all next level seeking minds and all innovative efforts must come down to Analyzing and Using Information. This is simply about determining COAs (courses of actions).

Pursuing and gathering information will be pointless if you are not going to use the consequent result to chart necessary causes of action. All findings must be maximally used as processed tools for the good building solution blue-prints that can become products and services with amazing impact on GDP and per capita income as well as build incredible purchasing power for the masses of the people. These all comes to developing a mental posture that solves problems easily and quickly. The strength of the global economy is being able to predict needs before those with the needs are even aware. It is also been able to respond to situations and challenges at a moment’s notice. It is about been nimble and dexterous to solve problems at the speed of their arrival. I’ve gone through a thorough analysis of the fact that a brain powered economy enthrones knowledge and its maximal use as a critical success factor. And the strength of that is being able to develop and sustain a 3D-Thinking Posture.

In fractionalizing this, we now have to look at making problem solving a critical factor in the pursuit of profit growth. By this I’m not referring to some “motivational-see-no-problem-see-no-future model”. I am describing another three dimensional problem solving mode that begins with ensuring that you are first of all, very good at solving problems. Then that in all that you represent as an individual or a corporate entity, in your daily exertions and pursuit of meaning as a person, your hiring, evaluations and reviews as a business, you must be also able to retain employees, consultants, service providers to your firm, etc, who are very good at solving problems. However, this is never enough. Watch out for the concluding part!

 

It is time to Unlearn the hypnotism that has kept us long bound….

hypnotism 234Since our independence in 1960, our great nation Nigeria has been through a lot, socially, politically and economically. Every facet of our national life has been tried and still being tried. We have an unusual pool of intellectuals who believe or claim to have solutions to the state of affairs of our nation. They operate in different spectrums of the society and identify themselves by different nomenclatures. In most cases, their status is nebulous and therefore mission not clearly defined. They also hop from status to status under different circumstances and dispensation. Today, they vehemently speak the language of criticism and tomorrow, they eulogize the same authorities they have taken to the cleaners before. When their observer seems to be angry and confused about their positions, they hibernate for some time, knowing that their observers have very short memory. They resurface again on the scene at an opportune time and still enjoy the blind blessings of same observers. Beyond the fact that the observers have short memory, they do not have the right social tool to properly determine their commitment.

These intellectuals have dominated every area of our political lives also. They have served in the executive, legislature and judiciary arms of government under our many democratic experiments, tagged, first, second, third and fourth republics and full military government. They are more known by their acts than by their ideology. In the true sense of it, I do not think ideological commitment play any major role in their engagement. Even when they claim to engage the system, they do not do it fully because it is in most cases a decoy to call attention to themselves. The people in authority understand that and it seems they have accepted it as normal practice. As a matter of fact, I believe they encourage it to give the citizens an impression that they already have committed enemies. But if you observe it very well, it has been a cycle. You may call it social, political and economic roller-coaster.

One of the best strategies that the intellectuals, I am calling our attention to today have employed is what I call tokenism. Tokenism is completely different from calling attention to yourself. It is a social, political or economic intervention aimed at managing one’s guilt as an intellectual, who carry the burden of knowledge and therefore is compelled to do something. Tokenism is not strong and strategic enough to cause any meaningful and enduring change and that is not the idea. The real agenda is that it is always noticeable enough to help its protagonists manage their social conscience. They may not be easily wooed by people in authority and even when they are wooed, they turn it down and make huge public issues of it to score more social or political points, but they increase in influence and popularity and the people whose cause they claim to represent get worse.

Tokenism does not have the capacity to force a sense of mission; it is not driven to be motivated by results. Tokenism chooses anger over strategy. You see it in the reckless use of abusive and disparaging words for the object of their criticism. The advent of the social media, which makes everybody a content provider, has made matters worse. Self-censorship, which is critical for matured social comments, has found its way out of the window of public comments. All of these have not helped us as a people.

It is time for society to begin to make new demands about how we can tolerate critics but reject those who are critical. The intellectuals of our land have been very active in being critical for over fifty years, yet there seems to be no attendant dividends gracing their seemingly rigorous labour of seeming ‘social intervention.’ The model defines the nuisance value of what we call social criticism. It draws the thin line between judging the system and crusading for genuine change. Most of our intellectuals judge the system. And as long as we continue to judge, we remain blinded to the real issues of the system. As I always say, the system has a life of its own and produces after its own kind. I think the first and the costliest mistake of our intellectuals is that we underrate the impact of the system on the totality of who we have become. Therefore it is easy for us to stand far off and see ourselves as the anointed repairers of system, who have not defiled ourselves. The truth of the matter is that everyone is tested according to the praise accorded him.

Constructive Self-criticism must be the foundation of a genuine and enduring crusade for change in the Third World. Here are what I believe to be the children of Constructive Self-criticism: the first is identification: it helps us to identify the real enemy and the issues; second is positioning: it helps us to begin our positioning by a commitment to personal change, focusing on our area of influence, instead of our area of interest. Positioning will help us understand that genuine change are led by minds and hearts, more than heads; and will help us to make huge investments in our personal and social transformation; third is aggregation: it helps us to distill intervention into social solutions, which represent a clear alternatives to every social, political and economic issues we have identified in the system, upon which the people are educated, and such social solutions become the manifesto for change.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS ON THE POSSIBILITIES AND STRENGTHS OF DIVERSITY

Unity in Diversity

Unity in Diversity

It worth mentioning again that the diverse majority in our country must resist the thinking that only in our separation can our peace be ultimately found. It is a wrong thinking aptly refuted by the success of nations such as Singapore, The US and even post- apartheid South Africa. These nations have managed to subjugate their diversity to a common national interest and have displayed great wisdom in handling their diversity.

I mentioned in the last post on diversity that their success rest on five ideologies – Identity, Legitimacy, Penetration, Participation and distribution.

Identity implies a subordination of your original identification with a religion, tribe or location to a unifying national identity. We are to view ourselves first and foremost as citizens of a nation above tribe, ethnic or religious sentiments. Legitimacy speaks to a display of commitment by the people to a government they have selected and accepted. It suggests that we must accept the wisdom of a government when it delivers the value we understand and prefer while when we are totally rejecting its foolishness, we must have the character to seek to understand it.

Penetration demands that government must reach out to all people everywhere on the land and get them to want to follow (desire) and to follow (act on) its ideas, rules, laws and commands. Penetration will be realistic when government demonstrates a visible willingness and commitment to meeting people’s basic needs and satisfying the freedom, the right, attention, peace, welfare and resources their individuality deserves.

Now, Participation discusses people’s needs to participate and have a say in the affairs of their state and government. Here every atom of talent, gifting and individuality is represented in all affairs of state. Please I mention only talent, gifting and individuality not colour, ethnicity, religion, race or tribe. Participation demands that everyone is carried along in the creation and sustainability of resources and opportunities within the nation to achieve the kind of peace and prosperity that in itself meets the individual and collective aspirations of the people.

It includes equal opportunities for children to grow up, to hone and grow their careers without manmade barriers and limitations. It is an ideal that supports the freedom, creativity and individuality every citizen deserves regardless of the language they speak, where they are from and the religion they practice. It promotes meritocracy while regarding the less privilege that providence has not naturally endowed to compete favourably within the strict demands of excellence and merit. It poisons the pettiness and prejudices that discriminate opportunities for people based on class, religion and ethnicity.

Lastly, Distribution is about who gets what, when and how. However, if the principles of identity, legitimacy, penetration and participation are already in force as the primary experience of every citizen, distribution becomes a very simple and automated experience of the people.

Let’s call the bluff of the falsehood that our diversity is a weakness or limitation. What we need now is to accept that we can think and solve problems. We need the courage to define and accept our diversity as a unique blessing and embrace the mental rigour and exertion to convert it to great value. We must press for creative interdependence without hatred, bias or sentiments.

I will mention it again, to deny the great possibilities just because the effort has not been invested will be unfair to our national integrity and peaceful coexistence. We are where we are only because we have not stretched enough to find out the other great places we can be. THIS IS THE LIFE!

If you LOVE NIGERIA, then LOVE THE POLICE!

Nigerian police force

They should protect us, but how do we treat them?

Obviously, a LOT of things are wrong in our nation BUT we must REJECT the temptation to look away from our meaning, our honour and our dignity simply because we want to underscore our struggles. While some claim to hate the nation, they still will not allow you steal their personal belongings to justify our economic struggles. This is a pointer to a consciousness within us that SEARCHES FOR MEANING AND FULFILLMENT even right IN THE MIDST OF PAIN AND STRUGGLE.

This is IMPORTANT- society MUST find its rhythm and balance in the INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTION of every stakeholder in the system. INDIVIDUAL RELEVANCE IS THE STRENGTH OF COLLECTIVE PEACE. And this brings us to an issue of collective concern – THE POLICE FORCE. Yes! The police force.

If Nigerians have built their ability to worry, complain and criticize the system, then the police force is that one system that provides a veritable source of issues to harp on. It is obvious that the police force is the EASIEST TO CRITICIZE, considering its INFAMOUS REPUTATION for INSTITUTIONAL CORRUPTION and lack of pride and professionalism.

On a second thought, let us examine OUR PARADIGM. Have we seen the Police as an institution that puts her LIFE ON THE LINE for you and me? Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his fellow citizens. If we shift our paradigm, then we will recognize the INTRINSIC WORTH of that institution regardless of our justifiable perceptions about them.

These men whom we expect to trust for the protection of our lives and properties are the same people the system has REFUSED TO CATER FOR appreciably. We pay peanut SALARIES that are DELAYED and refuse to provide the INFRASTRUCTURE and SYSTEM that will engender pride in the force. Imagine a police office that looks like your business office with STATE OF THE ART EQUIPMENT, efficient human resources functions and DECENT SALARIES. Wouldn’t you think of joining the police too?

POLICE MEN HAVE DREAMS LIKE YOU AND I. Man is not entirely altruistic. So by the system we have today, can we ask WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM? What’s in it for them is hunger, unfulfilled dreams, inability to cater for their families and meet basic needs. If he is shot on the street defending you against armed robbery, he DIES FOR NOTHING. WOULD YOU subject yourself to this kind of fate?

THIS MIGHT SOUND CONTROVERSIAL- when a police man asks you for BRIBE, it’s an act of kindness. You give a man who is hungry and hasn’t paid his child’s school fees a gun, and expect him to protect you? What if his DESPERATION COMPROMISES his JUDGEMENT and makes him steal from you or kill to satisfy his immediate needs. PLEASE RECONSIDER!

Henceforth, see it as a PERSONAL SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, having understood the pains and struggles of the average policeman to hand out a BOTTLE OF COKE or CHILLED WATER when you meet them in the hot sun AT THE CHECKPOINT. GIVE to officers even BEFORE THEY ASK. Go to their offices to donate bags of rice, so they can FEED THEIR FAMILIES. Being a PROACTIVE CITIZEN means that we can’t wait for the government to do this. Police must be well taken care of, so much so that the gun they carry means nothing to them but a tool for PROTECTION of innocent citizens.

Our POLICE FORCE is an ENDANGERED SPECIES! We cannot correct the evil of the police force with an equal evil of continued negligence. OUR POLICE OFFICERS NEED LOVE. They need to be treated with DIGNITY AND RESPECT. When the police officer and his countrymen meet on the altar of love and empathy, a new flame of unity and purpose will begin to burn.
If you love Nigeria, then LOVE THE POLICE! This is THE LIFE.

%d bloggers like this: