The displays at the recently held BMEX 2019 show that Barbadians can create internationally competitive products. With the health and education investments made in our people, we can easily surpass the achievements of a country like Singapore within a decade, if we choose to, or are allowed to.
Many of us choose not to because we do not believe that we can. We believe that great achievements are for those of another class, race, colour, gender, or nationality. It is time to change that, and the first step on that path is to change our perspective on our life journey. This awakens us to opportunities easily within our reach.
Your past achievements are not monuments to be adored and admired, but foundations to build upon. Regardless of your age, health, past achievements, or current circumstances, the best day of your life is always today; and tomorrow is always going to be a better day for you than today.
Today, you get to correct the mistakes that you made yesterday. You get to redo things that did not work out well before. You get to try something new. You get to repair relationships and say what you meant in a kinder way.
Today, you get to be a better child, sibling, parent, employee, employer, and friend. You get to be a better you, and correct any deficiencies you are now aware of, because of the criticisms you received yesterday. You get to learn how to do some things better. You get to improve your products, attract more customers and make more money.
Every day you will face obstacles. Today, you get to try another way around or over them. You do that by identifying opportunities. If your landlord increases the rent, then remind yourself that you are no longer a slave. You do not have to stay there – make arrangements to find a more affordable place. If your employer is giving you grief, then you are no longer a slave – you do not have to work there. Find another job or start your own business.
If a business is giving you bad service, acknowledge that you do not have to purchase anything from them. They have no power over you. Stop wasting your time complaining as if you were a slave with few options and go and shop elsewhere. You have options that our slave fore parents never had. Earn their sacrifice.
The only obstacles that can limit our success are bad political decisions that result in unnecessary and excessive regulations and taxation. The aim of these policies is to keep everyone down.
Thus, the government decides who wins and who loses.
Excessive taxation is the normal result of the mismanagement of public services. We entrust the management of our public services to our elected political leaders. If health, sanitation, water, transportation, and all other public services are well managed, then we will spend less time waiting to use them. We will also be taxed considerably less to fund efficiently delivered services.
If public services are poorly managed, then we must spend more time waiting to use them. We must also pay considerably higher taxes, to fund the poorly managed inefficient operations and unproductive employees.
We are not the only country facing the problem of poorly managed public services. This is a common problem faced by every country on this planet. In response, the International Organisation Standardization (ISO) developed specific guidance for managing public services and Government operations to an internationally competitive standard. Unfortunately, despite Barbados being a member of the 161-member ISO, our political leaders have decided that those standards are too good for us.
Instead, we continue to use the same ridiculous management method that has consistently failed to provide relief to the public and public workers. That is, to appoint extreme political supporters, who have no management experience whatsoever, to boards where they direct seemingly the mismanagement of public services. The only time that Barbadians can hope to experience well managed public services, is if we travel to countries that have implemented high management standards.
Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados. He can be reached at [email protected]