by Marlon Madden
One university academic is calling on private and public sector organisation leaders to start employing more management styles that allow their employees to “unleash” their true potential and help grow their organisation.
Professor Justin Robinson, Senior Lecturer in Management at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus, gave the advice recently while suggesting that despite benefitting from massive investments in the education system there were too many employees across Barbados who were not being given the opportunity to show their full potential because of the management style within some organisations.
“I want to suggest that effective and decisive leadership need not be autocratic and top-down. Management and leadership should be focused on bringing out the best in the available talent. There is what some people call the servant leadership model versus a maximum leader model,” said Robinson.
“If we are to get that maximum creativity and that benefit from our investment in human capital, we can’t keep them bottled up within the organisation; they can’t be suppressed; [and] it can’t simply be all about the top-down autocratic management.
“I want to encourage corporate and public sector leaders to really adapt management styles that allow that talent and that massive investment we have made in human capital to be unleashed,” he encouraged.
Robinson said this was a critical ingredient in the mixture of factors to contribute to the sustainable growth of the Barbados economy despite external shocks.
He was addressing the recent Rotary Club of Barbados lunchtime webinar, which was held under the theme Economic Recovery in Spite of COVID-19.
“As we build out the policy agenda, whether it is in government or the private sector, I think it is extremely important that if these are to have the maximum effect, the local culture, practices and nuances should shape what we do, from simply trying to follow ‘international best practices’ or the ‘agenda of the multilateral agencies’. These international best practices were not designed with the nuances of the Barbados economy in mind,” he said.
Stating that he was not one to pick winners and losers in terms of sectors on which to focus, Robinson noted that another part of the prescription for growing the economy despite the pandemic was to prioritise investments.
“As we look at investments I think the strong, local, value-added components are something we need to pay some more attention to … As we do more and more of the tourism development projects there is a lot of evidence emerging that the leakage from these investments is getting greater and what we are retaining is getting less,” he said.
He also touted the need for “strong” fiscal management law that will force the Government to exercise fiscal control.