Bridging the gap: The chasm that’s killing Guyana

first_imgEveryone agrees that strategic execution is important, but the disconnect between strategy-making and strategy-execution continues to plague this People’s National Congress (PNC)-dominated Government across all sectors.Irrespective that this 2018 Budget is the biggest ever, what is sorely missing from this document are the ideas that can competently secure optimal value for money. Thus, billions are wasted every year on expenses that have negligible impact on the people: such an overseas travel and accommodation by Ministers to useless trips, like a mercury conference, which the President attended in Switzerland. On many occasions, it appears that the intended beneficiary of the 2017 spending programme in the Public Sector was not the ordinary people, but a PNC/Alliance For Change (AFC) elite political cabal, their friends, and their families, as this small group of under-100 PNC/AFC folks enjoy a good life.In the real world, a nation’s leadership typically drives strategy-making; but from his performance over the last 30 months, we must not expect much from President Granger. Like his predecessor, former President Ramotar, they unfortunately are both unfit and under-skilled for the job at hand.There is now enough evidence to prove that he is incapable of setting the required strategic direction for the nation, and that is why we are seeing so many pageants in the presidential function today; it is all a diversionary tactics to hide Granger’s incompetence.If one were to ask Granger the hard question on the goals and developmental metrics of his Government, it is clear as day he would float. If one were to ask him to define his strategy as a President, he may say, “Taking the Guyanese to the good life”. But what is the good life? And how does he plan to take the people there?You see, unless you can define the mission and lay out the “HOW”, you are nothing but a loser as a CEO; and clearly, this is the role Granger seems to have acquired a “legal transport” over – a political loser. An economy must be project managed; and like him or hate him, this is where Bharrat Jagdeo shone.It is clear as day that President Granger is unaware of the details of the workings of the Public Sector Implementation Programme (PSIP), and this is his fundamental failing. Rather, he has outsourced it to two other gentlemen; Harmon (a lawyer) and Jordan (who calls himself an economist). But clearly, in their competition for power, they have collectively bungled the entire project management process. So, in the final analysis, there is little alignment between the strategy and the required project-based work; and thus the strategy is difficult for the ordinary public servant to understand.If the public servants who have to do the day-to-day detailed implementation are struggling to understand the strategy of the Government, then they are not adequately enabled to proceed appropriately at delivering value and results.The bottom line remains that Granger does not offer adequate clarity to connect the dots between the works the implementers are responsible for executing, and how those relate to the desired strategic outcome. Thus, unless Granger learns his job quickly, this economy is doomed.Today, all we are observing is the prioritisation of the pageantry projects, like repainting State House rather than fixing the productive sectors, like the sugar industry. The praxis for the entire decision-making process under Granger is extremely flawed, because he is spending billions of dollars on projects that will not be generating money, but would be sucking even more money from the economy.My grandmother left me with an elementary skill many moons ago – you must always invest in real estate, and never in fancy, expensive cars. At the London Business School, this principle was confirmed by real evidence, with the professor clarifying why this strategy is important to expand wealth.If one observes this 2018 Budget, it has just under a billion dollars in travel, hotels, and food for the big boys. But what is startling is if one observes the Ramotar years vs the Granger years, one would see exposed the backward mentality of Granger (shine clothes and nice dresses while the ordinary people are put on the breadline on the sugar estate). There is no better explanation of this backward pageantry mentality of Granger than by exposing that he would have spent three and a half times as much as Ramotar on State House over a three-year period, as the table below extracted from the 2018 Budget exposes.It is clear that Granger does not get the fact that “pageantries” do not feed and house the nation. Even Burnham knew better on how to serve the people. Wither Guyana under Granger?last_img read more