Archive for September, 2013

Emiratisation: Goal or Vision?

Posted on: September 26th, 2013 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

Goal or Vision. Dream or Rationalization. Measured change or lip service to the dream.

Process of change: A problem is said to exist if there is a gap between “reality” and “expectation.” In 2013, the percentage of Emirati citizens functionally employed in the UAE labor force does meet the UAE’s stated percentage goals. This percentage “gap” exists despite many years of activities, projects, initiatives, and millions of dirhams thrown at the “problem.”

Is a discussion of the semantics of “goal” or ” vision” really addressing the issue?

I use the Creative Problem Solving Approach when faced with such a situation. The 7 Steps are Acceptance, Analysis, Definition, Ideation, Selection, Implementation and Evaluation.

Consider the first step, Acceptance. At the beginning of the problem solving process, those charged to solve the problem, MUST accept the responsibility to actually close the gap between goals and expectations.

My experience in the UAE is that the wrong people have been tasked to solve the problem.

Too often “experts” from outside the UAE, rather than UAE citizens, have taken over the process. Educators, management consultants, and sycophantic con men have come forward to “offer”, based on their “expertise”, to solve the problem. And over and over and over they have prepared plans, implemented the plans, failed to achieve their project aims, blamed everyone (usually Emirati potential employees) and everything (not enough time, not enough money, not enough education, and not enough “supportive” employers).

These experts have absolutely no desire to solve the problem. If and when the problem is solved, there is no more money for these “experts”. Their goal is to “manage” the problem (make it appear real efforts are being made) rather than “solving the problem” (problem is solved).

Managing can “look” like positive action, but the goal of those managing the problem is the continued existence of the problem. Why? No problem, end of money.

Will anyone admit this, no! All such “experts” have doctorates in the art of “Rationalization”. They are sophists, their favorite tactic when caught on the horns of a dilemma is to throw sand in the “bull’s” eyes. Sycophants are exceptionally smooth sophists. Go ahead, try nailing down what they are doing, or why what they are doing or have done, never works. Their rationalizations are pure art.

Who must be tasked to solve this problem? Emirati citizens. The process, as I have stated before, may require a catalyst. (See the third strategy of Peter Block’s “Flawless Consulting.”) The inputs, problem solving process, and outputs MUST be in the hands (and hearts) of the Emirati citizens. Responsibility to achieve goals? Yes. Accountability? Yes. Manage the problem? NO. Solve the problem? Yes

And then

SWOT
Vision
Statement of Beliefs (absolutely will not back down from)
Goals
Objectives
Strategy
and
Tactics

accomplished within the seven steps of the Creative Problem Solving Approach.j

Goal or Vision? Ummm, no. Problem managed or problem solved? That’s the question.