sense of urgency
the urgency rate is not pumped up enough, the transformation
process cannot succeed, and the long-term future of the
organisation is put in jeopardy, says retired professor
of Harvard Business School, John Kotter.
Kotter is very precise in his book, Leading Change. There
are certain factors that he identifies as compulsory and
include the need for a powerful guiding coalition and a
vision, which he defines as a picture of the future which
is relatively easy to communicate and appeals to customers,
stockholders and employees.
We are talking about developing partnerships in the Caricom
region and we use words such as networking and co-operation.
There are strong recommendations for uniting stockholders.
Let us look at a few examples:
n Building bridges between the community and the Police
n Formation of alliances between Government and business
n Establishing linkages between churches, NGOs and the State.
Kotter has indicated that there must be a minimum level
of trust and communication. We do not have to be rocket
scientists to conclude that the deeper the crises, the demand
for trust and communication will increase.
As we talk about enhancing food security, decreasing the
food import bill, tackling primary and secondary causes
in relation to the crime issue, it is very important that
we see the big picture. Why?
Well let us examine the nagging issue of international terrorism
and the drug trade. This is a borderless headache
and requires international co-operation.
Kotter and all other change promoters must be painfully
aware that some leaders resist change as we resist leprosy
and Aids. Some individuals just hate change. One classic
example in the international political front is the dialogue
between the Republicans and Democrats on the proposal by
Barack Obama to sit down and talk with the enemy
without too many preconditions.
What traditional leaders must realise is that people are
waiting to exhale, that they are tired of the enemy label,
that they wish to try some new initiatives. Of course, Obamas
critics accuse him of failing to recognise the difference
between hope and blind optimism.
But hope is therapeutic, particularly when it is underpinned
by sound analysis and the manifestation of a genuine commitment
to achieve the promised change. We must admit that a number
of things hoped for require an enormous amount of courage.
Certainly the international Mafia is not waiting on us to
develop new initiatives, bold partnerships, exciting communication
networks and an efficient underground judiciary that is
brutal in its swift justice operations.
Recently, global attention was focused on the Ndrangheta:
the Mafia in the southern Italian region of Calabria. The
Italian anti-Mafia committees annual report identified
the key role the Netherlands is playing:
n It functions as a major transshipment point for cocaine
shipped from Colombia to Italy.
n It is a huge money laundering machine for Italy, Germany
n It is a sanctuary for fugitives.
Of course, the Netherlands can be described as one of the
homes of liberal, legalising behaviour and can
be viewed as Europes epicentre for permissive lifestyles.
But think for a moment of this narcotic axis and the long-term
impact on the Caribbean and Latin American territories.
We must be painfully aware of the operations of Colombians
in areas such as T&T, Guyana, the Eastern Caribbean
When you look at the South American, Caribbean and European
narcotic alliance, it must cause you to tremble. In 2007,
there was a feud between the Nirta-Strangio family of San
Luca and other Mafia clans. This led to an attack in Duisburg,
Germany and six people lost their lives.
Of course, we must be aware of the symbiotic relationship
between the drug trade, gun trade, gambling trade, money
laundering business and the phenomenon of crime and violence.
This includes the horrific practices of murder and kidnapping.
The underworld in Latin America, Europe, North America,
the Middle East and the Far East understands the need for
dynamic leadership, creating a sense of extraordinary urgency
and the search for new routes and initiatives.
In the Caricom region, cluster kill-ings by gangs of misguided
and psychotic youth, with their schizo-phrenic monsters,
are creating an unprecedented level of fear and paralysis.
It is important to note the analysis of Justice Anthony
Carmona as he instructed the jury to deliver a not guilty
verdict against the accused in a murder trial. As the Guardian
editorial noted, one of the witnesses in the 2005 high noon
murder was slaughtered in December 2007 and the lone surviving
witness indicated that he was intimidated and sent
word that he was no longer willing to testify.
Justice Carmona did not only express his disappointment
but went on to display huge courage. He accused political
officials of sustaining and defending the network of criminality
in which the URP operates.
In dealing with the URP and its addiction for Mafia-style
mobsters, he said: Time and time again, a lot of criminal
activity is taking place in the bowels of the URP
That is the stark reality and what is further stark is that
a generation of young men is dying.
Where are we going if a generation of young men is dying?
And if the sad truth be told, we have a section of this
generation who is being well trained to kill and kill and
While the cable networks focus on sporting entertainment
stars such as Roger Clemens in baseball and Heath Ledger,
28, who it is alleged died from an accidental overdose,
we have to arrest the mob rule that is sabotaging several
communities in the Caribbean.
Mass slaughter is hunting and haunting us in west Kingston,
Jamaica, Laventille and Diego Martin, Trinidad, Lusignan
and Bartica in Guyana. Now you may say some areas do not
have bunch killings on a daily basis but drop
by drop, the buckets are being filled with blood.
Another worrying trend is the killing of police officers
and what is even more horrific is that some police organisations
have Judases in their ranks who participate in activities
that lead to the demise of their colleagues. Some of them
even attend the funerals and shed crocodile tears.
We have no need to establish a sense of extraordinary urgency;
we have allowed that state of affairs to paralyse the region.
As a result, we have to cope with another major brain drain.
And there continues to be a clarion call for the legalising
of the immoral and they are following current managerial,
networking trends. The latest is the CVC initiative.
The CVC is the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Organisation
designed to protect the rights of groups such as homosexuals,
transexuals and prostitutes. The CVC believes that a review
of laws related to the sea trade would greatly reduce incidents
of HIV infection and exploitation. This meeting attracted
workers from Haiti, Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana, Suriname
and T&T. Wow!
Evil forces in the fields of drugs, prostitution, pornography
and homosexuality unite in a powerful manner, while the
forces of righteousness remain divided and paralysed. The
time to unite is here and there must be a sense of urgency
and a vision to respond to the urgency.