The economic climate in the country is beginning to raise necessary heat and in effect awakening both the public and private sector players from slumber.
There can be no denying that a few things have gone wrong, but I dare say not irredeemably wrong. The prevailing economic climate provides an excellent opportunity to step-change and allows us all to train our focus on the things that matter.
On this front, the private sector is as guilty as the public sector. It always takes two to tango, and I am glad that both parties have had a successful recent engagement under the stewardship of Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiangi. In his capacity as the chairperson of the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee, Dr Matiang’i’s meeting with private sector captains of industry portends brighter days ahead.
Having lived and worked in Kenya for more than three decades now and privileged to be a global citizen, it is always refreshing to witness and experience various cultures. The culture of any country, any community and any institution still mirrors its values.
In the business world, values matter a lot as they help in creating a sustainable brand and corporate positioning, which results in various tangible benefits.
In a triple bottom line framework, the role of the people, planet and profit are all closely intertwined as strategy drivers. See, the strategy is focused on the end result, but the planning and execution assure the outcome.
At the public level, Kenya’s article 10 of the constitution touching on the national values and principles of governance is a beautiful and progressive article that binds all State organs, State officers, public officers and indeed all citizens. This is the article that among other values and principles binds us to patriotism, national unity, the rule of law, human dignity, equity, social justice, inclusiveness, non-discrimination and protection of the marginalized among others.
When a nation is afflicted by social-economic ills such as pervasive corruption, low ethics and integrity values, we must all take a moment to fix the leaking boat or perish together.
Restoring confidence in a nation calls for deliberate efforts to restore erode values that are outlined in our constitution. We must join hands to reset our value systems as a people through a deliberate process focusing on clear outcomes.
For those of us in the private sector, we must lend a helping hand the same way we focus on our businesses. We must focus on the vision and create a road map with the required resources to implement ruthlessly. No short cuts- no procrastination- no emotions- no bureaucracy- no favouritism- no self-interest- all the way. Only seamless execution.
This is possible only with the commitment and the required skills and mindset. The mindset is nothing but attitude.
The obligation for the government to provide services to its people needs focus in terms of the end to end management of convenience, speed and transparency besides affordability and availability of basic commodities and other public services.
Many countries prefer to outsource some services to the private sector for want of efficiency and controls. The private sector can deliver somehow better due to the retention of experienced talent, adoption of processes and controls with a clear focus on the bottom line.
In the private sector, the return on investment is a clear focus. Customer acquisition through service delivery is mandatory and not a choice. As things stand, the government needs to follow a similar path by guaranteeing efficient services to the public.
Such an undertaking will spur the economy. Citizens will dutifully and voluntarily pay their taxes, assured that public monies would not be siphoned off nor invested in white elephant projects.
There can be no denying that brands built and sustained over decades are represented by a strong leadership backed by a committed team of innovators and strategists.