What next?

THERE are debates around the current political leadership, whether it will deliver or not. Our minds have been psychologically bruised and battered because of situations we had to endure over the past few years.

By JONAH NYONI

Some people have said Zanu PF has politicised everything. Others are saying everything is now militarised. Oppositional parties seem to have lost its campus because the person they were fighting all along — Robert Mugabe — has joined them in the terraces.

Scepticism engulfs many quarters as they argue that, yes the leader of the country has changed but or probably the system has not changed.

It’s like we are constantly guess-estimating of what the future holds.

It seems we are waiting with batted breath. But should we wait or we must be doing something as citizens of this country? The question is: What next?

Rebrand

As a country, we need to re-brand and adopt new mantra to sing as we work towards its fulfilment. Not a Zanu PF mantra, but a country mantra that will unite us all towards one vision.

A good example is Rwanda, over the past 16 or so years it has been reforming socially, economically and in corporate governance.

Rwanda is showing growth in its gross domestic product per capita, and it has improved economic stability after its gorysome and gruesome genocide. This is a country where we see small things being done well towards the greatness of this nation.

When it’s good, let’s appreciate it!


Political parties seem to live worlds apart. One thing that as a country we need to learn is to appreciate a good thing despite its source.

In Zimbabwe, it’s like if we are enemies, we won’t agree on anything good brought to the table. There are good things that the MDC does and there are good things that Zanu PF does too.

What we need is to agree on a good thing and we deliver. We are a generation of analysts and critics. In whatever good comes, we seem to look for the bad things in it or should I say we view it with tainted lances.

Retraining

Constant and updated training to government employees and departments is one crucial aspect that we should embrace.

Secondly, it must be incumbent upon the employees also to make a conscious effort to make themselves better by seeking for other training or development opportunities.

There is a need to reshape how we have been doing business and re-train or re-tool leadership in many sectors. For the nation to see marked change, the people involved must change. There is a need for a re-alignment of systems, culture, strategies, and structures. Individual success determines the success of the country.

Upgrade systems

We must agree that most of our government structures must be upgraded. I read an important paper by the World Economic Forum (WEF) (January 2017) with projections, problems and proposals that come or are coming with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

These are caused by obvious reasons to those that are ready for change but some organisations don’t take as obvious as they are seen enjoying their laurels or drowning helplessly at the claws of technology. As change comes, three basic things happen.

Firstly, there are those that reap great rewards. Secondly, there are those that are caught off-guard. Lastly, there are those who are used by the change. This change, according the WEF, comes because of three major reasons:

Technology and globalisation

Technology is taking over the way we do business. Some jobs have been taken away. On the other end, those that are equipped or have the acumen to deal with current swift changes have found themselves leading.

According to the WEF: “Technology and globalisation are significantly shifting business models in all sectors, increasing the pace of change in job destruction and job creation, including new forms of work- as well as skills churn within existing jobs. While some estimates have put the risk of automation as high as half of current jobs, other research forecasts indicate a risk at a considerably lower value of 9% of today’s occupations.”

Education and training systems

These have remained largely irrelevant and archaic. In Zimbabwe, graduates may be or might have been rated as great, but the author would love to differ.

Our education at times does not suit special and current needs. I would love to propose that, at universities, for example, we should not be taught what’s on offer, but we should make a demand of what it should offer to the industry. Learning old things widen the skills gap. The new problem cannot be solved using an education crafted some decades ago.

As developing countries, as long as we don’t want to re-structure our education system, we will have hard times to cope or adjust to the global trends. We need to oil our wheels of education with relevant information, education and training systems.

For example, when I did a journalism degree some years back it was great because that was my passion. Unfortunately, the same degree still is being offered locally without changes. But if you analyse other countries, there has been an inclusion of data journalism to adjust to what has been termed the “Big Data”.

Cultural norms

Corporate culture could be an impediment to development. Outdated bureaucratic processes and cultural norms stand in the way of development. The worst thing I don’t want to hear especially when I am training companies is an issue of upholding cultures that are in fact a stumbling block to success.

If our country is to proceed, we need to do away with some of those old processes. For example, most companies are suffering at the mercy of old policies and leaders still holding on to old means or patterns of doing business.

As a certified business and leadership trainer under the International Business Driving Licence (IBDL), there are nine or more means to cover skills gape in any institute and our country. These fall under training and development.

Firstly, the employees should be well versed on how to use equipment for the job they were employed for.

In a book called Understanding Business by the IBDL (pg 2011: 118) it is emphasised that “Training and development include all attempts to improve productivity by increasing an employee’s ability to perform. Training focuses on short-term skills, whereas developments include long-term abilities. Training and development include three steps: (1) assessing the needs of the organisation and the skills of the employees: (2) designing training activities to meet the identified needs; and (3) evaluating the effectiveness of the training.”

Below are some of the ways that will help any company stay competitive:

Employee orientations

This is the first level of training, to acquaint the employee with the practices, policies and goals of a company. This is not only departmental visits and introductions, but this is the induction into a company and teaching of the “new normal”

Seminars/ Workshops

Skills gaps are closed through seminars. Seminars bring the things that colleges or training institutes might have missed especially on the issues to do with emotional intelligence, technological interactions, and social entrepreneurship. Looking at the image of our police force now, they need to be re-trained so as to unlearn the old traits.

Shadowing

Job shadowing involves working with another employee who might have a different job. This helps employees exchange valuable ideas. Job shadowing is important for new job training, career development, and leadership development.

On-job training

Most of my skills have been acquired through on-job training. This is when one is allowed to watch those that are skilled in the job and I also begin doing the similar tasks.

Companies usually assume that when someone is from a university they know everything, but that is not always the case. When the immediate supervisor is hard you might even quit at this level, but it needs someone who will take you by hand and teach you the ropes.

Off-job training

This level also has the traits of seminars. Training does not happen at work, but an internal or external expert is invited to train you on a needed skill, especially soft skills.

Online training

This is one of the easiest means of learning these days. This is when one uses internet through text, audio and video to learn a special skill. Some of these online training programmes are free. For example, the Yali Network offers success courses as servant leadership, public speaking, and personal development. In addition, one can use live virtual classes to be trained and learn what other countries are doing. This includes online meetings and teleconferencing.

Internship

Attachment to a company is one other crucial way of getting a skill, especially to university students. Most people would think that internship is only limited to people that are currently at university.

I have had firsthand experience on this; I had an internship with two major companies, one locally and another one in South Africa. My intention was simple, I applied for a place to add value and learn new skills and gain knowledge. This has given me a tremendous edge over many people including those that I was with at university.

Vestibule training

This is training done in a classroom setup and the equipment used to train are those similar to those you will have in a job environment. This is done as to familiarise an individual to the equipment, methodologies and safety measures that they will encounter in their real work.

Apprentice programmes

Apprenticeship is when an individual learns alongside an experienced employee to master the skills of a craft.

Leadership/ management training

Leaders and managers need extra and special training. Leaders are the engine of any institute and if the engine is not well oiled the entire company might come to a halt. This training also involves training employees to become leaders or managers.

Jonah Nyoni is an author, success coach and certified leadership/ business trainer. he is the author of inspiration for success and success within reach. Contact details Tel: 0772581918. Email jonah@classic-mail.co.za. Twitter @jonahnyoni.

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