Catching up to reality

Symbolic milestone

“The problem is that our thinking, our attitudes, and consequently our decision-making have not caught up with the reality of things.” This view was expressed over 30 years ago by John Naisbitt in his book, Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives, in which he discussed 10 major changes that were altering the economic, political and business culture of the United States of America (USA).  Naisbitt went on to point out that the profound nature of the changes was disguised by their subtlety and caused many to either miss them or dismiss the changes as insignificant.  One event that went unnoticed was the symbolic milestone that the USA by 1956 had started to produce information more than goods, and that within one year the information revolution had been globalized with the launching of Sputnik by the Russians.  In his view, the inability of Americans to appreciate the shift in the locus of production fast enough had caused individuals, companies, and the country as a whole to act on assumptions that were out of date.  The failure to stay in touch with the present realities led in many instances to inaccurate projections for the future and resulted in failure of future endeavours.  Another of his many observations at the time was that if people continued to remain “out of touch with the present, [they were] doomed to fail in the unfolding future.”

 The lessons

The lessons to which Naisbitt points in his book might be ones that Guyana should take note of as it begins 2014.  Recent years have seen an impasse on almost every major initiative that was intended ostensibly to advance the interests and well-being of Guyanese.  Guyana has undergone economic and political changes since 1988 with the introduction of the Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) and the continued implementation of reform primarily under the Highly-Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) programmes of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.  Since the start of the reform process 25 years ago, a series of changes has occurred that have significance for individuals, private companies and the public sector, but not everyone seems to have understood and accepted these changes, and factored them into the decision-making about the future of the country.

 Political posturing

Political posturing has left the nation hamstrung and the economy operating below its true capability.  Compromise, the cornerstone of successful politics, has been cast aside in favour of partisan politics.  There is nothing earth shattering in the observation of Naisbitt that anyone stuck in the past is likely to fail, but it looks like  …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.



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