Is there a magic potion or miracle cure or, as we say in Guyana, an ‘obeah’ that can be used to cure our ailing sugar industry?
Recent reports in the media, some following the budget debates, might give the impression that there is a magic wand called better management that can be used to remove a curse and cleanse GuySuCo of the disease called under-performance. Others might get the impression that we can push a button called ‘management’ that will automatically motivate managers towards better management.
Management is a process not an automatic switch or injection or medicine or ‘obeah’ that can be taken for efficient performance. Effective management depends on clear policies, realistic guidelines and practical directions emanating from the vision, mission, objectives and pragmatic targets of the organization, set in a joint, consultative manner among wise, professional, independent-thinking directors, capable managers and reasonable workers’ representatives.
Effective management is in the hands of all stakeholders, not only those called managers; the supervisors and foremen must exercise delegated management and the rank-and-file workers must exercise self-management and informal group management which eschews unreasonable behaviour and encourages commitment and responsibility.
All of this can be greatly facilitated by clear, confident, honest and continual communication with all stakeholders in the industry which will encourage employee engagement and all-round responsibility for optimal performance.