Friday, August 9, 2013

Execution . . . Execution . . . . Execution

It appears we are working to get economic development and the country moving forward if we are to go by the slew of recent news reports: Neda’s Balisacan prods govt to spend more on S&T,” “Government to revive Industry Development Council by 2014,” “Manufacturing map out this month,” “Does the law serve development, “LEDAC to meet on priority bills Wednesday," etc.

The devil is in the details,” and which is why execution is such a challenge. And it demands “to prioritize and focus”. And as importantly, it is imperative “to start with the end in view”. And that means to be forward-looking as opposed to be backward-looking. We’ve heard that many times over: "the wife of Lot that became a pillar of salt after she looked back at Sodom”? History is to learn from. And positive nostalgia can give meaning to people's lives and be a motivation in tackling life's challenges. [What is nostalgia good for? Quite a bit, research shows, The New York Times, 9th Jul 2013.] If we have laws that are undermining development we can amend them? Of course that’s not easy, but that is why “to prioritize and focus” must be overarching. We can’t bite more than we can chew.

If we go by our faith only salvation is perpetual, yet there are a zillion things, say, in our culture and heritage that make us accept “our destiny” and its inevitability? When a hundred million supposedly smart people can’t get basic infrastructure erected, that’s not destiny? But we like ‘looking at the glass as half-full’? And we are incurable optimists because that’s what our faith tells us? I was still in my shorts when our congressman told us that we would have a basketball court in our neighborhood that never came to fruition – and that was only one minor item from his “platform” that he had printed and distributed, and it was as thick at The Manila Sunday Times Magazine. It is about growing up as a people? That was my first serious impression about the US. Americans were behaving like kids.

That was 25 years ago. And it appears to be getting worse: “On Jan. 1, tax rates went up not only for affluent families, but also for virtually all workers when lawmakers looked the other way and let a payroll tax cut expire. On March 1, after leaders from both parties declared that automatic, across-the-board spending cuts would never happen, they happened anyway because of inaction . . . One hundred percent of Congress opposed it, and we’re doing it,” said Representative Peter Welch, Democrat of Vermont. “That’s a sign of a dysfunctional institution.” [In Congress, Gridlock and Harsh Consequences, The New York Times, 7th Jul 2013]

Nietzsche ["He who has a why to live can bear almost any how"] and Rumi came to mind as I sat down to work on the abstract of the paper that I’ll present in September to the culture-management community of Europe, SIETAR (Society for Intercultural Education Training and Research), in Tallinn, Estonia. Abstract: This paper will show how a small business enterprise . . . in a country that had to make the transition from communist rule . . . transformed itself in just eight years into one of the best and fastest growing companies in the European Union . . . How the company succeeded in creating a vision-driven, transparent, focused, and disciplined business culture . . . did not happen . . . overnight . . . They had . . . to struggle . . . and . . . . evolve . . . from their innate “Bulgarian culture”. . . As the business grew, however, it became clear that the bigger challenge was . . . to grow . . . beyond their comfort zone . . . They had . . . to create a subculture within itself that could transcend widely differing national cultures and markets [if they were to be the best in the business. And they’re far from perfect, which is good because they’ve realized that they have to keep raising the bar.]

Pride, national or partisan, would explain a people's ego and thus the struggle they go through? “In the Mevlevi tradition, samārepresents a mystical journey of spiritual ascent through mind and love to the Perfect One. In this journey, the seeker symbolically turns towards the truth, grows through love, abandons the ego, finds the truth and arrives at the Perfect. The seeker then returns from this spiritual journey, with greater maturity, to love and to be of service to the whole of creation without discrimination with regard to beliefs, races, classes and nations.” [Rumi c/o Wikipedia]

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