‘Enhancing Productivity: The Case of the Uncommon Worker’ Full Speech by Rev. Bernard Arde-Acquah (1) is worth reading before reading part two of the full speech.
Our thinking at the national level must go beyond vigilantism and protecting ballot boxes to critical thinking skills that allow us to harness, utilize and enjoy our abundant resources. We must restore the self- confidence of those of us who live in the geographical space of land called Ghana. It is noteworthy that every advanced country has invested into branches of engineering and science that nurtures incursions beyond land and mineral exploration into the sea and into the air.
What kind of education fosters that thinking and belief system?
‘Quality Life Improvement’ Education at this tertiary level provides
- Technical skills – equips you with the technical advanced knowledge that enables you to identify and unearth hidden and unexplored treasures as you deal with the issue of a complex nature.
- The capacity to think – the ability to forge solutions (Think logically and strategically) in challenging and difficult environments. The race is not always won by the swift nor the battle by the strong – you may have the big muscles and strength and never win a match but be outsmarted but a skinny boxer who thinks strategically
- A master in the field of operation – Be on top of issues with full awareness of diagnosing and prescribing appropriate designed well- crafted solutions (even as an export commodity eg CIMA, ACCA etc)
- Ability to create and design a plan for solutions – HOW to implement ideas from an unseen, heavenly realm into physical reality. The ability to craft a well-planned solution to an indigenous problem.
- Ability to make thinking work – Besides philosophical knowledge, it is a practical application of knowledge that provides solutions. Beyond mere titles and credentials and committee meetings, we produce RESULTS and make things work through the practical application of knowledge. It is possible to have shelved ‘solutions’ on paper which do not work on the ground. The relevant question is not Does he have a degree? Does he have a PhD? Have experts considered it?
The key question is DOES IT SOLVE OUR PROBLEM? Does it WORK?
On Nov 12, 2014 scientist explained how they were able to land a
space craft – the Rosetta Philae Lander – on a comet after a ten-year trip.
It started its movement 10 year prior and was able to land on a moving
comet in space. In the process the space craft travelled a total of 6.4bn kilometers and landed on a comet just about 4km in size, travelling at a speed of 135,000km per hour. Our collective knowledge and Wisdom must help us design solutions
– if people can land an object in space 10 years into the future, 6 billion kilometers away at that speed and land it safely, we can design solutions of electricity and sanitation supply in Ghana.
Such audacious and bold achievements require deliberate critical thinking skills that provokes the will to succeed and create new things in an environment (of discipline, order and a spirit of excellence) which is beyond the scope and curricular of theoretical knowledge. Let me remind you that the key asset of every society and its work environment is its human resource. The human resource or labour combines all other factors of production to ensure that work is done meaningfully and productively at a profit. Hence, the caliber of workers in a work place either boosts productivity or frustrates it.
5 types of workers are usually identified in any work place.
- Parasitic Worker: The parasitic worker is one who is more focused on feeding off what the company can offer him, rather than what he offers the company. This worker focuses on the benefits that he accrue from the company such as per diem, overtime pay, salary increase, car allowance among others. This type of worker virtually feeds and depends on company resources and can bring the company to its knees if appropriate steps are not taken to stop his undesirable behavior.
- Prodigal Worker: The prodigal worker is one who is wasteful and reckless. Often wasting, misusing and recklessly destroying company resources and assets when working. For example, he leaves the tap running after use or the lights and air conditioner on after working. He is a liability to the company and makes the company spend extra money which hitherto could have been used for other profitable ventures.
- Passive Worker: The passive worker is one who is physically present at work but is not very productive. He is indifferent and unconcerned about the operations of the company and does not make any meaningful contribution towards the advancement of the company. He does not care whether the company is making a profit or incurring a loss. Even though he is physically present, he is not productive. And creates
a culture that saps other workers enthusiasm and drive with a mantra – the company is not for my father. Such a worker prefers monotonous work and resists change. He is also reluctant by nature, happy to work slowly and has no wish to burden his mind and chooses only the easiest tasks, leaving the more critical and difficult ones unattended to.
- Proud worker: A worker with a bad attitude who resists correction, usually undermining the authority and team work. Very competitive and does not foster team work but creates an unhealthy environment by putting others down.
- Uncommon Worker: The uncommon worker is also known as the model worker because he understands the essence of work, is productive, has been able to overcome all the shortcomings of the other types of workers and is an asset to his company or establishment.
The profitability of a company or country is directly linked to the quality of its work force. The uncommon worker is the product of a carefully deliberately and intentionally crafted educational system and training that focuses on productivity and is result oriented.
We must challenge and design a system in our environment that rewards the uncommon worker rather than a system that appears to reward the parasitic and passive workers. We often look for short term evaluation of benefits in our system today, and that is where our character and strength of our people is tested – will you sacrifice the future for short term gains? (Joseph principle).
We must encourage those in leadership positions to deliberately design systems that rewards the behavior we seek – expertise, diligence, discipline or honesty. Our workers must be encouraged to invest in the long term, not in short term gains. Character pays – but often only in the long run.
Link to part 2