Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 11th 2017 Contents Robinson:
will always be about
Hailed as one of the world's elite thinkers on
creativity and innovation, Sir Ken Robinson's talk
titled "Leading a Culture of Innovation" focused
on the critical role that a society plays in moving
the needle of innovation.
"You can't anticipate the outcomes of innovation,
but you can create the conditions for it to flourish,"
Robinson, a passionate education advocate---and
having the distinction of delivering the most viewed
TED talk in history---holds the view that for T&T
to tap into the fullness of its creative potential, an
overhauling of the education system was necessary.
"T&T's future depends on what happens with
the education system."
A former professor of arts education at the Uni-
versity of Warwick in London, Robinson---whose
presence was via satellite video---used Singapore as
an example to contrast its achievements with that
of resource-rich countries such as T&T.
"In spite of natural resources, in the end devel-
opment will always be about people."
Robinson added that the key to T&T's future
was unlocking the creative potential of its people.
He noted that a culture of innovation could only
take root if the right systems were first put in place
to support it.
"The problem isn't often, if ever the people,
it's most often the underlying systems. Systemic
innovation therefore means looking at the entire
The California-based professor suggested that
T&T should mobilise efforts behind a National In-
novation Policy with focus on three main areas:
education, commerce and culture.
"It's important to think about what you would
want T&T to look like in 20 year's time because
change takes time."
Robinson posited that promoting creativity, by
carefully scrutinising the education system, and
harnessing the power of diverse views are important
steps along T&T's development path.
MAY 11 • 2017 guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
NEWS | BG5
Lessons from Lok Jack Leadership Conference
Three Masters, One Stage. Inspire,
Innovate, Go Global.
Under the rubric of those words, the
Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of
Business (ALJGSB) kicked off its 15th
Annual Distinguished Leadership and
Innovation Conference (DLIC) at the
Hyatt Regency hotel in Port-of-Spain
Tapping into the current pulse of glob-
al disruption, the " masters" Pankaj
Ghemawat, Ken Robinson and Jim Col-
lins---though each dealing with different
topics---seemed to share one constant,
reverberating idea: companies and coun-
tries that don't inspire creativity at all
levels and build and support a culture
of innovation into their way of doing
business, will ostensibly get left behind.
Innovate and educate
is highly ambiguous
Focusing on the theme "Internationalisa-
tion Strategies for Caribbean Enterprises---The
, New York University (NYU)
management and strategy professor Pankaj
Ghemawat asserted that the perception of
how globalised the world was runs contrary
to what actual hard data suggest.
"Most people believe the world is flat, but
much of the discussion about globalisation
takes place in a data-free zone," the Har-
vard-educated management guru said.
According to Ghemawat, the author of more
than 100 research articles and case studies,
there are two fundamental laws about glo-
Firstly, the world is "semi-globalised" and,
secondly, there remains much room for fur-
ther global integration or---what he formally
calls---the law of distance.
On the notion of a semi-globalised world,
Ghemawat cited data that showed that trade,
foreign direct investment, equity investments
and people flows were typically confined to
countries in close proximity to one another.
Using the US and China as examples to
illustrate the skewed perception of globali-
sation, Ghemawat pointed out that though
both countries engaged in global trade, the
highest proportion of such trade occurred
with countries, proverbially speaking, in
their own backyard: Canada and South Ko-
In other words, one would expect a far
more equitable balance of trade in a truly
"flat" world, but the data suggests this is far
from the case.
Countries trade most with those nearest
Turning his attention to the idea that there
is much scope for the growth of globalisation,
Ghemawat said culture, administration, ge-
ography and economics (what he called the
CAGE model), all matter, and affect the out-
turns of globalisation.
Focusing specifically on Trinidad, Ghema-
wat pointed out that the country had been
underperforming in trade activity.
He cited poor systems and processes and
poor infrastructure as the main reasons for
the country's underperformance; certainly
illustrating the need for the State to improve
the ease of doing business.
His advice was disarmingly simple: T&T
needed to intensify regional trade, and small
and medium enterprises needed to foster
deeper relationships across regional borders.
Additionally, the NYU professor advised
Caribbean firms---as part of their "going
global" strategy---to employ the principles
of adaptation (tailoring products for spe-
cific markets), aggregation (to benefit from
economies of scale) and arbitrage (exploiting
differences in markets) ---what he calls the
He highlighted GraceKennedy (adaptation),
Goddard Catering Group (aggregation).
The T&T Fine Cocoa Company (arbitrage)
as enterprises that had all successfully incor-
porated single elements of the triple model in
their globalisation thrust.
Sandals Resorts, according to Ghemawat,
was the only company that managed to employ
each element of the triple model fully.
Clearly, food for thought for Caribbean
is a matter of
For close to three hours, the event's
feature speaker Jim Collins had the
crowd transfixed with his energised
Collins, the author of bestsellers such
as Good to Great, Great By Choice, and
How The Mighty Fall, focused his dis-
course on 12 questions he believed every
company should ask itself to determine
if it was on a path to greatness.
The Stanford university professor
noted that top performing companies
tended to have inspired leadership
("level 5 leadership"), were excellent
at making people decisions ("first who,
then what") and operated with a sense
of "productive paranoia" always consid-
ering "what if" scenarios and building
into their operations a greater number
of buffers and contingency plans than
may be used.
Collins, who also appeared via sat-
ellite, stated that what separated great
companies from merely good ones was
an inbred culture of fanatic discipline.
"The very best companies have disci-
plined people, disciplined thought and
take disciplined action. They have the
discipline to hold back in good times, and
the discipline to advance in bad ones."
What seemed to stand out was his
constant focus on people.
He encouraged leaders to take care of
their people and to task great people with
big goals to accomplish.
Collins also stated that knowing who
should occupy what seats "on the bus"
was critical to achieving sustained, su-
After a vibrant question and answer
segment, Collins closed by stating that
at the individual level, greatness was ac-
complished when we asked ourselves one
question: how can I be more useful?
Indeed, a sober thought to ponder in
these challenging times.
SIR KEN ROBINSON
Links Archive May 10th 2017 May 12th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page