By Lieutenant General (rtd) Denga Ndaitwah
First and for most, it is a prima facie that any organisation public or private including governments are established with a clear purpose in mind. Of course, purposes will always differ from organisation to organisation. It is fundamental that, the purpose for the establishment of any organisation is aiming at making profit and/ or delivering services to the needy communities. Secondly, we must be mindful that organisations and businesses are inevitably manned by human beings. As human beings do not grow at the same pace with the organisation or/and business, human beings do run out of steam with the passing of time and became physically weak. That human exhaustion shall necessitate the need for succession in order to avoid the law of diminishing return. Conversely, organisations and businesses shall become much stronger and entrenched as time goes on. That demands qualified and capable forward looking minds.
While organisations and businesses are created based on long terms, it is unfortunate that human beings do not live the same length of time like that of the established organisations or business. Just take a break and think of any organisation or business that you can remember that has been in existence for over a century. That organisation or business must have outlived any human being on this planet. Let me help you by giving a classic example that Namibian Breweries Ltd was established on 29 October 1920. That means it shall mark its 97th anniversary this year. On the other hand, Coca Cola as a transnational company was established on the 29 January 1892 and it has already marked its 125 years last months.
The point to note is human beings shall obviously exit services as they age while organisations and business will become more productive and continue to grow much stronger. And that is what made Namibia Breweries Ltd and Coca Cola reputable companies. Because of the quality leadership and management that were always readily available for Namibian Breweries Ltd and Coca Cola Company, those companies have been relentlessly putting their products on shelves without failure. A very simple answer is, whoever takes over those companies must be highly qualified with the credentials to lead and manage the company to greater heights. It is believed the appointments to the helms of those companies are not done based on thumb-sucking. Rather, on proven qualifications, capabilities and abilities to lead and manage.
We have seen in life where governments and businesses failed to deliver effective services they were designed for. And in the process they failed the people. We have experienced governments that have failed to an extent that they are termed or categorised as failed states. We have seen businesses that have gone through modernisation, transformation, reengineering, revamping and many more processes in order to ensure delivery of quality services. We have as well seen businesses that have gone bankrupt, defunct, dysfunction and liquidated as they can no longer deliver any service as it was originally planned for.
Successful governments and businesses are run based on certain proven principles. One of the proven principles is succession planning. Organisations without succession planning are doomed to failure. Look at the American democracy and political structures. Democracy in America has no obvious political structures. There are the political parties under which some individual candidates who are willing to enter the Presidential race can do. The emergence of Donald John Trump into the political scene and eventually at the helm of the United States of America’s administration as President is a vivid example.
Trump is just a businessman and unconventional politician who has just entered into politics vying to be a President and indeed got away with it. As it appears, there is no political succession planning in America politics. As such, as Trump is from nowhere, his administration is causing a political turmoil that may bring the world at a brink of standstill. Should he fail to change and do things as a statesman and a superpower of the world, the world is in for a shock as goes on.
It is incredible that after 11 days in the office, President Trump has already fired an Acting Attorney General who has failed to toe the line by not wanting to implement Trump’s Executive Order that bans nationals from seven Muslim countries to enter United States. Should the situation of firing persists, one wonders whether Trump’s administration shall execute the principles of hiring and firing whoever does not want to comply with his orders.
Another diplomatic point worth noting is the calling off the state visit of Pena Nieto, the President of Mexico. The visit was called off just few days before his arrival in America. The calling off of the state visit was ostensibly caused by the fact that the President of Mexico was unwilling to pay for the border wall between the two countries to stop his people from entering America illegally. One would only deduce that, the decision is indeed undiplomatic particularly when it is directed to a neighbour.
Most of the above are attributed to the lack of succession planning. The underlining factor here is that, human beings do come and go. Governments and businesses are by their nature and design ever living creatures. The failure and success of any government or organisation is squarely attributed to human beings. There are times when individual crazy human beings tend to think that when they are on the seat of government or business, they are the government or business themselves. In some instances, they do forget that they will have to go when the law of nature applies. The results after those individuals who have dragged onto power for too long and without due consideration, they will always leave governments and businesses in total shambles that those who will take over from them might not be able to revive the state of affairs as the total morass caused will be too high to remedy to normalcy.
It is also a fait accompli that governments and businesses that have survived for over hundreds of years are those that are aware of the life span and culminating point of human beings. Democratic governments and businesses are not run in a form of monarchy. In an entrenched monarchy, it is only the law of nature that can bring change. But governments and businesses are being run in a systematic fashion where succession planning must apply.
… This article will continue and finalise next week.
Lieutenant General (rtd) Denga Ndaitwah is former Chief of the Defence Force, Part Time Lecturer at UNAM, Head of Department and Senior Lecturer at IUM
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015