Institutions worldwide are centre of excellence . Or expected to be so. Both government and private. Where talent is nurtured,curiosity sharpened, ideas tested, questions answered, skills horned, character built, friendship fostered , life modified, gifts discovered,identities created, opinions shaped ,dreams polished,visions strengthened as well as truths ascertained.
However this expectations are far from being reached in various parts of the world,including the most advanced . Like Japan and United States. Due to a combination of many things. Moral,cultural as well as legal.
Which affects institutions negatively in terms of growth, performance as well as service delivery .
In this article I want us to share how training can foster innovation. Here innovation meaning not only creating new products that adds value, but also new relations that makes reality dreams of tomorrow.
Training is important as it prepares one for challenges of life as well as opportunities. However focus should be on individuals needs i.e expression . Not market needs as currently done. Whether in schools or homesteads.
Second should inspire curiosity, especially in matters of spirituality. Otherwise it would be a waste of time and resources.
Third should appreciate uniqueness of every individual and work towards developing it .
Fourth ,and more important should push individuals boundaries. Both vision and thinking. Whereby they cease to see everything in terms of personal gain. Without care of others and consequences.
Streinous as it may seem both to our minds and pockets. Its benefits are more than any of us could ever imagine. From boosting economy to creating jobs for our people. Locally and internationally.
Such a thing is not a mean achievement in a country whereby a majority of people live below poverty line with no access to basic services. Like healthcare. With high unemployment rates and dependence levels . Cultural and material. Similarly with huge gap between rich and poor which keeps expanding by day.
In fact it should be on top of our agenda as a nation owed to its benefits as well as opportunities it provides to our people that no one else can provide no matter his wealth or position.
However as history has shown or to be specific our history as nation has shown those things which seems to be of great import to our lives are never given thought and seriousness they deserve . As those that seems not to. Both elites and masses. A culture we have been with unfortunately for along time to an extent we see it as normal that we would raise up in arms against those who try to change it no matter how genuine their reasons may be.
But again never in history have we been challenged as we do now. With only one choice: to change or perish and ‘since we know the consequences ‘of continued resistance of an idea whose time has come. We have decided we are joining the movement albeit late but all the same joining it to be on the’ safer side of history’ when it is written some years from now.
However the question is if we are ready to pay the price for our liberty. Individuals and nation alike. Or we are only excited,but our hearts are stuck in the past. A past which we are being told to get over as it has no place as far as our well- being and future is concerned. It will be interesting to know however I will not be surprised if a majority of us fall in second group. Just like I will not be surprised if a majority of us fall in first group. Though this is unlikely to happen I can bet on that. As we have interests that sometimes prevents us from doing certain things that may be of benefit to our lives even if we wanted to.
Back to our discussion on how training can foster innovation. Content is very important. Quality,useful content,that’s. For we are what we eat. But more important how it is delivered. Form,style of delivery,that’s. For we decide what we become. A good example is a teacher in a local primary school who is preparing a candidate class for their final examination at the end of the year. That would see them graduate to high school. In as much as he is dedicated in his job and want to achieve results at the end of the day. His options are limited even though he would want to help by being innovative i.e organizing trip for them to a neighboring school that seems to be better off in terms of performance so that they could learn some few tricks to boost their confidence.
Or getting them textbooks and past national examination papers to revise as well as give them a glimpse of what they are expecting later in the year.
For he need money for the trip which the administration may not be in a position to give due to scarce resources or contribution from parents of every pupil in his class due to hard economic times they may be going through.
Same with getting textbooks for his class as this may be expensive for him to afford if he decides to buy for each and everyone of them. Bearing in mind his small salary and even if it would be big he has needs of his own to take care of.
In such situations the community would have helped by donating textbooks or organizing a harambee to raise funds for purchasing textbooks for the kids as well as constructing a library for the school. But that too is impossible to achieve sometimes for there are too many interests involved a majority who don’t give a damn on the plight of the kids.
Or get them past national examination papers from relative departments in the school. But who unfortunately maybe suffering from poor record keeping and who may only be existing in name. With no contribution to development of the school or kids welfare. As a consequence he gives up seeing no hope of getting through. Which he spreads to the kids too: that’s a feeling of despair and hopelessness.
Or stay on but decide to use underhand means to reach his goal whatever the consequences i,e getting them examination papers they are going to sit for with answers. For after all ,the joy of a teacher is to see her class pass examination and proceed with their studies to even higher levels and would do everything possible to ensure this is achieved.
Though he is unlikely to go for the second option. For as a professional he has job to do and duties to perform. Which requires high level of discipline and integrity. But as a human being he can be tempted if he sees it as the only option out.
That’s why apart from empowering our institutions. We need also to empower individuals who run them. With managerial and leadership skills i.e conflict management,critical thinking,dispute resolution as well as communication among others. Both in person and group.
But also with creative and entrepreneurial skills i.e content writing, fiscal planning,budget making as well as networking among others. Both online and offline.
Otherwise nothing would be achieved no matter how much we invest in them. Individuals and state alike.
Or there would be change but not the kind of change that we desperately need as a country i.e a return to democracy and rule of law, opportunity for every citizen to work and enjoy the fruits of their labor, a recognition of right to life of every person no matter their place or background, space for every individual to express themselves both creative and intellectual without intimidation from peers and public, equal development for each and every part of our country, freedom for every child to pursue their dreams even if they conflict norm and status quo as well as benefits of economy to be shared among people of our republic based on need. Not age or gender
But again why should we settle for less when we are capable of enjoying more? Or crawl on our stomachs when we should be standing on our feet? Is it faith or methods that we lack ? Or both? For if it is brains, we have the best in the world. If it is capital we have the highest number of educated people in the region I bet who are willing to serve their nation even for free if they saw it worthwhile. If it is talent we have a massive pool of talent in arts and sports I bet than any other on the continent waiting to be tapped and many more.
Reason could be simply:training. How it’s done and why.Why standing for motive of training and how mode of training. Both impacting on individuals development. Intellectual and social.
This is the first article in series of articles I would be producing in a month or so on how to foster innovation.If you have a comment,question or suggestion feel free and if you have been inspired in anyway please share the experience.