I woke up this morning to read the latest edition of the Harvard Business Review. This particular issue caught my attention as it is focusing on “The Human Element.”
The articles were quite interesting, and there were a few that caught my attention as they echoed to some degree my own experience. At the same time, I could see where further work was required to make the basic idea work in a Caribbean context.
For example, one article spoke about the need to build social networks in the workplace, and how important they are to getting work done. While I can see how this is truly a revolutionary idea in the U.S., given its culture, I know that this idea would seem obvious to managers and employees in Caribbean companies. If anything, this is something that workers in the Caribbean who move to the US often complain about.
By comparison, the US workplace seems cold, dry and distant. In other words, the social networks are not valued or even acknowledged to be important.
In the Caribbean, one might argue that they are TOO important, and that not enough emphasis is placed on working hard to produce results (and there is some validity to that.)
These differences are important, and there just has not been enough research or original thinking in what it takes to make the Caribbean workplace function at a high level. My hope is that this blog and other fora can make a positive contribution in this regard.