Many are suprised when I add my “2 cents” to the “how to make Jamaica better” discussion. These types of discussions start out with the participants saying “Here is my idea on what Jamaica needs to do”. These discussion normally take place at every event where there are 2 or more Jamaican males. I normally listen for a while then I say my part. “Jamaica needs no new ideas. They already have all the ideas they need sitting in Jamaica”. The look on their faces is “classic”. You see many Jamaicans think our idea will solve Jamaican problems instantly. Especially those of us who live abroad. I used to think like that until I realized this thinking is flawed. There are really no “new ideas”. You see many of them has been floating around Jamaica for a while as “hot air”. Here is a story a friend told me from a conversation she had with a New York entrepreneur. It may sound stereotypical but is seems so true.
When I start a business I hire 3 people from the Caribbean.
First I hire a Jamaican as a consultant. They are smart. They have ideas like none else in the Caribbean. They will give you the best ideas in the world and will help to develop the plan.
Second I hire a Trinidadian to help with marketing. They seem to have a flair for design and making things colorful. They will help in the marketing of the plan.
Third I hire a Bajan. They know how to implement ideas. They are best at executing the plan.
Again I know this sounds very stereotypical but I have to agree with his first and third statement as I am Jamaican and I know a few Bajans. Jamaica needs no more new ideas. It needs execution of past ideas.
The past governments of Jamaica (and other institutions) have commissioned many studies with great ideas on how to fix the educations system, Jamaica’s debt, the economy and crime. These studies have recommendations and plans. I would say 99.9% of them are probably still sitting in an office gathering dust.
These studies are from some of Jamaica’s greatest minds. They are very detailed and innovative. They have never been implemented. Jamaica lacks no ideas just people who are willing to update these studies and implement the ideas.
“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration” ~Thomas Edison