Ghana’s development narrative, a new paradigm shift from the norm

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In January, I was watching Aljazeera and the canker Coronavirus was on the table for discussion; Then came the breaking news “China builds a 1000-bed capacity hospital in 6 days”.

Yes, in less than a week. I asked myself, “How many days does it take us as Ghanaians to fill potholes? How long does it take us to build a 5-bed capacity health centre in a rural area? I thought thoroughly and what struck me was that we as citizens have lost the sense of what we deserve and our politicians are capitalizing on that to do us more harm.

After independence, Ghana has gone through military and civilian rulerships and it seems both didn’t and haven’t done us as better as we expected. We have seen similar issues clothed differently and then presented to us. We have lost focus as citizens and the politicians are driving us into the ditch but because we are so engrossed in partisan politics we barely see the effect. Most of the arguments heard on radio/TV always end in a rhetoric “This party did worse than us so appreciate us”.

We live in a place where mediocrity is acceptable so much so that we do not raise? We are mediocre ourselves. As a country, we need good theories of social change for a paradigm shift in mindset of all involved in the processes of development; individuals, communities, organisations, social movements and citizens. Before this can be done, we need to observe and understand the change processes that already exist in our country, then we can make corrections and secure a better future for our generation and those after us.

Development as a phenomenon is a natural, innate, intangible and complex process. Change cannot be engineered but can only be cultivated. Seeds must be chosen whose fruits not only suit the taste of eaters but also suit the soil in which they are planted, the condition for their function.

Processes of change whether transformative, projectable or cosmetic, are already there, moving or latent, and must be worked on with us as natural processes inherent to lives and cultures of people themselves. This explains why we need to start small by effecting change in our own little ways.

As we must bring change sometimes and not always demand change, there are some models of change being used to carry out innovation and I would want to dwell on The Robert Dilts Model- Logical Levels of Change.

Robert Dilts is an organisational psychologist who has conducted research into change and organisational learning. The logical Levels of Change mode has different applications and one way to use it is as a model to help us identify what promotes or limits our effectiveness as leaders or citizens.

From this theory, there are five things we need to consider as individuals;

1. The roles we play/our identity

2. What we value and hold as important to us

3. The skills and competencies we develop

4. The behaviour we display

5. The results we expect to get.

As we consider these stated above, we need to look at how to improve our effectiveness as leaders or citizens. I have had several encounters mostly with government sector workers and the stories I hear are nothing to write home about. People come to work at 10 a.m., socialise for the next hour then go for lunch break at 12 noon, return after 1 p.m. then start packing to leave for their homes at 3 p.m.. We are our own problems and enemies but we tend to ignore it by camouflaging our thoughts with mediocrity.

To improve as a leader, citizen, worker, civilian, etc…, we need to reflect on the environment around us and then ask ourselves if that is how we want to be and also are we achieving the results we want? Many times, we do not even have a goal or aim hence we don’t even know if we are achieving results or not.

Let’s reflect deeply on this. We need to also consider our actions at work and evaluate how our actions and inactions influence the environment around us. Emphasis must be placed on our focus and what outcome we expects to serve as a guide. As individuals we need to build and develop competencies and skills to help us lead effective change.

If we really need to see the change we desire, we need to be that change we want to see. Change your attitude towards work. Work so hard like the success of it depends on you. Improve upon your skills, learn new things, read new books, get more knowledge and start making an impact. The change you want to see lies in your little actions and gestures. Start now or never. Ghana will be great again.

God bless our homeland Ghana and make it great and strong.

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