Forging Change: ‘Something to Lose’

Go Lean Commentary

“You cannot miss something you never had” – Wise expression.

Not only is this expression thought-provoking, but also prophetic. The motives of the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean is to forge change in the Caribbean. Plain and simple! The people, policies and processes from the book wants to elevate Caribbean life to a level that the people may not now appreciate, because they cannot “miss something that they never had”.

The book presents a plan to …

  • reboot economic engines (create 2.2 million new jobs, improved healthcare, facilitate new educational and entrepreneurial opportunities, stabilize a regional currency),
  • optimize the security apparatus (anti-crime and public safety), and
  • facilitate accountable governance for all citizens (including minority factions).

CU Blog - Forging Change - Something to Lose - Photo 5

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CU Blog - Forging Change - Something to Lose - Photo 1

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The region has never had this before, not even in the days of colonialism. With this acknowledgement, it is understandable that many may not “buy-in” to these Go Lean empowerments – they may not know what they are missing. But they do know what a better life would look like. They get such a view from these sources:

  • There is the media penetration in the Caribbean, portraying life in optimized societies abroad.
  • There are students matriculating abroad, who then may NOT want to return to our shores after their studies.
  • There are the tourists/visitors who interact with our citizens and describe their lives in their homelands.
  • There is the Diaspora that have left, many times as the only hope for work, and then repatriate monies to support their family.

Caribbean residents may not have had certain features, like the advanced societies in the US, Canada and Western Europe, but they do know how other people thrive in those other lands. They want that for themselves. This constitutes the “pull” factors that contribute to the high abandonment rate (drawn from “push-and-pull” references): life abroad on foreign shores may appeal to them more so than their homeland.

The book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) as a vehicle to make the region a better place to live, work and play. The vision is that of a Single Market of the 30 member-states, 4 language groups and 42 million people; this scope and leverage from this integration is such as has never actuated in the Caribbean before – the people cannot miss this vision because they have never seen it here.

So just how do we get the required buy-in? How do we get the populations to embrace, accept, commit and engage this vision of an elevated society that they may not have ever seen in their homeland before? How do we forge this change?

One approach to forging this change is to give the people something to lose.

This point was vocalized dramatically in the movie The Fast and the Furious Part Five with this dialogue:

VIDEO – Fast Five Joaquim de Almeida Speech –

Uploaded on Jan 15, 2012 – Joaquim de Almeida talks about the Portuguese discoveries in Brazil …
This is art imitating life and life imitating art.

There is nothing nefarious or malevolent about the Go Lean roadmap. The efforts to forge change in the region are not intended for any one person or organization to wrestle power or the elevation of any one leader. The roadmap features only one objective: the Greater Good. This is defined in the book (Page 37) by Jeremy Bentham (1748 – 1832) a British philosopher, jurist, and social reformer as …

… “the greatest good to the greatest number of people which is the measure of right and wrong”.

This vision sounds good! What is there to lose?

The fact is that this vision is only on paper. The reality in the region is far different; the member-states are in crisis. In addition to the constant lure of foreign “pulls”, there is the definitive societal “push”. So many deficiencies in the Caribbean are driving people to abandon their beloved homeland and live in the Diaspora; one report asserts 70% for the college-educated classes have already left. The opportunity costs of NOT engaging the Go Lean roadmap is too great!

If we leave well enough alone, we will not be well enough!

The book describes the CU as a hallmark of a technocracy. This relates to “doing the right things and getting things done”. The term technocracy was originally used to designate the application of the scientific method to solving social and economic problems. The CU will start as a technocratic confederation – a Trade Federation – rather than evolving to this eventuality.

CU Blog - Forging Change - Something to Lose - Photo 3The roadmap must bring benefits to the region … quickly: improved economics, improved healthcare, improved education, introduction of a stable currency, improved security, improved governance, etc.. This is a Big Deal. The book likens this quest to the American effort in the 1960’s to “put a man on the man” (Page 127). As explained by the then-President of the United States, John F. Kennedy:

“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth”. His justification for the Moon Race was both that it was vital to national security and that it would focus the nation’s energies in other scientific and social fields.

As depicted in the foregoing VIDEO, there must be something for the people of the Caribbean to lose; their hope must be on the continuation of the benefits flowing from the CU. The Go Lean book declares that before any permanent change can take root in the Caribbean that there must be an adoption of new community ethos, the national spirit that drives the character and identity of its people. We must therefore use effective and efficient drivers to forge this change.

The Go Lean book – published in November 2013 – presented a two-prong approach: Top-Down and Bottoms-Up. The Top-Down plan called for engaging the politicians and community leaders to capitulate to this roadmap; while the Bottoms-Up plan called for engaging the full universe of Caribbean people: residents (42 million), Diaspora (10 million), trading-partners and visitors (80 million) to demand the empowerments of the CU/Go Lean roadmap. The verb for all these stakeholders is to “lean-in”, that is to embrace the values, hopes and dreams of this optimization plan.

Over the years, the Go Lean blog-commentaries have previously identified a number of alternate strategies to effectively forge change in the region. These were presented as follows:

The book and accompanying blogs all accept that forging this change will be an up-hill battle. But this heavy-lifting will be worth it in the end, as the Caribbean empowerment roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines and ensure better public safety for stakeholders of the Caribbean.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines.

The roadmap was constructed with these motivations in mind: the community ethos to foster, plus the execution of strategies, tactics, implementation and advocacies to forge the identified permanent change in the region. The following is a sample of these specific details from the book:

Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – People Choose Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – People Respond to Incentives in Predictable Ways Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – The Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Minority Equalization Page 23
Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Cooperatives Page 25
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Help Entrepreneurship Page 28
Community Ethos – Ways to Promote Intellectual Property Page 29
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Research & Development Page 30
Community Ethos – Ways to Bridge the Digital Divide Page 31
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Turn-Arounds Page 33
Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Sharing Page 35
Community Ethos – Ways to Promote Happiness Page 36
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision – Confederate 30 Member-States Page 45
Strategy – Mission – Stabilize and Fortify the Currency of the Region Page 46
Tactical – Confederating a Permanent Union Page 63
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Planning – 10 Big Ideas for the Caribbean Region Page 127
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better Page 136
Planning – Reasons Why the CU Will Succeed Page 137
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Healthcare Page 156
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Education Page 159
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance Page 168
Advocacy – Ways to Remediate and Mitigate Crime Page 178
Advocacy – Improve Homeland Security Page 180
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Communications – Community Messaging Page 186
Advocacy – Ways to Preserve Caribbean Heritage Page 218

The quest to change the Caribbean will require convincing people; they must get the message: there is much to lose for not enacting this roadmap, and even more to lose to discontinuing, once started. The empowerments in this commentary and in the Go Lean book, must be permanent changes.

This is heavy-lifting, but worth all the effort. The end-result should be a better homeland to live, work and play. 🙂

We encourage all of the Caribbean to lean-in now, to Go Lean.   🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


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