Jordan transformation, have we started?

تم نشره في Tue 3 November / Nov 2015. 12:03 PM - آخر تعديل في Tue 3 November / Nov 2015. 12:04 PM

By Mothanna Gharaibeh

During the past decade, many global and multinational companies, banks and institutions have succumbed to the various emerging market forces. Whether dealing with technological advancements or innovations, each entity by its own had undergone a transformative trip in order to survive the waves of change. This concept of transformation for survival is not limited to companies.

If one is to view the country as a large organization, then the country has a few lessons to extract from optimal organizational behavior and best practices. The question that bears itself from the onset is why do organizations transform? There are many reasons that organizations list as drivers for transformation, mostly related to overcoming pain points and seeking un-ceased opportunities by seizing new organizational leadership through stronger incentives and motives, improving response time, sharpening the organization strategic focus, improving accountability and transparency, achieving better utilization of scarce resources through improved efficiency, and a change of mindset to work on chronic problems, all of the above is as needed to a state as to company.

Although we as Jordanians (both the government and opposition) have managed and passed the phase where we needed transformation to survive, but we still need the transformation to thrive. And the fact that Jordan has peacefully passed the critical stage of the Arab Spring unlike our neighbors does not necessarily mean that we have reached the optimal situation. Quite the opposite; in spite the fact that in Jordan the system can work under pressure, the progressive innovative steps are only taken when pressure is reduced, accordingly it is now the time to transform.

Successful operations for any organization/state rely on 3 pillars, Tools/Technology, Processes, and People, successful transformation cannot happen excluding any.

 The good news is that in Jordan our Operating system/Tools (The states’ foundations and organizations) is in a way is still valid and did not lose the legitimacy or the basic functionality and can still absorb upgrades and efficiency in the ways improved processes can be executed with better governance.

Our Processes (The states’ laws, and regulations) currently in place require massive disruptive innovative restructuring, specially the processes concerning qualifying people for the new challenges, namely the educational process responsible for preparing Human resources to work in the private sector, leadership position in public service, or elected members of the Parliament, the outcome of the educational process is the People who are the input to every formula.

The latest Transformation methodology followed and developed by global players is the agile methodology allowing organizations a less risky path avoiding Big Bang transformations. The Agile methodology consists of setting small steps (Sprints) where intermediate incremental value realizations can be delivered as we go.  Having considerable small achievements with time fuels the change agents’ commitment as they progress and the community/organization feel the success. Those small steps have to follow the known SMART definition being; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bounded. Acting SMART will allow us to asses at every step the consistency with strategy, feel the value progressively, avoid exhaustive deviations and avoid the tunnel effect with improved collective predictability of the progress.

People Transformation has been identified as the biggest challenge in transformation programs, and it was clear that the soft changes related to peoples’ acceptance of change is actually the hardest part of the change, the trigger to change is build the evidence for people to adopt the change themselves before they are requested to adapt to it, , they need to feel it represent a continuous common interest to them, they need to see themselves as a part of the big picture. People’s resistance to change was always an excuse to the authorities and the status quo forces benefiting from the existing situation to avoid providing the right level of personal freedoms, freedom of expression and fair representation of people. Relying on the community’s Inertia; the above has been a very common excuse to maintain the one man one vote electoral law for more than 20 years.

With the new Electoral law, Decentralization law and many other corrective actions being processed, let us not just hope that Transformation is in production, but also we need to work on being part of a successful transformation of our country from a rentier dependent in debt state to a productive, sustainable democratic state. To do so, we need to be Agile maintaining the big dreams but fighting smaller battles achieving incremental victories.