Wow! Is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about CCELD (Caribbean Canada Emerging Leaders Dialogue). This is only after the mental and physical fatigue from 19 hour flights; engaging discussions and sleep deprivation. However, when I had a chance to recuperate and really reflect, the 2-week CCELD Study Tour was worth it.
The study tour was a re-tooling exercise that has provided me with renewed confidence and a re-wired thinking as a person working in an NGO. After seeing that across the globe, whether Caribbean or Canada, NGO’s private and public sectors are faced with similar difficulties and even failure at different degrees. What was a great take away was that by embracing failure, NGO’s and businesses have had to re-engineer their thinking and apply new strategies and ‘stickability’ to keep their organizations afloat and relevant.
In my many dialogues the ability to draw from my experience with PCW was a savior. What was made even clearer was that PCW has remained or incorporated an adaptive or change mode as part of its culture or normal way of functioning. Culture and strategy were heartily discussed and at the end of the day it was agreed that “culture eats strategy”.
Again, I could relate to this despite it was presented from a management perspective. I was able to see the action or practice within PCW in the form of maintaining the legacy, standards and professionalism which has over time been interwoven or engrained into the organization, its leadership and transferred to membership.
After full immersion into the importance of understanding diversity, ethics and good governance, the impact of information technology, importance of relationships and shared vision, modernization and innovation, perseverance, social entrepreneurship, cultural intelligence, engagement and inclusion, at the end of the day, it was clear that whatever the strategy/approach employed, the driver for success, growth and sustainability for all the organizations – private or public sector, civil society – rest firmly on having quality leadership.
The Study Tour from a personal side, not only retooled but qualified the importance of NGO’s and more importantly gave me the opportunity to self-evaluate the level or quality of service already provided and how we could improve on this. I walked away with an understanding of the bigger picture – a clearer perspective and a renewed commitment to examine what strategies, tools or skills need to be sharpened to further engage, align and advance the organization.
The CCELD 2015 Study Tour was a defining moment.