Sun | Nov 19, 2017

Business as usual is dead -- Reid

Published:Sunday | October 22, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Contributed Dr Winston Adams (right), executive chairman of the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean , shares the spotlight with panellists at a conference it recently. Others sharing the moment are (from left) Professor Dennis J. Gayle, UCC executive chancellor; Sir Kenneth Hall, former governor general of Jamaica and special advisor to the UCC Board; Professor Henry Lowe, scientist and entrepreneur; and Senator Ruel Reid, Minister of Education Youth and Information.

Education Minister Ruel Reid has accepted that the Government will have to lead the paradigm shift towards the creation of wealth, using technology and innovation in Jamaica.

According to Reid, new approaches to leadership at the policy level are required, and he is committed to lead the drive for innovation at his ministry.

"Business as usual is dead - we must now shift to a paradigm of business extraordinary. This will mean a new focus, a new mindset and cultural orientation for our people," declared Reid at a recent conference hosted by the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean in Kingston under the theme 'Innovation, Technology, Leadership - A Paradigm Shift'.

PREPARINGFORTHEFUTURE

Reid, who also has Cabinet responsibility for youth and information, argued that what will determine the kind of future the country enjoys is the preparation of Jamaica's people for inevitable technological changes.

He argued that this will require greater innovation by universities like the UCC and more emphasis on, especially, value-added and exploratory innovation.

"Value-added innovation may require a completely new way of thinking, and possibly taking new risks. The innovative leader must gauge if (and how much) risk and radical thinking are involved in the value-added innovation to determine which leadership style to use in a situation. The leader must be flexible (and) able to switch leadership behaviour when necessary," said Reid.

He added that exploratory innovation is characterised by search, discovery, and experimentation.

"It focuses on generating new ideas, products, and strategies, in contrast to exploitative innovation, which focuses on building and extending already existing ideas," said Reid, as he added that exploratory innovation requires flexibility, opportunism, adaptability, and leaders to provide intellectual stimulation to their subordinates."