What businesswomen want from PortiaMonday, January 16, 2012
PRIME Minister Portia Simpson Miller took her oath of office a couple weeks ago, amidst high expectations that she will be able to take Jamaica forward into prosperity for all. All Woman shares with you this week the expectations that women from the corporate world have of the island's first female prime minister.
Marsha Smikle, managing director, Delivery Solutions:
As it relates to business, I really expect an environment that is safe so I can conduct my business and feel safe about doing it. I would also like to see a reduction in interest rates that if I want to expand my business, I am able to do so with manageable interest rates and a stable dollar.
Dorothea Gordon-Smith, president, Women Business Owners Jamaica:
I expect that as a woman, she will basically allow us as entrepreneurs to continue our growth and to mentor. We are sure that she will ensure that the women business organisations grow in the land as this will further develop our country since women are better at (having) lesser risks for debt.
Nadine Gooden, managing director, International Business and Language Consulting:
My major concern is always focused on matters that will positively impact my country and its people. My major areas of expectation include an integrated system of governance which will see persons of varying socio-economic and cultural backgrounds feeling a part of the decision-making process fuelled by greater transparency. I would also like to see the continued improvement in our education system, with greater focus on entrepreneurial training and assistance, a continued reduction in interest rates and further advancement in infrastructure development and increased foreign investment. Most importantly, I would like to see a clear display of objectivity in our policymaking — the retention of the positives where possible, and a review of the negatives for the overall sustainable development of our country.
Karen Fitz Ritson, director, Fitz Ritson and Associates
One of the important rules of running a successful business is keeping close to your clients and keeping them satisfied. This philosophy can translate into any business model when a few key ingredients are always adhered to. These include:
1. Always talk to your clients, in this case the country. Whether it's good or bad that is transpiring, keep them informed (and this) will build trust in turn. You would be surprised the good you will generate and how your rewards can bear fruit. In other wards, transparency is critical.
2. Listen to your customers. This is 101 in leadership. For a business, it is important to listen to all of your stakeholders before you make a decision. From the people in the street to your management team, you must be open to two-way dialogue. People must have the opportunity to feel as if they are a part of the process.
3. Stay the course. A sound business needs to have a solid blueprint and this has to be well thought out and developed, with technical personnel with a proven track record for execution. Jamaica does not have the luxury of trial and error any more; we have to hit the ground running and get it right the first time.
One of the global trends that Jamaica needs to engage in is that of social management for the success of the business. This is not driven by profitability first and foremost; it is the training of people with the best fit to execute their jobs and engage them. This is the perfect win/win situation as the profits do grow. Many global companies are moving towards this trend.
I personally think that if we engage people in a positive way, not only will the organisation grow from strength to strength, but these individuals will, in turn, be positive role models for their families and the wider society. This is the Jamaica that I hope the Right Honourable Portia Simpson Miller will lead us towards.