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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Its time...

Its time for the new look Kenya, not so much in its politics, its economy, its religion but in its people. The time for the real shakers to arise. Its a hopeful Kenya a time when we need to be One. One people one Nation.

Its time for me to lift up my neighbour and not be afriad that they will overtake me, time to celebrate them as they run across to the finish line. Time for me to pick up my dusty proposals and ideas well tucked away over the years because the future looked bleak.

Its not so much the constitutional change but the wave it has brought with it, some real freshness and togetherness. i wanna ride on the back of that to reach greater heights.

The beauty is; so can you. You too can pick yourself up and dust and say enough is enough, its time for progress. its time we moved forward, built a better Nation for the good of all Kenyans.

Its that time when courage replaces fear, when quality outshines mediocrity. When the only limitation is you. The time when Africa celebrates a birth of a son, and the whole world notices that Kenya is shifting.

Lets be One.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Church is Growing, where are we heading?

I attended the morning service at Calvary Chapel Kampala on Sunday morning I was very much challenged as a Christian.

Pastor Brian Kelly’s message was The Church is growing, where we heading?
He was giving an introduction to the series the church will study based on the book of Acts to lay out the Vision of the ministry.

He talked on 3 aspects:

The Principle- its simple God grows his Church. (Acts 2:41, 4:4, 5:14, 6:7, 9:31, 11:21, 16:5). All we need to do is preach the Gospel and God will do the rest. No need to come up with extreme mechanism to teach things that compromise the word just so that the numbers increase. We need to grow in depth as well as width.

The Place: The early church met in large numbers in open place, synagogues and the rest what could be likened to our church building, but most importantly they met at their homes and fellow-shipped together. It’s at these small groups that relationships and faith is built where we actually sow seeds to grow the church.
And this is where the church is failing. We do not built altars in our homes to raise God to our families we have left that responsibility to the pastors. It’s our responsibility each one to him/herself first, then family, then our neighbors then the whole world.

The People- this involves those that we end up giving the responsibilities to help our in the ministry of the church. Now this is where the wake-up call came from.

Right now the world over and in particular Kenya we are pointing fingers at the rot in the leadership of the church and we forget that the leaders are picked from amongst the flock, the congregation the body of the church. So the leadership is but a reflection of the flock, yes it’s their responsibility to steer the group but it’s not their responsibility to work out your salvation...for that my dear the onus is on you.

We have given up the coming together of believers we visit the church building once a week or whenever there is a concert. We have compromised the standards of the gospel we have lowered the standards in the name of reaching out and we are the ones who have propagated the devils agenda and made it easy for him to sit amongst us. We compete to grow in numbers but not in faith we look good when we attract the celebrities and have the flyest worship team we compete for airplay, our worship is empty and full of gymnastics we sing songs that mention God once twice and we ok that we doing gospel songs. What does that even mean the gospel, what does it mean to you as a Christian. Well all we doing is growing in width but not depth.

Let’s be like the Berean’s who tested every word that was given to them. We read not the word, pray less, fast when we broke and then fall prey to any doctrine that comes our way.

The church in Kenya [and the world over]needs to wake up. What we need is not to have the kadhis court or whatever else removed in the constitution; we have the best constitution the world can ever have, The Bible. If we follow what it says and speak the message of love the whole world will listen.

Let’s not be too complacent as Christians to even forget that the greatest commandment is Love. We will not have to worry about census results that have not been released to indicate Christians or Muslims are more we need not worry coz God grows his church and that is a fact.

My walk with the Lord has surely been tested and put to my face and as I was looking at my report card I couldn’t help but wonder if the figure I was looking at was my fee balance or my position.

But I have made a resolve. My ministry and that of every Christian is to know God and make him known. Its self explanatory you cannot make him known if u know him not. And I wanna know him and the best way is to find time with him. Seek his face.

I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, says the Lord of Lords.

That’s my prayer for Kenya, not so much a new constitution but a rebirth of Godly people.

Have a fulfilling week.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Just a few thots...

At times we just decide to limit our own ability and shove it right under our fears. I do believe that if you do put your heart to it you can manage it.

Well at times it helps to get a platform on which to ride your ideas on but most of the time it just needs you to do away with limitations that you impose on thine self.

Again in takes tact to realize an idea. At times you need to note that we all crave for attention and recognition as the that i have come to find the biggest obstacle.

so yes tact is what you need to get behind the big egos and recognition hungry people. So you have an idea and present it like a suggestion which then the guy above can present as an idea to the steering team and at the end of the day you both get what you want. You the chance to do what you like and him the limelight, which believe you me will fall back on you coz the much ammunition you give him is just enough to kill all the obstacles, bu the the ammo for opening "the safe" remains with you and hence the true players will be revealed at a much later stage.

so if you involved in change implementation, set you ego aside, your time is coming.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

GE Transition post-Jack Welch: How has it been?

Management Leadership Development – Welch institutionalized it – it is now an ongoing process in GE.

It is how we managed to go on without him at the helm. There was a leadership team that managed the affairs of the company and clear common goals.

Why did he do it? He saw that the company needs to be different in the new century; the challenges it would face were globalization. We needed to forge new partnerships with corporations and countries.

Jeffery R. Immelt, Chairman and CEO of General Electric, was picked by Jack Welch and the leadership team to reconstruct the company.
Welch was a non-celebrity CEO – this was one of his strong points and also that he helped make a leadership team at GE in his 20 year tenure as CEO.
GE has 300,000 employees and 20,000 leaders

Titles are not what carry the day at GE but ideas and an ability to influence people.

John Rice's visit to Africa:
  • To learn: not to impose creed and decree
  • To support the Africa Team
  • To experience Africa : it matters more to be in touch with what people go through on the ground to best represent their interests and issues at the top.

What contributes great leadership?

(a) Core Ethical Behaviour - they must have trust embedded in their DNA.

(b) Smart – a great leader must be smart enough to know his subject but must not be the smartest – this give him license to ask stupid questions.

(c) Passionate – people love hanging around passionate people – it's infectious.
Great learners – great leaders are continually learning – it’s a life-long commitment. GE is a learning laboratory.

(d) Energize others – Infect others with energy. The further you go the further you will rise in responsibilities to lead a team effort. It's about technical efforts but about enrolment in a problem to be solved, a customer to be contacted… A leader has to be clever and focused enough to energize people to get 110% effort output from them.

A leader is a steward over resources; people, cash, assets, intellectual capital [ideas] created synergies and influencing skills.

Q&A Session:

How did GE handle the recession?

We at GE learnt that business have cycles, Economies have cycles. As such we took out cost. We re-strategized and cut on dividends as well as focused on how we would want to look after the recession.

GE has a keen focus on management training, what advice would you offer businesses and governments in Africa?

It takes time, money and resources. At GE we have 3 leadership courses that I and Jeffery R. Immelt attend at any given time. We encourage entire teams to attend since when they get back to their stations they are most likely to work as a team to achieve goals as opposed to one person who would attend, this spurs competition instead of team work.

What is the leadership challenge that GE faces today?

We are present in 160 countries each of which has a set of challenges. Most countries are against shipping in of products and exportation of profits. Local investment is what will carry the day and as such at GE our ongoing question is the right kind of global footprint to have where. This calls for judicious capital allocation which is a tough question as it is.

What do you do to institutionalize innovation at GE?

We have 2,730 patents registered in the US and what we have ongoing discovered what carries the day is local innovations to handle local problems. We have recently rolled out a hand held Ultra Sound Scan device that can reach the farthest rural home to offer ante-natal care to a pregnant woman who would have not gotten it prior to the innovation. In the recession we did not cut our R&D budget, if anything we increased it and we will grow it consistently. As a company we allow for failure – we learn from it.

In a city that has 300,000 thousand inhabitants, not every resident gets to see the Mayor. How do you manage to maintain the personal touch at GE?

We have broad based communication that we make as personal as possible. We also have web-chat on our website. We also have iPod downloads whereby I am casually interviewed randomly on a random question then this is sent out to all employees as a podcast. This has elicited a personal feel for every employee in the company.

When I am on the ground I have Town Hall meetings as well as round Table meetings all this amounts to a lot of personal touch. I landed at 4:00am and at 7:00am I was having a meeting with the Kenyan Team to give them a listening ear on what they would like to be addressed.

What is your view of your Africa especially so since it contributes 3.5BN $ in sales; a 2% of global sales for GE?

We have seen that there is a lot of potential in Africa going by the numbers we have seen in the last 5years where there was 500M $ in sales in 2004 compared to 3.5BN $ in 2009. This clearly shows that Africa is full of potential. We may not be able to open service shops everywhere but through the GE Foundation we have helped in the opening hospitals with state of the art technology.

The relation between CSR and Capital is that sustainability occurs where there is a reasonable expectation of profit; capital will definitely grow. Tough problems are calling for tough solutions and people need to invest in the solving of these. This is what makes innovation to grow.

The challenge in Africa is that there are 54 countries all with different governments some of which are unstable. The challenge is not the change of guard in these governments as the stability of rules. In the US we have a new president who is not doing things the way his predecessor was doing. We have major health reforms. In Japan, there was a change in the law on financing that cost us 700M $. It is this challenges that often form the risk of our business. It is very interesting to note that investing in Venezuela right now is risky. No investment has no risk to it. The change in risk needs to be looked at vis-à-vis the Return on Investment. There is also the question of corruption which is not only in Africa but in Europe too.

Integrity is a key value at GE.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Answer is in the Interface

A system is a rather complex way of operation, you see every individual unit is perfectly capable of operation on its own and is perfectly functional in its own eyes.

But take a peek at a car say we look at the wheels. All the four [or more] are perfectly shaped to rotate thus propelling motion. How interesting would it be if each wheel decided to go on its own, or better still if you took the 4 and placed them in the middle of the road how ridiculous would that be.

And so it is with change management. We are dealing with a system, a conglomeration of units that are all functional and perfectly wired to operate independently. But their functionality becomes absolutely useless if they operate on their own. They need to interface with other units this is a must if system is to run. And therefore as we manage change it’s vital that we look critically at what points do the units of the system interface.

As a change manager you cannot ignore the clash of egos, the change of comforts and the opinion leaders across these interfaces hence the main area of concern is how to make these units interface peacefully.

The best way would be to rally every unit leader behind the change and ensure they buy into the change in totality not for the benefit of their unit but for the entire system. That way we can have one foot firmly into the Change so desired.

Friday, March 26, 2010


It would be wise if you were an ice cream seller to convince the dad the benefits of his kids taking ice cream and it would be even wiser if you let the kids be the ones to taste the flavours you are selling.

Why so? its the dad who will pay for it and for him all matter is whether its worth committing himself.
For the kid its all about whether they like the flavour doesnt matter if you sell 10,000 pieces to their dad if they don't like it they won't take it.

I do believe in the same manner proponents of change need to have a very convincing argument that can sell to the management, (more so the department heads) for any effective change to be implemented. Its is a lot easier to get a system through if you fully sell the benefits to the decision maker, the resource person of the department. Reason being if the juniors run into trouble during implementation they will run back to him and woe unto you if you are a Change Manager and your resource person is clueless.

Now its good to have all the knowledge but since you are the head most of the time you do the thinking and let the legs do the walking the hand the feeling the eyes the seeing. In other words you will buy the ice cream but you will not eat it. In line with this the Change Manager must ensure he gets the relevant persons for every process to be the ones to push through any change. With all due respect as much as you do the thinking you shouldn't do the operations as well.

This is the best way to fail in a project, because no matter how much you sell the idea to management, if your operations team do not get it no matter how many ice cream you sell they will not take it.

Thots of a Budding Change Manager (me)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The ah ha! Moment of Change Management

The ah ha! moment in system change is the best moment for any team leader. I do believe we do look at change in very many angles and leave out the most crucial of things.

A project will never meet its objects unless 3 things are taken care of properly; The Why, What and How of the project... and thats why I say an ah ha! moment is critical.

Its only until the Change Managers get to a point where they see the intricacies involved that they can move forward. When everyone appreciates the depth they have to go to get the things done.

4 things are key in the generation of the ah ha! moment.

  • One the Project: this is basically the object you are working on. Can be a process, a system, etc.

  • Two the Purpose: it would be important to outline the specific objectives you are trying to achieve. Why are we doing this project? should be a good question to ask.

  • Three the Particulars: Its important to get down to the specifics of what will change. be it the tools, procedures, structures name them. Clear outline of what will change and what u expect the end result to be like. This is where it all begins to be tough

  • Four the People: The most important part of the Change lies here. Many people think that the people need to fit to the change, yet its the change that should place the people. The change involved will essentially change how people work, a common reason for resistance to change because it involves altering someone's comfort. Hence its at this point that one needs to spend most time in the project. Managing the people who will effect the change so desired. You will need to outline what it is they will need to do differently. Its important to remember that each individual is that unit of change so desired in the System.
They need to have the Awareness of the change needed, develop the Desire to change, have the Knowledge on what needs/has to change, have the Ability to institute that change and have Reinforcement to sustain that Change in form of tools, procedures, policies, structure and if necessary man power to help bring the change.

Now the ah ha! moment will only be effective if it helps the project sponsors and project teams visualize this; short of which we might as well go look for Makmende!

Thots of a budding Change Manager (me)