Monday, 30 August 2010
People Above The Place
I interviewed prominent Emirati businessman Ali Al Bawardi some years ago and recall being struck at the time by his assertion that all too often, businesses here invested in the place over the people - throwing up world class infrastructure but then bringing in cheap, unqualified and under-empowered people to operate that infrastructure, often with poor management to oversee them. Result: world class infrastructure that doesn't work very well.
It's a thought that came to mind over the weekend as a routine checkup once again brought me into contact with the excellent medical staff, superb facilities and bumbling, plodding administration of the American Hospital in Dubai.
It's an odd type of materialism, this belief in the solidity and value of physical infrastructure rather than human capital. In part, it must be driven by the transience of the human component - you don't invest in people or develop them, you just buy them in when you need them. Because they're only temporary, they're not trusted (and only trusted staff are empowered staff) and so they are forced to conform to rote systems and have no power to deal with any eventuality that falls outside that system.
This is all very fine and dandy, but we're left to deal with the result of this process as it gazes at the screen, drooling and clicking away listlessly, trying to avoid coming to the moment when it has to look up and accept that yes, they've goofed everything up and no, there's nothing that can be done.
From The Dungeons
(Photo credit: Wikipedia ) I clearly want to tell the world about A Decent Bomber . This is perfectly natural, it's my latest...