06 February, 2015

Saudi Gazette | Saudi ministers should innovate and be role models

Saudi ministers should innovate and be role models
Sun, 01 Feb 2015 11:18:20 AST
Saudi Gazette |
The Cabinet change and the inclusion of 12 new ministers, appointment of new heads in various government directorates and support for the citizen was the talk of society. In fact, it was an acceleration of the ongoing reforms initiated by the late King Abdullah, may God rest his soul.

What was eye catching in the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques King Salman's reshuffle was the inclusion of new and younger faces in the Cabinet, which has been described as the government of the future.

They are entrusted with the task of a meaningful transformation. The world today is moving at a fast pace and we cannot afford to lag behind. We have the financial resources and the human capital. Good governance and quality education can steer the country to greater heights.

Thus the onus on the new appointees is great. After the initial euphoria of their appointment and the flowery words of congratulations from family and friends they now need to reflect upon the herculean task ahead. And mind you it's not an easy task, especially for ministers who have a responsibility towards the public.

Education, health and social affairs need innovative solutions to address the many challenges up ahead. This cannot be done overnight. It needs research, dedication and sincere teamwork to influence change. Ministers should lead by example and leave their egos at home. They should have the humility to acknowledge that they don't know it all. They must acquire the art of listening.

I would like to remind our Ministers to begin with a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity and threat) analyses of their ministries. For ministries should be managed as successful corporations. They should think outside the box, not forget to attract and retain good people, empower women and involve the youth. They should have an advisory board. However the test of having a quality advisory board is not to have to pay for their participation in the board. Only the sincere and the genuine should be included.

Ministers are like Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of corporations. They need to lead by setting good examples, apply ethics and honesty at work. Leadership is about service and not position. Why should a minister not be in his office by 8:00 a.m.?

There are also many examples to follow, the likes of Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia. How humble they were and how they catapulted their respective states to progress.

King Salman has pledged progress and development. He himself is a very disciplined and austere person and a role model to follow. Do not disappoint him and the citizens.

The writer is Editor-at-Large. He can be reached at kalmaeena@saudigazette.com.sa and followed on Twitter:@KhaledAlmaeena

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