Getting airborne dictates that you must have a flight Ppan. Your route clearly defined, your resources, fuel and support systems have been checked and double checked. Whilst in flight there must be constant monitoring and evaluations….constant. There is a reliability on the technology and the science of instrumentalism.

Regarding governance and leadership it means that you have defined the future first, and you have determined and developed who are the people (team) the skills and expertise that will take you there. Leadership skills and influence are most needed in this concept of Flight Planning. Outcomes, deliverables, and noble goals infuse these leadership skills and techniques with positive impact.

The effective flight planner, must be aware of the operating model plans for the journey.

Many Leaders today have voiced frustrations regarding their ability to drive strategic change and transformation. To be honest, they have struggled with their flight planning.

Failure to consult and seek proper strategic advice and direction, defeats the crew resource management concept. Flight planners rely on the expertise and do not venture into turbulence or challenging flight routes without guidance, experience and specific skill sets. Most of the times, we have seen this approach fail when our leaders fail to engage the professional button on the annunciator panel, and instead replace professionalism with politics.

They know what actions and decisions they need, to drive or fly the aircraft through its turbulence. But in reality, they do not gain traction and many flights/journeys are significantly affected.

One leader said “we know what needs to happen, and we must adjust our strategy. But our execution is poor and we can’t transform fast enough. We have to get better at fixing the plane while it’s flying.”

As we as a nation, a country facing turbulence and challenging flight routes ahead, we will have to master the approach of “fixing the plane while it’s flying.” It implies speed, focus and accuracy. Wrong and untimely decisions at this stage can be perilous. However, informed decision making and consultative best practices are key to bringing order in the confines of our leadership cockpit.

Our leaders would need to work on a variety of critical components without making the plane spin out of control. In many ways, “fixing the plane while it’s flying” represents a paradox — to fix the overall system, you have to work on its component parts over time.

Our time frames are extremely critical, our people and citizens are fully dependent on us. Every button we press, every lever we touch, every adjustment we make on our working parts would and can have a serious impact to keeping airborne, keeping our compass fixed and keeping our control columns intact.

There comes a time, when the flight route demands the input of the professionals, because there is no room for mistakes and the life of a nation depends on the in-cockpit decision making.

Trinidad and Tobago…… “We Have To Fix This Plane while it’s flying!”