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So we moan and we groan about LIAT. Everyone of us has a friend or a relative who works with or has worked with LIAT. And these are nice people like all other Caribbean people. So how is it that LIAT continues to be un-nice??
I put it to you that LIAT cannot be other than it is, given the culture and circumstances in which it finds itself. And don't tell me that privatisation could change things. Other airlines in the region have tried that route without any stunning success and soon fizzled out. The analogy I often use to point out the impact of culture: Take any five people who go to church and watch how they behave while in church - one of the traditional churches (not Soca Baptists). They will conform and be quiet and conduct themselves in a particular way. Those same persons if you observe them at their favourite sport during a competition at a decisive moment - you would not believe those were the same persons. So LIAT is the way it is because...
Is the region known for consistent astute strategic management in private or public sector? Or do persons get thrust into management for reasons other than their track record of managing people and logistics well? Is the region known for delivering service excellence that the customer pays for? Or have we all taken the firm position that we are not the type of people you can pay to be nice to people. That we will choose to do that for free to those whom we choose but you can't pay us to do it? Are the people of our region generally respectful of time and schedules? Are we good at managing and coordinating logistics? Do we even want to or do we prefer the excitement of happenstance? Do we prefer to fly by the seat of our pants (or of those things other genders fill)? I see LIAT personnel trying to joggle in their minds the rescheduling of multiple destinations and multiple passengers and luggage when there are changes, delays and breakdowns. That is not an activity that is trusted to the human brain in many operations around the world these days. There is software and other tools that do that better than a young lady standing in front of several male customers who are exuding pheromones and so on and so on.
Until CLP and other initiatives transform our region and the mindset of its peoples to provide an environment that demands and supports service excellence and highly efficient operations, LIAT and the West Indies Cricket Team shall continue muddling through ... and dare I say happily.
I'm just saying...
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