Any airplane is off the track much of the time but just keeps coming back to the flight plan. Eventually, it arrives at its destination. This is true with all of us as individuals, families, or organizations. The key is to have an “End in Mind” and a shared commitment to constant feedback and constant course correction.
Stephen R. Covey in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”
In the airplane metaphor above, the airplane, once in flight is impacted upon by all sorts of natural forces (wind, elements, electromagnetic waves, its own shape, and weight etc…) all of which tend to continuously take the plane off its track and hence deviate it from its flight plan.
These forces are manifestations of principles of science that man can never wish away. Only strong leadership – in the cockpit focused on the set destination will make the difference.
Rwanda, just like any other Country is not very much unlike an airplane that is flying. Her development is also impacted upon by all sorts of natural forces (diversity, conflict, insecurity, greed, population growth …) all of which tend to continuously take us off the development track and hence deviate us from our overall development plans (policies, missions, strategies …).
These distracting forces are also manifestations of principles of science we are not endowed to simply wish away. In the analogy above, the country too has or had to design and put in place its instruments to counteract the negative forces that by nature derail us from our development plans in the form of, for example, the supreme law of the land (constitution), the army against foreign detractors and uncalled for wars, the police for safety and against internal insecurity, the cabinet manual, ministerial policy documents etc, etc…
The difference between the plane and the country is that the plane is much smaller, infinitely less complex and if the detractive laws of science loom large over the horizon, then the airplane need not depart.
In addition, the plane could be diverted to a safer destination or make an emergency landing. Unfortunately, the country does not have those options for she is same/like a plane that is always flying and can never have the joy to land!
Her origin, her destination and the routing thereto are simply implanted and imprinted in and on the minds of some men (leaders). In spite of these complications, the analogy in the metaphor still holds.
An airplane is equipped with sophisticated navigation instruments. These instruments are designed to counteract (also as dictated by the principles of science) so as to oppose the negative forces pulling the airplane down, backwards and diverting if off track and to be manipulated by the captain of the plane in-order to keep afloat, moving forward and returning the plane on course each time there is a deviation– as per flight plan until it hits (arrives) at its destination.
The flight plan is drawn and filed by the captain after studying his origin, his destination and the possible routes from this origin to that destination, studying and matching or mapping his instruments on to his destination. In all the above, the captain is assisted by his crew and hordes of ground operational staff and subjected to guidance and approval processes by air traffic control systems in place.
The flight plan is made live on take-off – departure. It is actually the flight plan that ensures that the destination (End in Mind) remains in focus and the commitment to constant feedback and constant course correction is cemented by that same team process or spirit established among the crew, the operational staff on ground and the regulatory air traffic control system in place.
In case of Rwanda, this origin or departure point was set to Year 2000 because that is exactly when the consultative process at Village URUGWIRO (the captains, their crew, their horde of ground operational staff and control processes) collectively affirmed that they could put together a 20 year development plan (Flight Plan) and solemnly and with unwavering passion, be committed to it for the period to provide constant feedback and constant course correction to the plan and in favour of the captain or chief pilot(the executive arm of government).
To become effective, an organizational vision statement must (the theory states) become assimilated into the organization’s culture. Leaders have the responsibility of communicating the vision regularly, creating narratives that illustrate the vision, and acting as role-models by embodying the vision, creating short-term objectives compatible with the vision, and encouraging others to craft their own organizational and personal versions of the vision compatible with the all encompassing and overall vision.
For an individual, a family, an enterprise or even a Nation, A vision statement is sometimes called their “picture in the future” but it’s so much more than that and very often answering the question “Where do we want to go?”
A vision statement is an inspiration to the beholder, the framework for all forms of endeavour for that beholder and especially for activities arising out of politics, policies, missions, plans, objectives, goals, disasters etc...
Features of an effective vision statement include a vivid and clear picture of some bright (dream) future, characterized by realistic aspirations and very much aligned to the beholder’s individual or organizational values and culture. The wording of the vision statement must be memorable and engaging with no room for ambiguity and no sacrifice of clarity.
Once this “End in Mind” or development destination is well elaborated and becomes a unitary whole and is well set in the minds of the captains, their crew, their operational staff and the control systems, only then will the development plan be set in motion and only then will it have a chance of success. This is by far the hardest hurdle in any national development process.