Just the other day, I told a friend just how much I loved policies. I enjoy discussing, analyzing and mostly questioning policies. His response was, “Of course you do, Eldine. It’s because of your desire to manage things.” At first I did not quite agree, but now I should probably thank him for pointing it out.
This started an interesting discussion around leadership, management and policy. Turns out people who are comfortable in the driver’s seat are comfortable with policies. Policies are to leaders the fuel to their vehicles. It is what helps one go from an idea to an action and consequently to the final results.
Policies can rule the world if we let them. To do that, you need to understand and use them for the purpose they are intended. Their importance lies behind the process of creation and adoption. The path of critical research and data analysis is one that allows for connection with the issues at the table.
Let us look at the transportation sector for example (and because it is close to home for me). How do we create the right policies to promote the participation, empowerment and parity for women in the Transport sector? The very first step will be to conduct research focused on creating a framework for benchmarking and tracking the participation and influence of women as transportation workers, entrepreneurs and leaders. We do this to build indicators and measures of the past and current conditions, and set the baseline to gauge future success.
Only then are we in a position to create policies to strengthen conditions through training methodologies, best practices and policy options. This process will allow policy makers to acquire analytical and evaluation skills to allow them to align and simplify policies. They will also have acquired skills to be able to harmonize regulations and avoid the risk of diverging from international standards. You see, so much work goes into just setting the base for the creation of policies. And even more work when it comes to the adoption and implementation stage. More importantly, there is a connection that is established as the policies makers engage with the end user. That is, in my opinion the most pertinent part of the whole process. And that is how to run the world!