Thursday, 10 July 2014 19:14

A painstaking journey towards a more rejuvenated BEDCO:

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A glance at the reorganisation exercise at the Corporation
After picking bones from near collapse following a spate of shenanigans that had bedevilled BEDCO, the Corporation bit the lower lip and vowed not to drown, but to reincarnate from the ashes. The coming of Mr Robert Likhang as Chief Executive Officer by secondment from the Centre for Accounting Studies into the BEDCO’s fold a year ago has seen marshalling of a new rejuvenation plan, a plan that seeks to pull the Corporation from the doldrums to which it had been thrown. It is now close to two decades of the reorganisation exercise, the Corporation is breathing new life. A number of developments aptly attest to the new vision, mission and strategic direction that the Corporation has vowed to take to make a turnaround. This is not for any individual’s benefit, but it is for the good of entrepreneurial development in Lesotho, which is at the heart of the Government of Lesotho. It would be remiss of the Government of Lesotho not take noble steps towards development of enterprise in the country as it is the engine room of economic growth.  This must not only be fashionably be uttered in political rhetoric, but must be shown in actions. For the past decade or so, the Government of Lesotho’s annual budget speeches delivered by various ministers of Finance have carried the catch phrase – ‘Private sector is the engine of economic growth. it is up time these words turned into action.

Likhang was able to bring to the fold, a rejuvenation and has been averse to calling it transformation or reincarnation as the two connote reinvention of the wheel, when it practical terms it is not, but building on what was already in the pipeline and just giving it shape. For example, introduction of Ichorise Mohoebi is not a completely new phenomenon at BEDCO, as it is enterprise development, which has existed for decades, but the project was injection of new energy to move the ship forward.

The rejuvenation has also been seen through rebranding of the organisation to give it flavour in the eyes of the onlookers, its stakeholders and all those with whom it constantly comes into contact. New banners, promotional material and many more bear testimony to the new visioning at BEDCO. As an addition to the rebranding exercise, a new Department of Communications and Marketing was created to specifically work on the internal and external image of BEDCO. By crafting comprehensive marketing and public relations programmes, the Department will ensure that the favourable image of the Corporation is created and sustained.

Internally, that it to say, at human resource level, changes also took place – a new organisational structure was crafted, with intent to breathe life into the performance of the Corporation. Introduction of new portfolios and reshuffling of staff to redeploy them to where they will make the needed impact has added value to the organisation. New performance management systems and the writing of new job descriptions has also been with intent to improve delivery.

Of critical importance is that there were no job loses or retrenchments as the case may be, but people were moved from point A to point B so that they unleash their potentials where they are most suited. Without saying, remuneration packages also changed dramatically to place directors, managers, senior officers, supervisors and the general staff at least at par with their colleagues in other like-minded organisations. Without delving on the theoretical perspectives that remuneration has proven that it is not the only motivator for good performance, but it does add value to people’s expected performance and delivery. Human resource management experts could argue that most retention strategies involve good remuneration packages that organisations must reconsider. After all, most people turn down their offers at interview level because the remuneration packages offered do not meet their expectations. It can be argued further, as it is the reason why most people leave their current jobs.

Another injector that has been brought to the fold as part of the rejuvenation exercise is that of the positive attitude to work, the work ethic in other words. It would be futile for Likhang to think of injecting changes by leaving the attitude change dimension. It is the cardinal point to all these mentioned changes. Even if salaries would be raised, rebranding done and reorganisation be effected with intent to improving BEDCO, if attitude to work (work ethic) still remained the same, it would not benefit the organisation. Therefore, the management of BEDCO, led by Likhang is working towards change of attitude and work ethic within themselves first, and then inject this spirit of being results-oriented to their subordinates. Change of attitude does not come overnight, but is a result of painstaking work of gradually making an impression that if approach to work was done in a different manner, it would yield more results for the organisation. There is therefore a lot to do with changing people’s attitudes and this sometimes has to do with deeply-entrenched traditions of doing things that are imbedded in the minds of people. New ways of moving them to change for the better requires a skill in people management. Humanistic approaches argue that dealing with the social fabric of the employees at work can work positively for a manager who desires to see attitude change. These involve staff welfare mechanisms at work that introduce new social ties and new thinking in the social life of employees. New traditions such as staff trips and outings, social networks such as social clubs, new staff uniform, new offices, regular staff meetings where employees are kept abreast with new developments in the organisation as well as introduction of staff awards for rewarding excellence in work performance as well as in discipline add value to people seeing change and adapting to it. BEDCO is in the way to introduce these for it to see the expected change in the manner its employees approach work.

The last major change that BEDCO under the stewardship of Likhang has introduced is that of changes in the programmatic content of the Corporation. Without reinventing the wheel as earlier mentioned, changes in the shape of programmes has been effected to inject better performance. Such changes to mention a few are the introduction of the Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation Programme with a manager and officers has injected change in the manner officers, especially managers see things.  This does not imply that there was no planning, monitoring and evaluation done at BEDCO before, but introduction of a new portfolio in that regard creates a good impression that PME is being taken seriously and with more focused attention to it and its detail.

As the rejuvenation takes shape, the organisation works towards seeing more results coming its way. This will be ensured by comprehensive organisational, programmatic and individual performance appraisals that intend to assess how the organisation and those charged with responsibilities fare in their areas of operation. The results of performance of the organisation will be put together and communicated to the stakeholders during a Stakeholders’ Forum that will from this year, be held annually. This is a platform that is envisaged to grant all stakeholders of the Corporation a grand opportunity to meet with the organisation and get a glimpse of how it executes the mandate conferred on it.


Aluta Continua!

Additional Info

  • In This Photo:: Mr Robert Likhang (CEO)