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Unit 3: Human Resource Development

Unit 3, dramatizes the "respect due" to every human being as a person, a resource and as a member of the community as well as an active participant in the global economy. The unit introduces ten attributes of human qualities that are the foundation for optimizing the human experience in education, production and performance.

The unit focuses on establishing the basis for human capital this being the premier investment of the future.


 UNIT 3: Session I: Unique Human Qualities & the Global Context of Development.

This topic is included in the course material to dramatize the "respect due" to every human being as a person, a resource and as a member of the community.

The following ten attributes describes human qualities that are the foundation for optimizing the human experience in education, production and performance.

1. Humans reflect on their own thinking processes. When confronted with an obstacle, humans draw on their mental resources to plan a course of action, monitor that strategy while executing it, then reflect on the strategy to evaluate its productiveness in terms of what it was expected to achieve and accepts responsibility for the outcomes.

2. Humans beings have the unique capacity to synopsize massive amounts of information and to shape raw data into workable patterns.

3. Humans are the only form of life that can store, organize and retrieve data in locations other than our bodies.

4. Humans have a unique capacity to see the parts in relation to the whole and thus to see patterns, congruencies and inconsistencies. In dynamic systems, tiny inputs can reverberate throughout the system, producing dramatically large consequences.

5. Modern scientific thought thrives on the human tendency and capacity to engage in experimental inquiry, to set up procedures to test, to evaluate alternative ideas and to strive for certitude.

6. Human beings are social beings having a compulsive craving to engage with others. Human learn best in groups. Intelligence gets shaped through interaction with others - justifying reasons, resolving differences, actively listening to another person's point of view, achieving consensus and receiving feedback.

7. All human beings have the capacity to generate novel, original, clever, and ingenious products, solutions and techniques that are inventive, creative and innovative.

8. Humans have the capacity to reflect on and learn from experiences. Intelligent people form feelings and impressions about an event; they compare intentions with accomplishment; they analyse why events turned out the way they do; they search for causal factor that produce the effect; they summarize their impressions and based on those analyses they project how they could modify their actions in the future. However, there is an inclination to distort or delete information to suit one's own purposes and biases.

9. Humans are self-actualizing and self-modifying, consciously and deliberately making choices about whether and how they wish to respond. They can alter their habits and can voluntarily select alternative responses. Whereas we might be inclined to be impulsive we can choose to be deliberate; if we are disposed to make pre-mature evaluation we can choose to withhold judgment; when we are habituated into perceiving egocentrically, we can choose to perceive allocentrically. This decision making process requires consciousness and flexibility - being aware of our own and other's actions and drawing on a repertoire of response patterns. Fully functioning human being engage in continuous learning - advance in technology, changes at the workplace and human mobility - discovering underdeveloped capacities - continuing to learn how to learn, how to change and grow, and how to relinquish old patterns and acquire new ones.

10. Humans can discern evil from good, develop a value system that can be understood that can be trusted. The outcome of experience, education and other socialization processes. Humans appreciate beauty of nature, culture or character. Humans take responsibility for their own actions.

The nature of the efficiency deficiency in Caribbean economies is demonstrated by a principal characteristic of current societal pattern of operation that emphasizes the mobility of people and commodities. Firstly, modes of transportation in poor countries deplete human energy, stifle human dignity and waste human time. Secondly, they incur substantial costs for acquisition and maintenance with little chance of meaningful improvement in productivity. Thirdly, they impact the environment severely. Unattended growth affects efficiency negatively - a built in defeat of purpose.

It is the movement that is the problem and so it is the movement that must change. The ownership, politics and inherent importance as a fundamental infrastructure of the productive, commercial and industrial system and network forces authorities to find alternatives whether through the introduction of new systems, technological advancement or alternative sources of energy. The solution may rather be in the reduction of the need.

Transportation, where it does not give pleasure or deliver essential goods or service, is unessential in human terms. It consumes vast quantities of human time, degrades human dignity and consumes vast amount of resources. Time is the ultimate non-renewable resource for which there can be no substitution. The life systems that we need to create therefore, must minimize the movement of people and goods, the use of resources, waste of time on the one hand, and on the other, it must seek to maximize the movement of data, information and other systems and services that support a better quality of life.

The alternative is the creation of more intensive rural and urban community life support systems that fulfill a large number of social, commercial and economic functions through: the integration of central and local government functions; innovative approaches to production through science and technology; collaboration and cooperation; the effective use of tele-communications for education, training, banking, commerce; and recreation.

The information revolution enhances the capability to confront these challenges by facilitating research, thinking and application of solutions. The technology brings thousands of minds and experiences together to solve this immensely complex problem of development, providing instant access, response and dissemination of information.

The industrial revolution measured progress in terms of increase in labour productivity. Even today operators of highly automated factories make decisions to move from one territory to the next based on labour costs and output. In Factor Four - Doubling Wealth, Halving Resource Use, the authors describe a new form of progress, resource productivity, as one which meets the overriding imperative for the future: sustainability. Factor Four Technologies show how at least four times as much wealth can be extracted from the resources used through knowledge, efficient processes and the reduction of waste. This is about doing more with less, revolutionizing productivity in the use of energy, material, water, transport, time, and human energy and knowledge. Is this an answer to the fate of small developing economies to experience prosperity in a reasonable time span?

Caribbean organizational relations and management styles whether described as centralized or decentralized, bureaucratic or streamlined, open or closed, democratic or autocratic, top-down or bottom-up, public or private, are threatened to be overcome by a common set of acquired attributes - corruption and anancyism.

Leadership is about power, with no sense of limitation or enoughness, and is characterised by conceit, greed, and incompetence. The leader on his way to achieve power, compromises so much that when he arrives he is no longer geared to attain what he set out to achieve. The private volunteer retreats in frustration to the comfort of his own environment to escape the masses until the morning. Neither succeeds to face the real issues or spends the time necessary to get the root of problems in order to rigorously pursue effective solutions.

In the network system, leadership is perceived as a pulsar at each node of the network, a driving force emitting energy in the form of thinking, expressing visions, and stimulating thought; in effect, an active participant in the community dialogue. Leadership is defined by contribution, not by status or position of power.

In the transition to the non-hierarchical approach, we cannot underestimate the role of incumbent community leaders and parliamentary representatives. They represent significant potential for collaboration and must therefore understand and buy into this process. Once they are content that the development is not a threat but a way forward, they become meaningful resources, supporters and facilitators of the new process.

The process of reform is an inductive approach in which outsiders play the role of facilitators of change, inspirers of new alternatives and stimulators of development. Pulsars, professional resources, participate to provide expertise, roadmaps and templates for development. They become partners in the process of development that demands an infinite variety of inputs to optimise the use of natural and human resources, methods and practices.

The process promote diversity of inputs and outcomes. It works with what is there, rather than against it - with, structures, human inputs, nature, infrastructure, technology and heritage. The process promotes thoughtful observation, reflection and action, observing people and systems in all their functions allowing them to evolve and express themselves in their own way.

Community members perceive their situation differently. They are experts at determining their needs. Often these are immediate or at best short term. Some are needs sold to them by the market system, needs that not long ago they did not know that they had. It is not often accepted that the knowledge and experience of the community individually and collectively, is the most valuable resource of this process. It is the ability of that community to learn to collect, collate, analyse, evaluate and then, to define and articulate its own position and opportunities, that determine how it progresses towards sustainable development.

Over the last 30 years, there have been global initiatives to discuss the problems of development. These have arrived an understanding regarding the extent of degradation of the environment whether natural, infrastructural, social, cultural, economic, financial, bureaucratic, political or developmental.

Degradation in the natural eco-system manifests itself in deforestation, pollution of soil, air and water, depleting quantities of wild life, global warming, thinning of the ozone layer and decreasing diversity of flora and fauna.

Social pollution of the human eco-system manifests itself in ghettos, poverty, violence and waste of human resources. It breeds a new culture - an ego-system - characterised by egotism, hierarchical social systems, tribal political systems, self-defeating economic systems, pyramid financial systems and anancyism. The outcome reflects increasing ignorance of our surroundings, learning deficits, under- production, waste, inefficiencies and mediocrity, weak structures, and a deteriorating context for development.

As a society, we allow degradation through ignorance, complacency and failure to take responsibility for matters that are for our own account. We value short-term benefits over long-term ones, negating the costs of long-term consequences and threats. Ultimately, we aim for the lowest common denominator justifying our actions as strategies for equality.

The costs of reversing unabated degradation rises exponentially until it becomes inhibitive. The challenge is to rethink the processes that led us to this point of crisis; redefine development in ways that recognise humanity's role and place in the local and global eco-system; and, challenge its capacity to create new processes that add value to the asset base of humanity and planet earth.

Human ecology is an important concept of our age. It is about the interaction of man and human society with each other and with the environment. It is concerned with philosophy and quality of life in relation to the development of biological and geological resources, of urban and rural settlements, of industry and technology, of economics and of education and culture. Through an understanding of it we can influence change constructively, linking the social, cultural and economics with the physical and biological, without jeopardizing the rich variety of life which has evolved over time.

The creation of a path of transition to sustainable development embraces: the cultivation of a new ethic of respect, knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the environment, its natural and human ecosystems, linkages and interrelationships; a study of how the egosystem has served to build and destroy; and, the creation of new institutional arrangments that build capacity, effectiveness and efficiency.

Six steps are:

1. The introduction of an effective process of dialogue through which members contribute information and effort in establishing a resource base of information. This database is the basis for meaningful discussion, analysis and evaluation that leads to spotting of opportunities, selection of alternative options, and ultimately, informed decisions for individual and community progress.

2. The development of a culture of lifelong learning by which human resource and potential is continuously enhanced through education, training and experience. These are the primary goals of the Educational Technology Plan which seeks to engage the entire community in continuous learning experiences at all levels providing for everyone in accordance with ability, curiosity , background and context of life.

3. The generation of meaningful income opportunities for work with dignity through the application of effectively prepared quality minds for living, jobs or self employment, matching the right person to the job in order to harness and optimise the inputs of human energy and motivation.

4. The optimization of efficiency through: the practice of reduction and management of waste; harmonization of relations and conditions at the workplace; inclusionary policies to manage change through dialogue to review, refine and revise processes based on new ideas, information and experiences; and, the introduction of whole series of linked efficiency technologies implemented in concert with each other, in the right sequence and manner and proportion, to create new economic benefits, reaped from the whole, that did not exist with the separate technological parts.

5. The transformation of traditional organisations into non-hierarchical network relationships of charged nodes that stimulate human energy, promote efficiencies and minimize waste, and that are connected by large capacity, resistant free channels of communication and conductors of energy. Bureaucracies are largely uni-directional and hierarchical structures whose exercise of power serves to sap human energies and create bottle necks in the flow of information and progress.

6. The cultivation of a new ethic of respect, knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the environment, its natural and human ecosystem, linkages and interrelationships. The study of the nature of the egosystem, how it builds and how it destroys. The promotion of transition to a path of sustainable development through the protection, preservation and sustenance of the context of development, abused over time resulting in long term threats to the survival of the natural and human environment.

These are prescriptions to new quality of growth by changing production processes and products, and, more importantly changing patterns of behaviour, settlement and communications. New approaches using new technologies can replace present economic models by transforming "spent" people into highly motivated "bundles" of energies who quickly reverse degradation and waste and replace them with creative endeavours through sensible and sensitive application of technology.

Knowledge and understanding of these elements and processes of development are critical qualifiers for leading communities towards sustainable development. The strategies can be pursued from wherever people make their livelihood - In the most remote high mountain, poor urban communities on the fringes of cities or in poor rural communities scarcely modified by modern living. It provides opportunities where opportunities appeared not to exist offering a chance for progress towards a sociable and affable process of change called sustainable development.