Business Lessons From Elder Statesman Joaquim Chissano
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Business Lessons From Elder Statesman Joaquim Chissano

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8 Business Lessons from Honourable Joaquim Chissano\'s peace building work

8 Business Lessons from Honourable Joaquim Chissano\'s peace building work

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Business Lessons From Elder Statesman Joaquim Chissano Business Lessons From Elder Statesman Joaquim Chissano Document Transcript

  • 8 Lessons on Peacebuilding from Elder Statesman, the Honourable Joaquim Chissano, Former President of Mozambique© February 2009 • 8 Lessons on Peacebuilding from Elder Statesman, the Honourable Joaquim Chissano, Former President of Mozambique© For many of us a defining moment in our lives is the fuel to keep our change fires lit. What if the defining moments in your life included helping to liberate your country, becoming president and stopping a war? This is a story of Elder Statesman, the Honourable Joaquim Chissano, the former President of Mozambique, whom I’ve recently had the privilege to work with and to interview. First a bit of background. The Honourable Mr. Chissano was Mozambique’s first democratically elected President. During his term Mozambique had the fastest growing economy in world. He speaks 5 languages fluidly and another 3 for fun. In 2005 he made the unprecedented move of stepping down as President Chissano with President even though the constitution allowed him a further four Lee-Anne Ragan years. In 2007 he was awarded the inaugural Mo Ibrahim Award good governance in Africa, by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, which carries a $5 million dollar prize making it the largest individual award in the world. Currently, this small man with a huge and self-effacing heart works with the United Nations in several roles including UN Youth Ambassador and Special Envoy to Northern Uganda and Southern Sudan. I caught up to him in China recently at the United Nations World Urban Forum where we presented a workshop on peacebuilding and where I was able to interview him. Here are the lessons I learned from him about facilitating peace on the global stage: 1. No kisses here • the KISS principle (keep it super simple) is all well and good but we should be realistic & manage and even change people’s expectations • it’s complicated to both get and keep peace, sometimes it’s even harder to maintain peace post-conflict because while many will want to return to the pre-conflict state, it’s impossible as things will have changed P: 604-420-7703 F: 604-420-7704 E; laragan@rpsinc.ca www.rpsinc.ca
  • 8 Lessons on Peacebuilding from Elder Statesman, the Honourable Joaquim Chissano, Former President of Mozambique© February 2009 How it applies to business: manage people’s expectations regarding conflict and change 2. Stakeholders • Peacebuilding means focusing on reconciliation, often between nationals of same country, between members of the same community, and even people from the same family • Peacebuilding needs to occur at many levels including inter-group, intra-group, national peace, internal peace How it applies to business: take a tough look at who all your stakeholders are and have a plan to meaningfully involve all of them 3. Juggle AND keep your eye on the horizon • Juggle the often competing priorities of today, such as reconstruction (material and infrastructure), reintegration of refugees, disarmament • AND keep your eye on the overall vision: maintaining reconciliation and unity • Chissano says “peacebuilding – you have to make it all the time … it’s a process that doesn’t stop” How it applies to business: balance being present AND future focused 4. Look to your roots • Chissano says we tend to forget the root causes of conflict (such as the root causes of tradition), we just take a superficial look • “language is important, values can be found in verbs” exclaims Chissano How it applies to business: dig deep - how does your organizational culture affect conflict? P: 604-420-7703 F: 604-420-7704 E; laragan@rpsinc.ca www.rpsinc.ca
  • 8 Lessons on Peacebuilding from Elder Statesman, the Honourable Joaquim Chissano, Former President of Mozambique© February 2009 5. Acknowledge diversity • Mozambique does not have one original national language: “One does not realize how much this affects a nation when one has to speak through interpreters…. You cannot pretend that everyone will understand what you say.” How it applies to business: figure out what is expressed in your organization that may not be understood by everyone but should be. 6. Embrace technology but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater • Mr. Chissano spoke of his mother’s traditional farming techniques which she knew without having attended agronomics school • While it’s good to embrace the new, ensure it’s not at the expense of traditional knowledge that is still working How it applies to business: experience shows it’s usually not the first company who uses a break through technology that succeeds, it’s those that follow. Balance your organization’s traditional knowledge with what new technology has to offer. 7. Know what you don’t know • Mr. Chissano says the “tendencies of the west are to think of Africa as one country”. Enough said How it applies to business: seek out diverse opinions, ask questions, don’t burden yourself with thinking you have to be an expert in everything 8. Get busy • “Search for sustainability of peace with development”, people need to keep busy, “people should not be given time to quarrel, they should be busy solving their problems” P: 604-420-7703 F: 604-420-7704 E; laragan@rpsinc.ca www.rpsinc.ca
  • 8 Lessons on Peacebuilding from Elder Statesman, the Honourable Joaquim Chissano, Former President of Mozambique© February 2009 How it applies to business: realize and communicate your vision of success clearly and get busy achieving and sustaining it I left the interview feeling confident and invigorated when this elder statesman walked his talk in a small way. He was absolutely captivated by the IPOD recorder I used to make a MP3 audio file of our interview. When I offered he take mine, he politely declined saying he would stop in Hong Kong to pick one up. He was on his way to the United Nations in New York to report on the situation in Uganda. Lee-Anne Ragan, MEd, BSW, ITC, is President of Rock.Paper.Scissors Inc. (RPS), Vancouver’s award winning corporate training and entertainment company. RPS is where great minds come to play. www.rpsinc.ca Email us to enquire about scheduling your own peacebuilding workshop (laragan@rpsinc.ca) or sign up for one of our public workshops below. • Register for “Mastering the Complexities of Group Dynamics ID 101” at the Justice Institute in New Westminster, BC, taught by Lee-Anne Ragan, Feb 16-17th, 2009. For more information or to register call/email 604.528.5590 or 1.877.528.5591 (Toll Free - North America only) or register@jibc.ca • Register for “Workshops that Work” at Langara College in Vancouver, BC, by Lee-Anne Ragan, March 12-13th, 2009. For more information or to register call/email Leslie Kemp: 604.323.5981 lkemp@langara.bc.ca • Register for “One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Cross-cultural conflict resolution” at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, by Lee-Anne Ragan, April 27th, 2009. For more information or to register email mostreg@hr.ubc.ca • Register for “Embracing Creativity: How to Rediscover Your Creative DNA” at Langara College, by Lee-Anne Ragan & Dolly Hopkins, June 18th, 2009. For more information or to register call/email Leslie Kemp: 604.323.5981 lkemp@langara.bc.ca “Peace cannot be achieved totally and sustained by the simple way of applying force.” The Honourable Joaquim Chissano P: 604-420-7703 F: 604-420-7704 E; laragan@rpsinc.ca www.rpsinc.ca