Why Jamaicans Have to Migrate to Become Productive

I won’t argue that this is absolutely true, but my evidence suggests that there were lots of us in the US who were forced by the environment to take things up a notch.

Here is an article that I wrote for the Jamaica Gleaner that spoke to this topic.

(Please forgive the typo in the online headline…)  Click here to see the article online:  http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20101205/business/business8.html


  1. Felicia LinchDecember 11, 2010

    Francis thanks for a sound and frank article. It is much needed. may I say that it is this frankness that I think is missing in propelling us forward not only in Jamaica but in the region. In Barbados we suffer from the same syndrome, a culture of mediocrity. I have witnessed high performing, energetic new commers enter organizations here and be told ‘slow down’ , ‘you need to ease off’ and so we fristrate these people and turn these once high performers into mediocre complaining employees!

    I delivered leadership training for a leading supplier of contrsuction materials here in Barbados. During discussion the CEO confided that he just didn’t know how to get employees to ‘raise the bar’ (a great cue for me to sell my services …) but what was interesting was that initially he had thought productivity levels were low but assumed they could do no better, until he took a small team to work with the Trinidad employees and the productivity shot up to match those of the Trinidadian employees as they did not want to be out-done!

    Francis whilst I agree that your suggestions are part of the solution to the problem – I think the bigger part, which you allude to, is the need to change the culture that has led to us accepting mediocrity, is it because we still think we are not good enough? Is it because if we work too hard we have leaders that will demand more but fail to show they appreciate and value our efforts through appropriate reward systems (both monetary and non-monetary).

    Address these issues and then we can start the debate about higher standards which are a necessary next step.

    1. fwadecaribDecember 16, 2010

      I think the culture changes when at least one person choose a higher standard, and then does everything (including giving feedback required to accomplish it.)

      I’m also thinking that here in Jamaica we have a particular attraction to feelings of pride. How can that be leveraged?

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