Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode and the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, UNILAG, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe on Thursday charged civil servants in the state to embrace positive mindset in order to achieve optimum performance in service.
Speaking at a two-day training in Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, Ambode stated that competent workers with the right mindset would always produce positive results, adding that the first key practice was to have a plan to develop and implement the strategic plan.
“Like any major project, it is essential to have objectives, a timeline, a budget and the right leader(s) and team to develop the strategic plan. Many planning exercises have been sub-optimised, derailed and / or delayed simply due to the lack of planning.
“Strategic planning should involve the right people. The decision makers should take the time to think about and engage the right people both internally and externally in the development of the plan. In order to do this, a list of officers, advisers, and specialists (such as management consultants, accountants and lawyers) whose expertise and experience will be essential to the successful development and implementation of the plan should be made.
“This larger group may then be divided into core teams that will be fundamentally involved in all aspects of the plan and will also form supporting rings of other stakeholders who are brought in as required to tap their knowledge and build engagement,” he said.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr. Benson Oke, also stressed the important of making the planning process enjoyable, saying that “although often unavoidable due to time and budget constraints, try to avoid all-day planning sessions because people lose interest and effectiveness after a half-day.”
Ambode added that the time necessary must be allocated but a hard due-date must be set, saying that organisations should not be tempted to circumvent the time and involvement necessary to develop an excellent strategic plan, as such circumvention would result in plans that failed to engage, be implemented and to provide focused and wise direction.
“It is therefore important to have a clear deadline, as well as the necessary leadership to ensure the timeline is met and that all participants properly prioritise the process during the months that will be required to complete it,” he said.
The governor also stressed the need for the plan to be implementable, operable and subject to reviews, while charging the civil servants to iterate until the objectives of the plan were achieved.
Speaking, Ogundipe charged civil servants to strive for the best and that in a bid to do that, they must embrace proper and effective communication strategy that would allow feedback.
He also commended Ambode for the massive infrastructure renewal ongoing in different parts of the state, adding that there was the need for civil servants to be able to communicate effectively to project government’s image to the outside world.