Friday, April 4, 2008

Caribbean Time

Being successful in the Caribbean is about beating/balancing and managing under Caribbean time.

Across the continents, amidst the time zones, if you make an appointment for 10 o’clock – it will start at 10 o’clock. In the Caribbean you might as well wait another hour and a half to two hours. To be successful under this thinking you can either set your scheduled meeting either two hours earlier than you really want to commence or you start the appointment at the specified time, even with an empty room.

The 2nd option works better – since if after you’ve done a meeting/appoint using the 2nd option and you decide to meet again then I guarantee you that 90% of the persons will be early. They turn up early so as not to miss anything which is true Caribbean style and I know this since I’ve tried it before.

I held a meeting which was supposed to have commenced at 9 am and of the 15 persons scheduled to attend, only one was there and that one was me. The next person arrived around 8 minutes after 9:00 and then a steady trickle up to 9:30. Here’s the strategy, I had the advantage of saying everything I wanted to say between 9:00 and 9:08, and you know what no one opposed or refuted during that time. Therefore in closing around 10 am when I asked if anyone had a contribution to make it was fascinating, since quite a few persons chimed that they did not hear my position about specific issues and this was where the clincher occurred. My answer was that these issues were all reviewed at the beginning of the meeting where there was a summary of what was happening and actions made to correct various issues and that at that time no one opposed the decisions made.

Needless to say, that I continue to run my business unit like this and as such is has not recurred that persons turn up after the scheduled start of my meetings. The point here is that I decided not to accept “Caribbean time”, you should try it.

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