Straddling the Unicorn – an excerpt

During my 10 years stay learning to straddle the Unicorn, I observed a significant change in how the organisation was structured and how the layers were flattened and support services streamlined to ensure that overheads were reduced. I observed how even directors moved from having PAs to sharing and then to having PAs who served the entire or even two departments. None of the senior managers had secretaries, they had to type their own letters and memos. I experienced the shift from directors having drivers to having to drive themselves or employing drivers on their own salaries. I saw a gradual but steady tightening of the purse and cutting off of fat to ensure that the Unicorn didn’t crumble and the bottom line was delivered.

I see the opposite happening in Ghana Incorporated, where irrespective of the health of the financial chest, the structure remains the same or even more layers added. My view is that this remains one of the key reasons why private organisations such as the Unicorn survived whilst contemporary state organisations faded into oblivion. ~ Excerpt from book still in draft, Straddling the Unicorn, by yours truly.


6 thoughts on “Straddling the Unicorn – an excerpt

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  1. I really enjoyed this piece Nana. The situation in Ghana is very sickling and the more I think about the way the country is run, the more I get depressed. Ghana seem to be doing the opposite of everything. I believe if I were the president, there a number of things I would be doing differently. The era of PAs and secretaries are over. I cannot figure out what the issue is but something is going wrong. Someone is not thinking right. Whiles forward looking countries are cutting down on cost to remain relevant, others such as ours keep adding to the problems. Someone once said that there are more 4x4s in Africa than there are in Europe and North America. The person may be right. May be the roads may be good in Europe and North America and so 4X4 are not really needed. However, a critcal look at Africa shows largely that most people use 4×4 to show their wealth. Here in Canada, there are ministers who use public transit to work. You could also count those with 4x4s. 4x4s are not in vogue as it in our country. MPs and Ministers are more concerned about the bottleline and thats what they spend their energies on. Our priorities in Ghana are misplaced, spending so much resources and time on useless things. Its unbelievable seeing our country falling apart. No water, dum sor dum sor, we cannot manage our waste. Its shameful for our development partners visit Ghana and express their displeasure about the way we manage our waste. Its very disappointing and shameful to say the least. Whiles countries such as Canada and others are manufacturing commercial jets, vessels, and high speed trains, we on the other hand are cracking our brains to solve our garbage issue. Where did we go wrong as a nation? And yet,we have more Phd holders and professors than the advanced world. When I heard about the govenment’s plan to air lift pastors to Israel to pray for the country, I said, we are in TROUBLE. Don’t get it twisted man, I believe in prayer and pray everyday but we must back our prayers with affirmative action.

    It was a very good piece you put together.

  2. Nana,
    This is really great. U’re SO RIGHT. Our nation needs people like u, but u will never be voted for. Even if u were appointed, ‘they’ will gang up against u and get u removed from office before u prepare yr mission statement ( this is after u have u have committed suicide by declaring yr vision.
    Pray for our beloved country… On Atwia Mountains !

  3. Guineafowl republics , that is exactly what state organisations are! Everybody thinks the purse is for the state and it is not mine. Collectively , in the end we all suffer as a nation.

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