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Failure Is Not the End - A Lesson for the ANC

30 July 2012, 09:30

There's a lot of talk these days about the failures in the ANC, and in their policies and governance.

Anyone with eyes in their head, and a brain to process the images we see every day has to realise that the ANC is failing, and that the failure is picking up speed.

Things are coming apart at the seams, and it's largely (I think) because the ANC does not have a clue how to govern, and because they're terrified to admit failure.

Education is a mess. Job creation is a cesspool. Municipalities are going bankrupt (I mean, REALLY?) and everything else is pretty much somewhere slightly north of a nuclear holocaust in terms of success.

The few small victories that have been won in SA are simply dwarfed by the daily tide of news about disasterous failure.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

If the ANC would put their damned pride in their pocket, and start admitting that they're not just treading water anymore, they're failing wholesale, they might still have a chance to turn things away.

That's because failure is never the end of anything.

It's an opportunity to stop, regroup, rethink, and start over.

Admitting that you are doing a dismal job of things is the first step, but it's like anything that old saying about fear and courage: true courage is not being free of fear, it's about feeling the fear, and doing it anyway.

If the ANC would, collectively, man up and admit that they've made a complete hash of things, and commit to making the changes necessary to turn it all around, they'd have my respect for the first time since the Mandela years.

If they'd admit that they've caused a meltdown in education, and stopped trying to 'cook the books' by lowering the passmark, I could deal with the fact that most of the pupils currenly in the school system (and many who have left) would need total re-education to function at any kind of acceptable level, I'd applaud them.

If they'd admit that BEE - while possibly noble in intention - has failed to uplift any of the people who need it the most, I might be able to get on board with a turnaround strategy that actually worked.

It's not the ideals of the new South Africa that I have a problem with - it's the blinkered, mindless, spineless devotion to ignoring the fact that what's been going on until now IS NOT WORKING that is the problem.

I don't care who runs South Africa - but if you want to run anything, froma  small business to a country, you HAVE to realise that the buck stops with you. The success or failure of anything you manage or run is ultimately YOUR problem.

And if you are failing, it shouldn't be an excuse to keep failing. It should be a sign that you need to change your strategies and their application.

South Africa isn't a lost cause yet - IF someone realises that we need to start 'failing up.' We need to use the information we've gained about what doesn't work to look for something that does.

Anyone who has EVER read a book on management, business or even self help should know that though, which begs the question: have any of the ANC top brass EVER opened a book that doesn't have pictures in it?

ANC, PLEASE, on behalf of ALL the people of SA who don't want to see the country fail, GROW A PAIR, admit your failures, and start fixing things.

Einstein said that the definition of insanity was bashing your head into a wall, and then doing the same thing again. Learn from your mistakes, for crying in a bucket, ADMIT that it's not working, and start fixing it.

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