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Let's be ... all we want to be !

Lets help the workforce and the country of Latvia achieve all it can be

To be creative; to be clever; to be happy; to be proud; to feel good about themselves; to be part of the world; to be sensible and use common sense; to be whatever they want to be in life !

Please take a moment and read updated comments after much discussion with local Latvian students/workers after this article was published. They are at the end of the recommendations below.

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Our six (6) year analysis of the issues facing the Latvian workforce   may be summarized in the following 14 points. These are issues that MUST be addressed and are seriously holding back the Latvian development. 

  1. Must stop the self greed (me me me me me and more me) and starting to think about we we we we and our employees!

  2. Must get the financial system to be somewhat real and legal and get most taxes collected.

  3. Must start creating an understanding that a customer pays the bills and is not there for amusement of the business owner.

  4. Must get the words Integrity, honesty, follow-through and customer service and co-operation into the Latvian dictionary and lifestyle.

  5. Must kill off the old Soviet leftover dinosaurs trying to run a business based on what is available in the stores rather than what is available to be bought on the open market and shipped into Latvia quickly.

  6. Must starting teaching what the methods of serious communication is rather than speaking and speaking in circles to say a lot of words that make no sense in the overall concept of what is trying to be done. Effective and timely Communication is the second most important issue that Latvia faces.

  7. Must start developing self confidence on the part of the people! Critical - most important problem Latvia faces is the FEAR that the people have of doing something - taking any sort of individual action based on original thought.

  8. Must start developing creative thought and thinking skills. Open the peoples minds to mental imagery and mental exploring - WHAT if? What if a lot of things? Then create a mental picture of what is possible - an extension of day dreaming put into useful effort.

  9. Must change the attitude of the professors and senior teachers to allow and encourage individual things and expression on the part of the student.

  10. Must start teaching about how to plan, organize, lead & control a business. All these small business start ups and quick failures are doing nothing other than generating wasted effort and money in the hands of the remodeling contractors. It certainly is NOT helping the morale of the people and the economy overall.

  11. The governments (state & local) must start making it easy to open a small business legally rather than making it so difficult that they take their operation underground and out of the mainstream.

  12. Get a simplified accounting system including tax paying.

  13. Must identify and teach Latvia's leaders in both the private and government sectors to unite people rather than divide people.

  14. Its time for all the talk and study to stop; and ACTION to begin. Change must start be lead from the top of the government and the business sector.

This should become a Win - Win - Win opportunity!

Mike Johnson, General Manager,

Comments dated February 2006 after discussions with some local Latvian residents.

Concerning my 14 recommendations, most people say after extensive interaction that they basically agree with what I have written. However. they have absolutely NO confidence that the current Latvian leadership will do anything about these issues. One person even said, we have heard all this  before from Brezhnev and the others. But it was all just talk! Nothing has changed from Soviet times. Freedom is wonderful but it has brought nothing but uncertainty.

From my personal experience, life in Latvia is TOUGH - VERY tough and it is no wonder why most Latvians don't smile much. It is difficult to get through a normal day and if one does not retract into their own little world shell they may go mad with outrage. 

The typical view of a Latvian - one of being reserved and pretending not to see what is going on around them is a protective reflex reaction. This is my personal experience - I am catching myself doing it as well sometimes! Wow, not a good feeling.

I will keep updating these comments from time to time.  I also encourage you to add your own comments in my Blog Site:

http://community.livejournal.com/rigaexpat/7385.html

Mike Johnson

 

for more information, email:  info@livethetalk.com

 

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Quality Club International  is dedicated to providing education, training, knowledge and techniques on how to improve the level of customer service worldwide. Our strategy is to provide a forum for sharing and discussing ideas from "grassroots programs" as well as experts in the humans and quality fields.

www.letsbe.org is a non profit organization dedicated to helping people be all they want to be. Our training network Quality Club International is dedicated to providing education, training, knowledge and techniques on how to improve the level of customer service worldwide. Our strategy is to provide a forum for sharing and discussing ideas from grassroots programs as well as experts in the humans and quality fields. Is customer delight out of reach in today's fast paced world ? In the process you begin to see the situation or interaction from the customers point of view, sometimes referred to as walking in the customers shoes. You then begin to change your behavior to make sure that it is easy for the customer to understand or enjoy what you do or provide for them. One common example is with your handwriting. Handwriting styles vary widely from country to country. Therefore for example, when writing a telephone number or address for a customer, make sure that you print carefully the letters and numbers using international methods that allows the customer to clearly understand what you are writing. Behavior in this manner using the principle of Integrity then defines the difference between customer service and Customer Delight