MALI, Bamako – With an unstable situation externally due to the rebellion in Northern Mali in 2012-2013, and a lack of capacity internally in the organization, there was not much time to have a focus on strategic issues within NCA. This resulted in a situation where the organization was running after its own tail, rather than to sail a steady course.
There was an urgent need for a strategic vision, and to ensure ownership by the staff it was important to develop this vision together as a team. Due to the hectic times it was difficult for the team to allocate time for this process and so there was quite some resistance. In a period of 6 months I was able to introduce and explain the importance of this process and ask my staff to allocate a few hours per week to think about the challenges NCA was facing and brainstorm about the ways to resolve these issues.
Our team was able to identify about 10 key points that needed to be tackled in order to improve the functioning of the organization. All colleagues were able to express their opinion, and it created a sense of relief to be able to do so. We made a concrete action plan on how these issues could be taken forward.