Ian Hetri –Leadership Fellow at East West Centre, University of Hawaii

Through an extensive reading on global leadership, with special interest in globalization and the global power and capital shift, I have come to subscribe to the notion that throughout the world, languages differ, but the business questions are the same. In French and Japanese, Hebrew and English, executives are asking, “How can I survive and thrive in the borderless, global marketplace?” Isn’t that the same with every government in the world?

After listening to today’s lecture at East West Center, University of Hawaii, I see two lessons, emerging;

First, there are leadership universals that every executive and manager needs to practice in order to be world-class at home and abroad. The second defied conventional wisdom: in the borderless economy, culture doesn’t matter less, it matters more.

In Papua New Guinea and around the world, business leaders apply their own experiences — personal, professional, and cultural to drive change. That is lacking in most of Papua New Guinea’s political leaders.

I have listed below four critical global literacies that Papua New Guinea political leaders need to seriously consider.

The Global Leadership Universals

* Personal Literacy — understanding and valuing yourself
* Social Literacy — engaging and challenging people
* Business Literacy — focusing and mobilizing your business
* Cultural Literacy — valuing and leveraging cultural difference

 In later posts, I will explain each of the above critical global leadership universals.

The question now is really, how we can effectively model this global leadership in Melanesian context, knowing fairly well the ideological variations that exist between Western and Melanesian leadership styles.

Papua New Guinea political leaders need to develop ways to see global challenges and opportunities, think with an international mindset, act with fresh global-centric leadership behaviors, and locally mobilize the capitals or resources to maximize its developmental outcomes?

This is a critical question to ponder. In the meantime, let me give you five types of capital available in Papua New Guinea and elsewhere around the world that can be used for better or worse.

5 types of capital

Natural Capital is any stock or flow of energy and material that produces goods and services. It includes:

  • Resources – renewable and non-renewable materials
  • Sinks – that absorb, neutralise or recycle wastes
  • Processes – such as climate regulation

Human Capital consists of people’s health, knowledge, skills and motivation. All these things are needed for productive work. Enhancing human capital through education and training is central to a flourishing economy.

Social Capital concerns the institutions that help us maintain and develop human capital in partnership with others; e.g. families, communities, businesses, trade unions, schools, and voluntary organisations.

Manufactured Capital comprises material goods or fixed assets which contribute to the production process rather than being the output itself – e.g. tools, machines and buildings.

Financial Capital plays an important role in our economy, enabling the other types of Capital to be owned and traded. But unlike the other types, it has no real value itself but is representative of natural, human, social or manufactured capital; e.g. shares, bonds or banknotes.

Concluding remarks

Papua New Guinea has over the last few years enjoyed an uninterrupted economic growth over and is predicated to reach a record high GDP (24 percent) in 2015. Despite the boom, the country remains underdeveloped with no tangible developments reaching the people. Unless the political leaders know how to tap into and fully utilize other capitals, rather than only exploiting natural capital; Papua New Guinea is sitting on a time bomb. Why do I say that? Well hell! When all natural resource become exploited, will your great grandchildren be dancing