 Continued from previous page However, it is the current environment (events and effects) which has placed intense focus on “resilience” or the “capacity to meet adversity, setbacks and traumas and recover from them”, as the distinguishing attributes of organisations that survive and of the leaders needed in these times. In simple terms, a resilient leader is really a transformational leader with an evolved and expanded toolkit of emotional and intellectual skills and competences that enables her/him to treat in new and dynamic (Agile) ways, with the transactional aspects for meaningful change in this “volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous” environment. ‘Transactional aspects’ refers to the responsibility such leaders have for creating frameworks, policies and procedures to ensure that action is taken to achieve impactful results. Resilient organisations and those who lead them, focus on results which meet the needs or develop the potential of people (human centred), and are flexible in how they organise and use their resources to achieve those ends. That “flexibility” requires conscious and informed changes to move public sector organisations away from the highly-centralised, hierarchical organisational structures that are typical across the region, to ones that favour multi-disciplinary, collaboration and engagement with internal and external stakeholders. These changes must remove the ‘work in silos’, and foster the intra- and inter-institutional communication and exchange of information that leads to the generation of innovative and ground-breaking ideas for solutions. The vestiges of “command and control” mind-sets and “blame and shame” attitudes that rely on imposing authority to drive work must also be replaced by conscious cultivation of trust, using influence and investment in continuous learning which empowers team members to deliver willingly and to high levels of excellence. To keep up with the pace and types of change, driven by ICTs and changes in the global political economy, public sector organisations need to make these changes quickly. Resilient leaders are the persons who we call on to guide us through “failing fast, failing often and failing forward.” A key suggestion for one practical method to develop more of these leaders is to apply the Agile principle of “regular reflection”- collecting and sharing case studies and scenarios, mentoring and coaching, testimonials and stories of the situations, the failures and successes of persons who are currently responsible for leading at various levels in the public sector. Documenting, reviewing and extracting critical lessons from personal and peer experiences across the region in responding to COVID-19 or in dealing with the impact of hurricanes is a golden opportunity for acquiring knowledge, seeding new ideas and building relationships through networks. Resilient leaders understand the openness and vulnerability leads to learning and growth. In closing, I offer that resilient leaders need to be “brave, bold, daring”, insightful and emotionally intelligent; know the strengths and limitations of their team and themselves, and as much as possible about the complex relationships between people and our current environment which will have impact on their work to bring about solutions; have agile mind-sets – attitudes aligned with values that give primacy to the needs and wellbeing of people; do the emotional and intellectual work to foster collaboration, build relationships, champion learning, creativity and innovation and drive transformative change in their organisations. Resel Melville (PMP, DEA, B.A Hons), is a development project management practitioner with almost two decades of experience in designing and coordinating and mobilising resources for development interventions across the Caribbean Region. She describes herself first and foremost, as a “passionate Caribbean integrationist” and is currently based in Trinidad where she serves as the Project Coordinator for the ILO’s Caribbean Resilience and Child Labour Projects. 4

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