If there is one quality that has kept Bhutan as a thriving and sovereign nation in an unpredictable and tough neighborhood, it is it’s strategic moves.
A lot of credit for that goes to an enlightened Monarchy starting right from His Majesty the First King onwards, with each King dealing with major international and national challenges and each time successfully leading the country on the right path.
Today’s democratic Bhutan has to be more strategic then ever in dealing with not only international developments, but more importantly our domestic challenges.
Strategy is the ability to look at the bigger picture and implications and accordingly make the right moves. In the national sense, it is an ability to come together and work towards for the greater national good in a coordinated and productive manner well aware of the collective goal.
In fact a lot of our biggest problems could use a healthy dose of strategic thinking. A simple example would be if we look at our unemployment problem there needs to be a coordinated strategy on the education and economic policy front and a lot of things in between. Now strategy here does not mean just another strategy paper but should be more based on our ground realities. Unfortunatley the Bhutanese ground reality is there are still many agencies working with little or no coordination.
Another example is on something as simple but very important like food self sufficiency. The farmer still faces many challenges from roads to storage to prices.
It is high time for our policy makers and bureaucrats to not treat everything with a ‘program or project’ mentality but really look beyond that in the larger picture.
A lot of our developmental thinking is linked to five year plans and there seems to be satisfaction in just meeting the physical targets of the plans. This is in a time when countries across the world including India are improving five year plans in favour of more responsive and dynamic systems.
Our bureaucratic system overall is still inefficient, wasteful and uncoordinated.
In that sense the creation of RIGSS was sorely needed as it aims to bring about a more strategic thinking process in our national development and other endeavors.
Ultimately a small nation can ill afford to be like a rudderless ship going in all directions. We need to focus our limited resources and manpower and work together to achieve well thought out objectives.
“You may not be interested in strategy, but strategy is interested in you.”