Dynamic WCO Leadership and Management Development Workshop in Jamaica

04 March 2019

Under the framework of the HMRC-WCO-UNCTAD-Mercator Programme, funded by the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) via Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of the United Kingdom, the WCO organized a Leadership and Management Development (LMD) workshop from 11 to 22 February 2019 benefitting 19 senior managers of the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA). This two-week workshop was a follow up to the Top Executive Retreat that was held three months earlier with the Commissioner of JCA and her executive team, with the overall objective to strengthen senior management capacity to lead and drive reforms within JCA, based on a more modern management culture.

The focus of the workshop was ‘how to become a modern leader-manager’ able to drive modernization and change by ‘knowing yourself’, ‘managing yourself first’ and ‘really understanding others’ before you can start leading and managing others. A wide range of topics was raised under the umbrella of personal and organizational development, including leadership, integrity, capacity to influence, ability to build trust, negotiation skills, people management, strategic and personal communication, and change management.

Senior managers from various departments and different border posts of JCA participated in the workshop, which provided an opportunity for self-examination and in-depth introspection as well as the JCA as a whole. The leadership theories and group work presented during the workshop were geared to the reality within JCA, which sometimes led to lively discussions on current challenges. The dynamic discussions resulted in a firm engagement to fundamentally improve management culture and communication styles.

The Commissioner of JCA, Mrs. Velma Ricketts-Walker attended the workshop for a session to discuss how the new and modern management culture could be sustained within the organization, based on the LMD-philosophy. The workshop concluded in a strong commitment from participants and senior directors to start managing more strategically, focusing on people and real involvement of staff, with the long term objective to become a high performing learning organization.

The WCO looks forward to continued collaboration with the JCA under the framework of the Mercator Programme.