Aligning Strategic Direction of the Human Capital Should Start Early

It is clear to all that more than 50% of our graduates are either unemployed or unemployable. More appropriately, they are unemployable. Why? Graduates who are properly empowered are always able to either secure rewarding formal employment opportunities or easily create their own.  Naturally, the latter, contribute to continued growth of small business. Conversely, those properly empowered, but opt for formal employment may end up contributing to continued innovation in business.

Sadly, the graduate unemployability aspect paints a grim picture with respect to desired innovation and progress. In that regard, it may now be critical for the stakeholders in education to get back to the drawing board and ask themselves a few hard questions.  This is absolutely necessary if we can borrow from some lessons learnt recently, when I was invited to be a guest speaker during a Career Day of the business school of a leading public university.  Particularly, posing a few initial questions aiming to bring out light on the prevailing situation of the audience yielded several great lessons.

Firstly, only about 10% of the 100 or so participants had selected their respective degrees, based on what they felt was personalized passion. Secondly, about 10% were pursuing degrees just because the same were assigned to them, by the Joint Admissions Board (JAB). The balance of 80% was influenced by their peers, parents and role models amongst others, to pursue commerce as an area of study. The most disturbing observation was that only 10% of the 3rd and 4th year participating students were sure of what they wanted to become after graduation. This means that an overwhelming proportion of 90% of the students had no idea whatsoever, of the strategic direction towards which, their education was leading them. Why should this be the case?

Actually, why would future business executives be that disempowered at this stage of their learning process? Ordinarily, those pursuing business studies need to specialize in the preferred specializations, starting from the 3rd year. The options include marketing, finance, accounting, insurance, human resource management, procurements, management and entrepreneurship amongst others.

The various choices or combinations of the same are supposed to largely determine eventual careers, after graduation of the students.  Another interesting observation is that public universities are known to largely admit high performing students, from all over the country, don’t they? Should it then not be of great concern when such students end up becoming victims of fate, rather than being able to make choices from adequately informed situations?

Under such circumstances, it should now be clear how the high levels of unemployment or unemployability of graduates are manifested. Furthermore, close to 80 % of those lucky enough to secure jobs, end up being unable to unleash their full performance potential. Sadly, the latter scenario is highly prevalent amongst all categories of employees, whatever the age brackets or years of experience. In turn, the employing organizations suffer the same fate, which is naturally felt by the national situation as well.

People who are disempowered are said to be largely guided by scarcity mentality, whereby there is not enough resources for each of us. Guided by that mindset, we subsequently scrabble for the resources in whatever ways possible.  This undoubtedly explains the high levels of sleaze, graft and the negativities constantly associated with our country.   Needless to emphasize, continued entrenchment of scarcity mentality spells doom not only for the existing population, but also future generations.

Experience based on continued feedback especially during talent seminars, has now proven that those charged with dispensing knowledge in our school system may be experiencing the transition between 20th and 21st century Dynamics. This is so given that the 20th Century is only 16 years behind us. The mentalities of the same continue influencing the school system and policy making. In turn, the same influences individuals and the organizations that we work for. It is no wonder then that our actions continue reinforcing mediocrity, at all levels in our lives.

Unfortunately, the majority are change resistant, something that leads people to become comfortable in their own discomforts. It is easy to realize that even the comforts we seem to be enjoying could easily be threatened by the forces of change. In an article some 9 or 10 years ago, this writer warned everybody to be aware of the Chinese “invasion.”

Without belaboring to prove the same, the then threat is today a reality. The Chinese have today displaced the earlier well known roads and building contractors, some of whom have moved to other countries such as Southern Sudan.   In fact, the Kenyan construction industry is today largely dominated by Chinese, who have also moved into almost all other sectors of the economy.

In that regard, we all need to realize that the choices we make along our growth and education path have great consequences, especially in a highly competitive world. We should no longer be studying only aiming to amass degrees. All studies should be aligned to our personalized strategies, especially guided by our purposes in life. Aristotle the Greek Philosopher once said that “knowing thyself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

We all need to know ourselves as we continue pursuing education or soldiering on with our lives. We need to know, especially what we are good at and direct our energies as well as efforts towards the same. We need to align this with our occupations or areas of study. We cannot anymore expect to succeed through embracing trio and error approaches in life. This may end up becoming too costly in a highly competitive and fast changing world.

Only upon knowing ourselves properly shall we be able to continually innovate, take advantage of ensuing opportunities and consistently create value for humanity, thus finally getting all we need in life. Alongside, we will passionately be contributing to continued business growth and wealth creation.

Ideally, we all need to be strategic just like the eagle, which identifies its prey from as far as 10 kilometers away. It zeros down on the prey and eventually grabs the same. Shouldn’t we be aligned early towards doing the same?


  1. An absolutely FREE 10 minute insightful presentation (in Nairobi only) on

(i)The prevailing national and organizational challenges

(ii)The genesis of the challenges and

(Iii) Impact of the challenges

The focus of this solution is to introduce (during organizational meetings) the life changing strategy guide titled “Career Dynamics in the 21st Century,” now approved for the school system by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.

2) A Two Hour seminar titled “Unleashing the Human Performance Potential,” based on the principles advocated in “Career Dynamics in the 21st Century” This is conducted for all employees without any limitation of numbers (fees depends on location). The seminar is already enormously popular in mainstream Churches and learning institutions.

3) A full day seminar titled “Maximum Performance Strategy.” This involves application of the principals advocated in “Career Dynamics in the 21st Century,” through an experiential learning process. The seminar accommodates 20 participants per session ((fees depends on location).


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