KEYnote/ Taking Water Security Personal in the Caribbean

Nassau, the Bahamas - 9 October 2014. Water ministers from Caribbean countries met in a high-level forum in the Bahamas on 9-10 October to advance their commitments for increasing water security.  In his keynote speech on leadership for water security, Wouter T. Lincklaen Arriëns, Leadership Coach of TransformationFirst.Asia Pte Ltd and a member of the Global Water Partnership's Technical Committee, cautioned against objectifying goals and urged the leaders to make a personal commitment, arguing that we will not be successful in our work to increase water security unless we take it personal and transform into leaders who are influential change makers and who personally make a difference. 

Working with the strengths of people and organizations, nurturing their personal power to motivate and influence change, and taking incremental action, are going to bring the results we want, he advised.

He outlined 3 keys for success in increasing water security. First, to focus on the productivity of the water we have, use and reuse by better measurements, including for water security in its five key dimensions. Second, to boost resilience by convening the right players from in and out of the water sector and work across boundaries. Third, to recognize leadership development as the lowest-cost option by investing in people as multipliers, growing our knowledge in action, focusing on innovation through winning people and teams, and becoming exemplary employers and champions for a culture of resilience, thereby winning over the hearts and minds of politicians, the public, and financiers to support investments for the necessary changes.

The call for transformational leadership, and a reminder that integrated water resources management is more about people than water, were widely supported by the participants, who went ahead with productive discussions on a range of water security issues over two days and compiled their commitments into a signed resolution at the end of the forum.