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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What Really Counts?

This week many of you, if you are a Kenyan, have been busy filling their taxes- or getting someone to do it for them, and for the first time since the new Government came to be its been really down played, no big adverts telling you to pay your taxes, no desks outside supermarkets collecting your tax returns. The revenue authority even introduced a new way of making your returns and did not even bother to advertise it as much or talk of the training they are giving- introducing a system that no one knows to use is hard enough without even training and marketing it. May be the revenue authority got its budget was slashed for not meeting their targets who know.

So it got me curious about what is happening in our country, if we the revenue authority is doing this on the down low, kind of makes me feel like we are going back into the old day of nobody talked about taxes, of course it was not a joy to file returns, since no services came out of them, the social contract was so bad we just went about our own business in our infamous portal riddled roads- remember that. With a new government coming in and everyone was so energized with the possibility of change- It was said Kenyans were the most optimistic people in the world at the time the year 2002- now 8 years down the line and its almost as if nobody cares about us again and we have fallen back into the old ways.

Then I came across this video below on TED2010, and it got me thinking what really counts? The Government is busy making serious KES 1 trillion budgets that nobody cares about it anymore- Even the President and the Prime Minister went to watch the WorldCup!!! We are all busy filling our taxes on a new system, nobody again cares- are they all busy watching the worldcup?? We are always busy measuring things and counting things in our lives that nobody really looks at what counts any more, busy balancing your check book, Counting your pay, trying to out do your neighbours financially, Kenyans are at the point where they no longer buy cars, but the latest Vehicle registration plates, just to compete with one another thing we have to count KBK, KBL, KBL Z. So who is looking at what really counts, with the recent debt crisis going around the countries in Europe -God Forbid it spreads round the world, the premiere are looking at new ways of keeping their economies a float- Ask Nicholas S. and David C of the Tricolor and Great Britain respectively, by not Counting their national  GDP(Gross Domestic Product)- another system at breaking point. For years its been all about whose GDP is the highest and doing this at any cost, now thats going burst a new world measure seems to be coming up GDH (Gross Domestic Happiness).

Ask any CEO today and you will learn that the measure of  many companies has stopped being about how much money they are making to being about, how they make their customers feel. Its become such a big thing that its actually started going into the balance sheet of companies the Brand Value. What do your customers feel when they see your brand, are they more likely to buy or think its another reap off, do they want to be associated with you, its intangible its all about how those you are serving feel about your company, and if this connection is strong you make profits. Its such an odd thing that those things that really count can't be really be counted.

If your going to offer a service to anyone or a product there are a couple of things you must ask, how do I make that connection? How do I make my customers loyal? Are our Governments doing the same, doing a simple self evaluation of how their citizens feel about them, how loyal they are to their countries? Nobody likes to pay taxes and least of all be told to account for them, but if they are happy citizens you will not have a problem with getting them to do returns or bridging the National deficit, or keeping up with Austerity Measures and High taxes.

I will leave you with some wise words, call it food for thought, "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted"- Albert Einstein.

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