NURTURING THE FUTURE GENERATION: PROMOTING A CULTURE OF KNOWLEDGE-SHARING AND PROFESSIONAL PRIDE IN CUSTOMS
SECOND SECRETARY FBR, ISLAMABAD
MSC INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS, SOAS UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
Customs departments around the world have been playing enormously pivotal roles in socio-economic development of their respective countries. This transformative role ranges from raising revenues, guarding economic frontiers, enforcing trade policies and laws to thwarting smuggling, counterfeit, contrabands and other evils of drug, makes customs professionals cornerstone of any society. This exceedingly efficient and highly effective service delivery of customs departments around the world has been mainly possible due to their immaculate and enriching organizational culture, knowledge ecosystem and exuberant professional pride inculcated within the customs officers and officials. For nurturing the next generation, in the context of crucially varying dynamics of the world, societies, technologies, it is therefore immensely important that the culture of knowledge sharing and professional pride in customs should be more reinforced and promoted.
It goes without saying that ‘knowledge’ and ‘knowledge capital’ are vital economic resource and exponential multiplier. The dynamic nature of the world economies and international trade necessitate cutting edge knowledge, seamless and continuous knowledge sharing. Customs, under the umbrella of World Customs Organization (WCO) since its creation 1952, has been iconic in the sphere of knowledge creation, knowledge management and, more importantly, knowledge sharing. The ‘knowledge organization’ calibre of WCO by unifying customs procedures and standardizing rules has empowered and enabled all its member states to perform their tasks optimally, impeccably, and effectively.
It is therefore essential that this culture of sharing of invaluable knowledge and experience is promoted for nurturing the next generation. There are various ways through which culture of knowledge-sharing can be promoted for nurturing the next generation. Mentoring programmes, seminars, wherein knowledge, skills, experiences being shared, are paramount for promoting the culture of knowledge sharing at national, regional, and international levels. Moreover, internal networks, trainings, effective communication focusing on promotion of knowledge sharing is also significant way for nurturing the next generation of customs officials in all parts of the globe.
In addition to that, it is also highly important to promote professional pride amongst the customs officials. The sense of professional pride is one of the crucial factors for optimal performance which has been amply substantiated through the human history. The promotion, reinforcement and fostering of professional pride is therefore most essential for building a strong, effective, dedicated, motivated workforce of the next generation. Without promoting culture of professional pride, the next generation cannot be nurtured.
In this regard, it is imperative that contributions are properly rewarded and recognized. The recognitions and rewards will help promote sense of professional pride. It is important for both individual performance as well as collective agency’s performance. The individual recognition will create culture of motivation and devotion to the profession and thus perpetually nurture the next generation. And the collective recognition of customs, with regards to diverse roles, in promotion of national and global interests will also promote professional pride. Besides, career development opportunities, transparency, fairness, equality of opportunities and meritocracy will also help perpetuate professional pride. This culture of professional pride is therefore seminal and paramount for nurturing the next generation of customs workforce. This culture will help the customs departments globally to face incessant and continuous challenges in a highly successful and effective way.