“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you” – Hosea 10:12
Human beings are the most important asset in any given country. Not only must they be developed to the fullest intellectually but their health profile must be maintained at higher and higher levels to facilitate their collective contribution to whatever fields of economic endeavour in which they may be involved. If a human being is not feeling well he/she consults a medical doctor. Indeed, some individuals practise preventive health care where they monitor their vital signs periodically in the hope that, if there is some health abnormality, it may be detected at the earliest possible time before pain occurs or other visible symptoms reveal themselves. Treatment of one type or another may then be applied, if necessary, to correct the malfunction. The four primary vital signs are temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate and respiratory rate. Also, medical doctors routinely recommend blood tests as part of the preventive or diagnostic medical practice. Blood tests are used to determine physiological and biochemical states such as disease, mineral content, drug effectiveness, and organ function. Many medical practitioners, I am told, now have preventive medicine as a growing part of their practice as a result of patients expressing more concern about their health and longevity. Economic growth can only take place, one successful enterprise after another. If the enterprise is not doing well the entrepreneur may consult a management consultant (business doctor). Indeed, some efficient enterprises practice preventive business heath care where they monitor their vital signs periodically in the hope that, if there is some business health abnormality, it may be detected at the earliest possible time before the cash flow stress is induced or other visible symptoms such as customer dissatisfaction, disgruntled employees and deteriorating productivity reveal themselves. Treatment in the form of the preparation of a business plan followed by shepherding and timely capital investment is then applied to set the enterprise on a journey towards sustainable business success. The four primary vital signs in an enterprise are marketing, operations, people and finance. Whereas in the human being we have now reached the stage of sophistication where blood tests are regularly used to determine one’s health profile, the analogy in business would be the use of the feasibility study as part of the preventive or diagnostic business health care practice lest the passion and enthusiasm of the entrepreneur might overshadow the real potential of the business as a viable business venture. The statistics reveal that there is a high mortality rate for start up businesses. Many enterprises are now being encouraged to practice preventive business health care so that they may detect any problems at an early stage and take corrective action to restore their enterprises to optimum health which will in turn bode well for sustained economic growth. Also, whereas in the medical field in Barbados the quality and ratio of trained medical practitioners per capita is deemed to be adequate, the same cannot be said of management consultants especially if we embark on a dynamic thrust towards economic growth in non-traditional areas of economic endeavour. This challenge exists not only in Barbados but throughout the Caribbean Community. It is therefore wise to anticipate the manpower needs both in quality and quantity as we transition to increase the rate of economic development nationally to help reduce the economic divide between emerging nations and first world OECD countries. The Caribbean Institute of Certified Management Consultants (CICMC) www.caribbeancmc.com has recently been established to address this challenge. Indeed, the inaugural Americas Hub Conference on Management Consulting took place in Barbados last November. Minister Christopher Sinckler, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, while addressing delegates at the Gala dinner, observed that management consulting was a global multi-billion enterprise and that Barbados and the Caribbean should position itself to take advantage of this opportunity. The conference was mounted primarily by the fledgling CICMC. The Mission of CICMC is to be “To be a professional organization that aggressively mobilizes its members and enhances their ability to serve clients according to global standards of excellence and ethics”. In support of this mission, CICMC will pursue the following goals: (1) Providing a full range of accreditation, certification and professional development programmes for it members. (2) Establishing structures and mechanisms that ensure the value and integrity of the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation. (3) Conducting ongoing analysis of issues and opportunities relating to our profession and the needs of our members and their clients. (4) Performing public education and advocacy to promote the contributions of our members to their clients and the wider society. (5) Developing chapters within the region to ensure that member services and benefits are accessible. (6) Strengthening our human resource capabilities and organisational structures so they are commensurate with our goals. (7) Providing valuable services that ensure financial self-sufficiency. We must aggressively embark on developing a cadre of management consultants to meet the needs of Barbados and the Caribbean and to shepherd businesses through the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Let us sow righteousness and reap love.