“The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant”- Psalm 25:14

Whether we couch it in terms of Law of Attraction, Power of Positive Thinking or High Adversity Quotient, each and every one of us relies on an ongoing good relationship with God and must keep it on track if we are to achieve sustainable success. We worship God in many different ways but this act of worship is the conduit through which we receive the confidence to achieve our ambitious goals.  This relationship is our security as we attempt to convert the Visions of our entrepreneurs into sustainable Action.

May I remind you of my 1993 adage “Vision without Action is mere fantasy; Action without Vision is folly; Neither Vision nor Action reeks of irresponsibility; Vision and Action induce synergy”. Our CBET Shepherding process is a Caribbean catalyst converting concepts into commercial realities.  We must extend ourselves, we must massage the vision of each entrepreneur into a commercial reality. We must not let these visions go to waste. We must strive to increase the rate of economic growth, one visionary entrepreneur after another.

I made a presentation recently at a National Cultural Foundation Arts Symposium and made reference to the CBET Shepherding model. The discussion afterwards created a nexus between “Arts” and “Business” which could then mature into a smart business partnership.

What is more is that the interest expressed, in a few quality phone calls and emails which followed, was very gratifying. These came from entrepreneurs in the Arts with a vision who were glad to hear the good news that there was now this Model which provides a shepherding service and at no time exposes the entrepreneur to any financial risk.  What the entrepreneur is asked to do is diligently spend his or her energies in developing the idea according to the road map which is the business and implementation plan developed with the assistance of the shepherding process during the Seed Capital phase of the model.  This development, stimulated by a financial investment including Venture Capital, would then lead to a mature and growing business ultimately with significant cash flow which would then buy-back the venture capital company’s shares in 5-7 years.

This is part of the ongoing saga of my acculturalisation to the extent that I now talk in terms of the contribution of the cultural industries (art, film, music and fashion) to human development.  I now talk about “penetrating cultural space”, “unleashing dormant energy” and “making you the best that you can be” – all of which I garnered from casual contact with CBET Shepherding model entrepreneurs in the Arts who are, proportionately, not insignificant to date.

The UNDP Human Development Report 2010 is the Twentieth Anniversary Edition – Its theme is “Rethinking Human Development”.  Human development is about putting people at the centre of development. It is about people realising their potential, increasing their choices and enjoying the freedom to lead lives they value. Since 1990, annual Human Development Reports have explored challenges including poverty, gender, democracy, human rights, cultural liberty, globalization, water scarcity, climate change, and mobility.  It is the cultural liberty element that I am addressing in this column

I was even asked to join yesterday’s version of the Starcom Network Inc. “Down to Brass Tacks” programme which addresses the question “Is our cultural policy providing the framework for our sustained economic development”.  My views are that in the same way we talk about spiritual, social, physical and economic environment, as a means of addressing our socio-economic well-being, this must be boosted and complemented by cultural action to sustain our human development.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs delineates five interdependent levels of basic human needs that must be satisfied in a strict sequence starting with the lowest level. Physiological needs for survival (to stay alive and reproduce) and security (to feel safe) are the most fundamental and most pressing needs. They are followed by social needs (for love and belonging) and self-esteem needs (to feel worthy, respected, and have status). The last level, which Maslow describes as self-actualization, is a bit different.

These are needs that do not involve balance.  Once engaged, they continue to be felt.  In fact, they are likely to become stronger as we “feed” them!  They involve the continuous desire to fulfil potentials, to “be all that you can be.”  They involve becoming the most complete, the fullest, “you” – hence the term, self-actualization.

It is reported that “In keeping with his theory up to this point, if you want to be truly self-actualizing, you need to have your lower needs taken care of, at least to a considerable extent.  This makes sense:  If you are hungry, you are scrambling to get food; If you are unsafe, you have to be continuously on guard; If you are isolated and unloved, you have to satisfy that need; If you have a low sense of self-esteem, you have to be defensive or compensate.  When lower needs are unmet, you can’t fully devote yourself to fulfilling your potentials”.

I believe that development of an appreciation for the cultural industries will, to a large extent, point us towards self-actualisation.  I would add further that cross-cultural communication, in the context of the mixing of one culture with another, will add icing to the cake.