“A merry heart does good, like medicine” – Proverbs 17:22
We have, with God’s grace, survived 2010 and now face the challenges of 2011. It is the time of the year when we may position ourselves to be inspired by New Year resolutions. My recommendation is to keep smiling, stay happy and love the people we have the privilege to serve.
Your smile naturally invites another smile; a happy state de-stresses the body and the mind; and the least we can do is love the people we serve, from them there is a source of remuneration, with them there is a spirit of partnership, by them we may build synergies the bounds of which were hitherto unimagined, given their collective impact we may be projected to the higher echelons of the socio-economic pile. May the New Year be bountiful in its rewards to those who strive for excellence and may their example be instructive to the others. Prosperous New Year to all!
The New Year is an important one for Bimventures, the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF) and the franchising of the CBET Shepherding Model™ partnership with governments. It will be the first full year of operation of the Bimventures Venture Capital Fund; the BEF Stage 1 rocket will dock at the Summit and Gala in November 2011, after its successful launch in November 2010, as it prepares for another stage on its journey to Barbados – the #1 Entrepreneurial Hub in the World by 2020; the CBET Shepherding Model™, based on its successful Barbados Bimventures pilot, will extend its innovative thrust to explore other partnerships around the world.
At the turn of the century, as I was about to change my career from a traditional management consultant to explore, but not exclusively so, the specific field of enterprise development, I labelled myself a Change-Engine consultant. That itself turned out to be a neat marketing gimmick because more often than not the presentation of my card to a colleague results in immediate conversation as to the meaning of the title “Change-Engine consultant”. Of course, the real reason for the title was that I wanted to capture the thought that if I were to pursue entrepreneurial development, in a sustained manner in emerging nations, it could only be successful if we recognised the importance and impact of “change” in the new global economic dispensation.
Emerging nations do not have the domestic base, the marketing footprint, on which to trade out of a relatively low, sometimes very low, GDP per capita environment. These nations must develop their economies with a focus on a larger footprint in the global marketplace, they must engage in innovative marketing thrusts outside of their geographical boundaries.
What then is required? You require an “MSC”: Mind-Set change; Skill-Set change; and Cross-Cultural Communication change. Mind-sets must be innovative thus unleashing those indigenous skills that are tightly packaged in the creative and other hitherto only partially explored sectors. Skill-Set change must be such that the needs of the new trading environment are thoroughly addressed both in terms of talent and business skills. Excellent Cross-Cultural Communication is of course mandatory as we trade across non-traditional barriers, especially in emerging nations, in search for global market expansion.
In order to achieve a successful “moon” landing in 2020, each existing organisation (large, medium or small) and each start-up enterprise in the Economic Gearing System, must have a mandate, must embody a philosophy which includes excellence and zero defects.
The quality of our raw materials must be top notch; the quality of our processes must “leave nothing to be desired”; the work ethic must be exemplary; we must adopt the latest and best technologies so that we can compete with the best in the world; our human resources must be innovative, well trained, motivated, highly productive (output per unit input) and placed in a hierarchy that espouses opportunity to gain experience and fosters ease of succession planning.
We must recognise the value of shepherding the enterprise to reduce the risk of business failure. We must leverage this concept where financial angels fear to tread and to mobilise access to finance from traditional financial organisations. The plan must come together and each enterprise must seek to be #1 in what they do.
At this juncture I draw your attention to the standing joke that “Economists are incredibly good at predicting the past”. Formal economic thinking and scholarship has to be revisited given recent developments in the global economy. Entrepreneurship is now taking centre stage in every continent of the world. We must seek new “cheese”, embrace change and love the people we serve.
John Maxwell’s comment this week is: “I work with a lot of leaders and one thing that I have fond is that they take themselves too seriously…No matter how serious your work is, that is no reason to take yourself seriously…It is possible for even (the Presidents of the United States) to maintain their sense of humour and keep their egos in check. For example, when Calvin Coolidge was asked if he was attending the Sesquicentennial Exposition…the President answered: Yes, as an exhibit… If you tend to take yourself too seriously…recognise that laughter breeds resilience. Laughter is the quickest way to get up and get going again when you have been knocked down.”