“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed” – Proverbs 16:3
Last week Brian Griffith, in his “Jewels for Today” series, drew our attention to a Bulgarian proverb “New Day, New Destiny”. I was intrigued by this because, at first blush, it was apparently paradoxical. Certainly, in my mind, “destiny” connotes a predetermined course of events leading to a predetermined future. How then do we interpret the concept of a New Destiny which continually changes with the advent of a New Day?
I set about to resolve the apparent paradox. I therefore consulted Wikipedia which revealed that, in addition to my initial interpretation, there was an alternative train of thought based on the concept that “destiny” could refer to the outcome of events which are controlled by the fixed natural (divine) order of the universe, which certainly does not change.
It is in this context, I put it to you, that “New Day, New Destiny” makes sense. A New Day brings with it change including climate change, economic change, social change, cultural change and physical change all brought about by deliberate or inadvertent actions by human beings. Indeed, the one thing that is constant in life is change. These actions which are controlled by the fixed natural order of the universe, then give rise to consequences which may lead to a new future outcome, a New Destiny.
In the business management context there is a repeated cycle of actions which will lead to sustainable business success if the fixed natural order of the universe is respected. In a spiritual context this means “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed”.
We begin with planning; we then organise the business in its functional areas to carry out the actions delineated in the plan; we staff the business to undertake these actions; the governance of the business then directs the process; and, finally, we monitor and control the process by comparing the actual performance with the planned performance, taking corrective action or making changes where necessary.
We must be prepared for the fact that, in this context, even though a “New Day” may bring with it change which may reveal a “New outcome or Destiny”, we are “destined” to be governed by the fixed natural order of the universe. Any attempt to hold on to what was perceived to be your past concept of destiny, in the light of the change in the environment, will be an exercise in futility.
At Bimventures we started off, like any other business with certain expectations of the rate of growth of the number of enterprises per annum and the rate of revenue growth of each enterprise per annum. After over a year in the field, shepherding the initial businesses, we have learned quite a bit about the dynamics of the process of running a Seed and Venture Capital company.
The first revelation was that the devil is in the details and that if you do not get the process right it will come back to haunt you. It emphasised the fact that whatever one does should be done thoroughly; i.e. details are important. So the grandiose idea of developing six new businesses every two months giving you 36 new businesses every year had to be shelved for the time being to make way for a process which focussed on laying the foundation. A New Day, a New Destiny! Mind you, there is no shortage of enterprises but there are constraints on the rate of implementation of efficient management systems and timely access to appropriate finance.
Then there was emphasis on the concept of “DNA of an elephant” enterprises, after all our mandate was to develop start-up enterprises which could contribute to the rapid growth of Barbados. We have learned that whereas the exponential growth may still take place within the first five years, the reality in the field is that rate of growth is likely to be very slow in the first few years as teething problems in governance, marketing, operations, human resources and finance are grappled with to lay a sound foundation. A New Day, a New Destiny!
So revealing has been the Shepherding experience that we continue to add innovations to strengthen our foundation. This may dampen the rate of progress initially but what does it profit a man to play the numbers game only to find that we are back to the old paradigm of a 90% failure rate.
The Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation has set lofty goals for the development of the economy of Barbados. It too will have to face up to the reality of “New Day, New Destiny”. It is so important to lay a sound foundation in the first few years so that we can reap the benefits and experience exponential growth in the years to come.
Every two months, on average, we have a Bimventures social event to bring all members of the family of entrepreneurs together in an informal setting. Last Wednesday we rebranded this event “the Bimventures Family Get Together. The responses were great: “I quite enjoyed myself ! – and I generally don’t like networking events!”; “I think this is the best networking event we have had so far”; and “the ambience was great; the energy was fantastic”. To those who organised it and participated, I guess this is yet another example of how “Caring about your work brings about excellence and sets an example to others”. Thank you!