“Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know you can do anything and no one can stop you” – Job 42:1-2
The word “revolution” has many different meanings. Examples are: there is the rotation about an axis as in the action by a celestial body going round in an orbit; a fundamental change in political organisation; activity or movement designed to effect fundamental changes in the socio-economic situation; a change of paradigm; or the computer revolution. Whatever definition is chosen the implication is that there is change and we are reminded that the one thing that is constant in life is change.
As we observed last week, we will be faced with challenges but we must call on our inherited spiritual legacy and not be discouraged by material challenges, induced by conservatism, negativity, disappointment and fear. We must stay positive at all times. It is a mind-set which will allow us to persevere and overcome, amidst the many hurdles that we may encounter which impede the path of progress.
“Renaissance” means “rebirth” in the French language. It is traditionally used to refer to the activity, spirit, or time of the great revival of art, literature, and learning in Europe beginning in the 14th century and extending to the 17th century, marking the transition from the medieval to the modern world. It refers to the forms and treatments in art used during this period. It may also be used to refer to a renewal of life, vigour, interest and revival. Indeed, we may speak about a moral renaissance.
The partnership of Revolution and Renaissance, the change and the rebirth, may well provide a launching pad as we seek higher levels of sustained socio-economic well-being.
We have to set goals at several different levels of society. How do we adopt the concept of “partnership of Revolution and Renaissance” to: (1) Ensure that the structuring of Government policy has the benefit of the best brains in the country to convert our resources into significant socio-economic gain; 2) revitalise the private sector so that they begin consistently to think “outside of the box”; (3) influence the civil service that there are indeed servants of the people and the private sector which drives the economy for the common good of all; (4) mobilise the resources of a family unit so that the collective forces of family units redound to the benefit of the country?
The Official Gazette reported that, with effect from June 15th 2011, Barbados is governed by 19 Ministries, each led by a Minister, and in addition there are three Parliamentary Secretaries assigned to the Office of Prime Minister, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance and Economic affairs.
There are seven sectors poised to drive the economy of Barbados. They are: (1) Tourism, (2) Agriculture, (3) Financial Services, (4) Cultural Industries, (5) Entrepreneurship, (6) Information Technology and (7) Foreign Investment (including encouraging international companies to locate their global headquarters in Barbados).
The Ministries responsible for policy in each of these seven areas are, respectively: Tourism, Agriculture, International Business, Culture, Industry & Small Business, Commerce and the Prime Minister’s Office. These and all other Ministries lead policy direction regarding various support services to the country.
In my own private sector experience with BIM Ventures which was established a little over two and a half years ago (with Government support), we are in the process of reviewing our performance in the context of the Mission of the entity which is “To be a high quality provider of facilitation services encompassing the CBET Shepherding Model™ to start-up and emerging enterprises in Barbados”.
We have attempted to establish a Venture Capital company supported by a shepherding process to mitigate the risk of business failure among start-up enterprises. Even though our efforts were started in a recession, we have had a significant learning experience and are now poised for the partnership of Revolution and Renaissance. All private sector firms, despite their apparent success are well advised to engage in an exercise of introspection and review as a service to sustainable economic growth in the country.
There has been talk about public sector reform for as long as I care to remember. Even though there are pockets of success, I would suggest that there are many ways in which efficiency and productivity can be increased in the civil service and in statutory boards. One measure is the reduction of numbers where those who are out of a job may be steered and guided in the direction of entrepreneurial activity. Over the last two weeks there has been a very active blog where “public sector reform” has been discussed under the general topic “A Citizen’s Charter Project for the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation’s Think Tank on 18 November 2011”.
The combination of family, the extended family and close friends is the ideal mix under which to undertake small cooperative projects which can cut their costs of essential items, generate savings, make creative investments and earn additional revenue. This is not new, it has been going on in many cultures for generations. What we need is to spawn a revolution which will cause a rebirth of this activity so that every time we complete an orbit we will find ourselves at a higher socio-economic level than we were in the previous round. Do this across all families and the resulting effect will be exponential growth for the country. Remember to inculcate the philosophy that “I am; therefore I can; therefore I will”.