“O Lord, you have searched me and known me … Where can I go from your spirit?” – Psalm 139:1, 7

When my next column is published (D.V.) on Monday Feb 25th, whichever party wins the general election called for Thu 21 Feb, the Barbados Prime Minister will probably have chosen, if not announced, his Cabinet of Ministers, from elected members of the House or from the Senate, who will have been assigned respective portfolios. The Cabinet, under the guidance of the PM, then implements the party’s various strategies for economic growth, independently and collectively, as presented in its recently published manifesto. This may be regarded as a “Government Call to Action”.

In modern marketing language “Call to Action (CTA)” is a banner, button or some type of graphic or text on a website, meant to prompt a user to click it and continue down the track which a consumer takes through an Internet advertising or search system, navigating an e-commerce website and finally converting to a sale. An example of this is a QR (Quick Response) Code which is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.  Its success can be measured via a conversion rate formula.

The Business “Call to Action” challenges companies to develop innovative business models which are promoted to achieve commercial success and socio-economic development outcomes. Examples of this are: (1) the CBET Shepherding Model™ which establishes a Venture Capital fund supported by the concept of Shepherding which mitigates the risk of business failure; and (2) the ManOBiz Matrix™ which is a planning, gap analysis and monitoring (dashboard) tool. Collectively, these two models address the concern that many promoters of new enterprises have expressed as follows “Let me know in what way you could help me make sure my new enterprise is setup correctly from the start and to make sure that the company lasts.”

In the same way, we implore the new Barbados Government to establish a Government “Call to Action” which challenges the public sector (politicians and civil servants) to develop an innovative enabling environment. This is done through innovative regulatory and service functions in support of the innovative private sector business models, with the potential to achieve commercial success and socio-economic development outcomes. An example of such an innovative approach is for the cabinet to recognise that Barbados is potentially “resource rich”, as I mentioned in my last column, and not “resource poor” as the public is led to believe. In this context, I think it worth repeating that there are eight categories of capital which we can draw on namely: (1) Human; (2) Intellectual; (3) Social; (4) Cultural; (5) Physical; (6) Natural; (7) Financial; and (8) Spiritual capital. The most important and urgent element of capital is financial capital. As was said before, there is no shortage of financial capital. There is a weakness in devising innovative means of accessing this capital which lies primarily in the local and foreign private sector. The challenge therefore is how do we mobilise these financial capital resources for the benefit of all concerned?

My advice to the PM is that he mandates each Member of Parliament to assemble the most knowledgeable team with respect to each ministerial portfolio, especially finance, and ask them to make him/her (the minister) “look good”. This approach has the advantage of assembling the best brains, irrespective of the perceived party affiliation, and complementing the ministers’ extant knowledge of the subject for the benefit of the nation. If Barbados does well, we all do well!

Those who were present last Wed night and those who were exposed to the live streaming of the address by Prof Sir Hilary Beckles, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the UWI Cave Hill Campus, were the recipients of an impressive, comprehensive discourse of the first 50 years of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus. The address was entitled “Cave Hill at the Cross-Roads: The Crisis of Higher Education in National Development”.  There was much to be learned in the context of mobilising of capital resources.

Those who are charged with the call to Action mandate will need to look after themselves nutritionally, physically (exercise) and spiritually through peace of mind. They should familiarise themselves with the edict that “Peace permeates my being. I am calm and serene”.

In this last context, they will draw strength from their time alone with God. As stated in a recent Daily Word “Outwardly, I may be surrounded by the demands of family, work and routine, but as my mind lets go of engagement, peace fills my soul. I feel the love of God and relax in the truth that all is well. With a clear mind and a peaceful heart, I am calm and serene. Wherever I am, peace exists at the core of my being. I emerge from my quiet time whole, refreshed and ready to continue my day.”

The plans are evolving regarding an evening panel discussion with audience participation during the week beginning Mar 18 2013. The Barbados Chapter of the Caribbean Institute of Certified Management Consultants (CICMC) has so far secured the services of Prof Andrew Downes, Mr. Lalu Vaswani and Mrs Celeste Foster. It should be a very interesting forum especially within the context of the Government “Call to Action” after the first month of a new regime. More anon.