“You will be protected and take your rest in safety”– Job 11:18

With the aftermath of the general elections and looking to the future, the Caribbean Institute of Certified Management Consultants (CICMC) – Barbados Chapter will be hosting its inaugural, fund raising lecture and panel discussion under the theme “Strategies for accelerating growth in the Barbadian Economy” on the March 18, 2013 (tonight) at 8:00pm (GMT – 4) at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

The public is invited and there is no charge for admission. Come, bring a guest and participate in a lively dynamic discussion. One blessed individual will be presented with a state of the art mobile device.  Also, the event will be streamed live on your computer at trident10.tv to facilitate overseas interests and those who are unable for whatever reason to attend in person. This lecture/discussion comes at a pivotal time as our newly elected government will be seeking to navigate the country out of economic hardship. This lecture/discussion will provide its audience with strategic, implementable initiatives that can jump start the economy as well as ensure that it is steered in an economically viable direction.

The lecture will be presented by Professor Andrew Downes, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Planning and Development at the University of the West Indies. He is a notable Professor of Economics and economic consultant to several regional and international organizations including the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), ILO, IDB, World Bank and the UN. The Panellists will include: Ms. Lynette Holder – Executive Director of the Barbados Small Business Association, Mr. Roger Blackman, VP Commerce and Chair of the Green Committee, Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Honourable Robert Morris, Ambassador of Barbados to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

To prepare yourself for the event, why not consider the following offering.  In order to minimize stress, a major plank in a healthy lifestyle regime of a human being, we should adopt a set of positive belief systems. I am driven by four such systems – ambition, self-confidence, good relationships and security. Ambition is the driving force which propels you towards your chosen horizon. Self-confidence is the belief that we can mobilise all our diverse energies to get there. Good relationships imply smart partnerships, synergies and holistic harmony – why do it alone? Security is divinely inspired and is implicit in the statement “You will be protected; take your rest in safety”.

Similarly in business development, stress minimisation is a major plank which fosters success and leads to economic growth and the sustainable development of a nation.  In business, why do we not therefore adopt ambition, self-confidence, good relationships and security?  Our chosen horizon should be sustainable business success, one successful business after another. We have to believe that we can be at least as good as anyone else in the world. We have the brain power, we have the educational system, we therefore have the potential to mobilise eight sources of capital: Human, Intellectual, Social, Cultural, Physical, Natural, Financial, and Spiritual capital. We need to unleash the leadership to take us forward. We have flirted with public private sector partnerships let us take it to another level. All stakeholders must be involved if we are to pack the greatest punch.  The divinely inspired intent has been promised – we are secure.

I was asked a question last week by a newly appointed independent senator: “can we take each category of ‘capital’ and discuss how it can be secured and used to mobilize the economy?”

First of all we need a vision for the growth of the Barbados economy, sector by sector. The export sectors which have greatest potential for growth are hi-tech manufacturing, innovative agriculture, diverse tourism, financial services, renewable energy, ICT, creative consulting and cultural (fine and culinary arts, music, graphic design, film, drama, media, technology and the fashion) industries.

What is the status of the capital base to do all of this? We first of all need to create a data base for each type of capital (at home and abroad), as is appropriate, so that we know the potential there is with which to work. Human capital – there is an abundance of knowledge, skills and experience among technicians who provide necessary support services.  Intellectual – we have a wealth of professionals, patents, innovations, theses, brainpower, brands, talent, protocols/models, software and networks. Social – we need to cultivate a business culture which embraces the smart partnership philosophy embodying a shared vision, cultural diversity, a code of ethics, longevity, loyalty, transparency, equity, fair play, trust and values. Cultural – we have to cultivate the raw talent arising from our beliefs, behaviours, norms, traditions and mould it into a commercial product.

Physical – we have to halt the tendency to become a throwaway society by optimally utilising, refurbishing, remodelling, reducing, reusing and recycling existing land, buildings, materials and equipment, as is appropriate.  Natural – we need to educate and inspire the public by showcasing the many existing examples of ecosystem, energy, minerals and water applications. Financial – there is no shortage of money in Barbados, the problem is access to the money. We need to introduce systems to mitigate the risk of business failure so that the guardians of the capital (venture capital, equity, grants, and loans) will feel more comfortable releasing the capital to fuel the business growth and then ultimately benefitting themselves as the economy is expanded.  Spiritual capital – we have a history of a religious rather than a spiritual culture where dogma dominates. We have to creatively build on this base to craft and nurture a secure internal experience for the individual.