“Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well. And instantly the woman was made well.” – Matthew 9:22
Dr. Simon Johnson, the Central Bank of Barbados’ 2016 Distinguished Visiting Fellow, was the specially invited guest at the 3rd Caribbean Economic Forum on March 22. His presentation, which was in the form of an interactive dialogue with veteran interviewer Julian Rogers was broadcast live on many Caribbean television stations and streamed live on the Internet.
It is now available here for those who missed it or would like to hear it again. There were many thoughts which Dr. Johnson stimulated in my mind on that occasion. They included: (1) the economic fortunes of Barbados and the Caribbean; (2) innovation; (3) entrepreneurship; (4) equity vs loans; (5) growth strategies for small economies; (6) the concept of mobilizing expertise and funding which are in concert with the growth needs of the business and, more futuristically, (7) digital currencies.
Dr. Johnson is the Professor of Entrepreneurship at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Chair of the Sloan Fellows MBA Program Committee. Further research revealed that there is an Entrepreneurship Around the World MIT Course which shares global experiences with students.
Undoubtedly, there is much that can be gleaned from the curriculum of such a course but ultimately it has to be applied in a specific country with its political, socio-cultural, economic and physical environmental mix. The integration also has to take into account the mix of spiritual, social, cultural, physical, natural, intellectual, manpower and financial capital. Ultimately sustainable development is about growth and the management of these capital resources to mitigate the wealth divide.
In my professional life experience in the Caribbean I have not witnessed sustainable growth, and the wealth divide (wealth inequality or wealth gap) is increasing and with it, as a natural consequence, crime in what otherwise is a very attractive part of the world.
The answer is for our leaders to shift the vision from the traditional capitalist system where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer to an innovative capitalist system where the poor get richer too. Nothing short of a sustainable enterprise development revolution is required.
I have been fortunate to have worked with many teams over my career and there are many innovations which are tailor made, if you believe, to turn our fortunes around in the Caribbean.
These are: (1) the 5M business construct of Model, Management, Mind-set Change, Motivation and Money which demarcates the space within which we have to operate; (2) the CBET Shepherding Model™ which has been shown to increase the chances of business success and which consists of three processes necessary and sufficient for sustainable business success; and (3) High Impact Growth Strategy (HIGS) workshops which are guaranteed to generate innovative business ideas from a “blank sheet of paper” by systematically facilitating a diverse group of persons towards this end in two days of brainstorming.
Also, (4) the management of business systems (Manobiz™ matrix) Shepherding tool which systematically delineates the essential key performance indicators helpful to the entrepreneur to systematically clear obstacles on the journey to business success; (5) the Shepherding Innovative Growth Squad (SIGS), a team of experienced business persons who complement the activities of the Shepherd assigned to a business and understand the concept “paid out of future profits” as the squad guides the enterprise on an immediate growth to sustainable success; (6) the Shared Sales Service (SSS) which is an affordable concept for the enterprise to benefit from immediate expert sales service to drive life, in the form of sales, into the business (remember without sales they can be no profit and hence no growth); and (7) the Quick Response revolving and growth Seed and the Quick Response Equity funds, i.e. Integrated Quick Response Funds (IQRF), with Shepherding as “collateral”, which will take the entrepreneur out of the misery of being told by financial institutions that they do not fund start-ups because of the inherent high risks.
It is now nearly 23 years that I have been contributing a 1,000 word weekly column to the Barbados Advocate which currently appears in its “Business Monday” publication under “Strictly Business”. Independently of the Advocate, the column is now disseminated widely on the Internet by direct email and through various Facebook pages and websites with which I am associated. It has been a very useful way of chronicling my business experience and I really appreciate the regular in depth verbal and email feedback from many global readers.
My public relations consultant has advised me that I should now shorten the format of my column. This would have several benefits: takes less preparation time; less editing time; less reader time; and it might appeal to new readers who are attracted to shorter blogs.
I therefore propose, beginning next week, to cut the word content but include a supporting component. Stay tuned.
Let us live each day to the fullest and make the best of each of the 24 hours at our disposal. Let us believe in a power greater than ourselves and embrace innovative concepts and participate in the enterprise development revolution for the benefit of us all. Remember that economic growth can only take place one successful enterprise after another.
(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is Change-Engine Consultant, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc. – CBET. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and his columns may be found at www.cbetmodel.org and www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com.)