“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” – 2 Corinthians 6
Malcolm X is credited with the following quote: “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
As I progressed on my educational journey, I was never focused on the future utility of the education I was gaining.
My first job was particularly suited to my training in mathematics, statistics and operations research, a method of mathematically-based analysis for providing a quantitative basis for management decisions. It was to establish a Biometrics unit for research students and staff at the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Trinidad.
After four years, I accomplished my task, was asked to visit the U.K. to choose my successor, and moved on after another two years.
When I reflect on my business life it was facilitated by that education passport and revolved around partnerships as the journey evolved.
What I shall always remember about that job was the rich partnerships created with the dean of the faculty, the faculty members themselves, the research students, and the support staff.
I was able to simplify a concept, the Systematic Evolutionary Approach (SEA), which was at the heart of the computer optimization simulation design in my Ph.D. thesis (1968). It states that the intelligence gained at any step along a journey fashions the size and direction of the next step. This is relevant to all of us for each step that we take each day.
In 1977, nine years after entering the world of work, I switched from a tenured position at UWI to become an entrepreneur, a Caribbean pioneer in the business consultancy sector. Guided by a solid spiritual foundation, it was an enjoyable and successful business journey and a financial learning experience. The business exposure experience was physically, mentally and emotionally stressful, however, partnerships were the foundation of success.
There were two other experiences which underscored the importance of business and community partnerships: when I became a member of Rotary International, and when I was invited to join the Commonwealth Partnership of Technology Management (CPTM), headquartered in the U.K.
A Rotarian’s life of service is guided by four questions: Of the things we think, say or do, Is it the TRUTH? Is it FAIR to all concerned? Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned? This I adopted over 35 years ago, and it helped to strengthen the partnerships which I forged.
CPTM, otherwise referred to as the smart partnership movement, promotes the tenets of a shared vision, cultural diversity, a code of ethics, longevity, networking, transparency, equity, fair play, trust, and values while promoting the concepts of “prosper thy neighbor” and “win-win”.
In 2000, it was time to make another change to become an individual business consultant in search of a balance between work and personal life (family, leisure and health). The Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx), the Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust (CBET) and Marketplace Excellence (MPE) gave me the perfect opportunity to explore new partnerships.
Now in 2022, my mind is still active (deo volente) as I give back and stay connected with the younger generation. Even though senescence impacts my physical being, I continue to press on with the full understanding that our destinies are tied to our relationships.
As we rebound from the challenges of the pandemic era, let’s commit to building healthy relationships and forging mutually rewarding partnerships. It’s the smart thing to do.
(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is a Change-Engine Consultant. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His columns may be found at www.nothingbeatsbusiness.com).