The R Word

The blogmaster read an article recently published by Harvard Business Review (HBR) – see link below and thought it a constructive exercise to share a few observations with the BU family.

The main idea of the paper is to need to prioritize the importance of companies of engineering businesses to be resilient. The challenge for many is that the majority of our captains of industry do not know how, it is not a subject matter many business schools train students. The consequence is that many companies we depend on to support the financial and mental well-being of households are unable to effectively design for, measure, and manage resilience. The ranging pandemic experience has for sure exposed Small Island Developing States (SIDs).

The authors of the HBR article defines resilience as – a company’s capacity to absorb stress, recover critical functionality, and strive in altered circumstances. This is interesting because it mirrors how historically humans both biologically and intuitively adapt to the environment in order to survive. The article stresses the need for companies to be resilience in order to efficiently navigate today’s dynamic and unpredictable environment. It is a no-brainer to surmise that the ongoing pandemic creates the ideal opportunity for a litmus test to assess resilience.

The majority of businesses operate the traditional business model with a focus on maximizing profit, how many times have we heard the phrase “maximizing shareholder value. However, in a global space that has become more interdependent; interconnected, uncertain and technology reliant building a resilient company must implement the best Colombo like approaches to anticipate and absorb unknown risks in order to withstand “environmental” and leverage the situation to create value- forgoing short term profit making!

The article should pique our interest because ‘business’ is an ecosystem defined by a cluster of companies which interact to achieve the best outcomes. However, the obvious reality is that the business ecosystem represents a microcosm of the global environment in which it has to operate. The blogmaster is suggesting the concept of managing the Barbados economy should be no different to the view posited by the HBR article. The global space has become more interdependent in a world of globalization, the use of advanced technology, specifically the rise of the Internet, expanded, integrated global supply chains, international laws that blur the sovereignty of nations, transitory movement of labour, you get the idea. 

Policymakers will be exposed if they persist to govern based on the traditional economic and social models that it must have been said served us well in the distant past.

Policymakers who operate from the seat of lazy asses, anchored to narrow political interest and more important- if citizens continue to cede responsibility conferred by our so-called democracy, we will continue on the current path to nowhere fast.

Barbados developed a reputation in the 70s and 80s as a good model of what a small developing state should look like. We rested on our laurels and the result is a country on the brink of ….

The jury is yet to return the verdict whether we have passed the point of reeling it back. Our only hope is to be inspired by the message- hope springs eternal. For those who still do not get it, R does not mean rasshole.

Source Link: A Guide to Building a More Resilient Business

70 thoughts on “The R Word

  1. Globalisation and advances in Computing and Automaton Technologies has resulted in global multi-national corps taking over and killing local businesses dead fewer people employed by less players more unemployed so who gives a cunting rass hole rats ass pussy clot oufwq9854 about blood sucking walking dead zombie vampire businesses

  2. @ David BU
    Resilience relates to normal predictable times. Times when one can make an educated guess as to what the future holds. Surely the exogenous shocks that our country is battling with could not be built into any company’s strategic plan , even less so for a country ? But nice try.
    I am of the opinion that we are displaying an acceptable level of resilience. We need to manage our tactics carefully by not engaging in over-expectations nor raising the level of anxiety and stress. So be a little more circumspect and sympathetic to the efforts put in by the authorities. Mistakes and missteps will happen from time to time.
    I rate their performance at B+ at this juncture.

  3. My take is the article was summed up fairly…..until….”The blogmaster is suggesting the concept of managing the Barbados economy should be no different to the view posited by the HBR article”
    A business is vastly different from a Government. However, they are some common concepts which apply to both.
    When Barbados partially defaulted on Debt, that was a move towards resiliency. While many didn’t approve, for a host of reasons, seeking a better financial footing is rarely a bad thing. The GoB via the IMF, were forced to bring the numerous AP’s across both the public sector and NGO’s into a state of ‘being more current’. Another step of resiliency. Sadly, the bigger social backbone of the NIS, continues in a state of unknown flux.
    One of the corner stones of resiliency, which the article omitted, was that of open and honest communication between an entity and the customers (people) it serves. Otherwise known as Transparency. In some cases it may also be displaying accountability for actions taken.
    In the public sphere, several are proposing the uptake in vaccinations (where they are available) is directly associated with another cornerstone of resiliency….Trust.

    • @Of course it is not an Apple for Apple recommendation. The takeaway is that those governing the country must create better plans to help mitigate shocks. We have not done a good job of it in recent years to respond to the pace of change. One example is in the inability to efficiently deliver services using technology. We have a poor record in the area of business facilitation.

  4. We will forever be challenged with this simply because a critical component of technology is system maintenance and software updates. Government never maintains any of its assets that are visible such as buildings and vehicles, farless the invisible ones like systems and software.

  5. @ David Bu
    1. If something is a shock there is no way any man can plan to mitigate it.
    2 .To say that we have not responded to keep abreast of change is not in keeping with the facts.
    I think you have underestimated the degree to which new technology leads to inefficiency. Both in the Public sector and the Private sector the technological innovations have created hazards and have temporarily made the delivery of services slower and more prone to systemic risks. I can think of two deficiencies you mentioned in your captioned article which were caused by inappropriate implementation of new technology. Technology is an item in progress. Sometimes it pays to learn from other countries mistake.

  6. @ John A
    I would add to those the appointment of square pegs to round holes; and failure to implement continuous training. In a fast paced world technocrats need to be on the leading edge of new systems.

  7. David
    We have not read the hbr article, but yours in full.
    We wish to suggest a cautionary approach to anything coming out of hbr. This coming from a writer for whom articles by their leading luminaries were once food and drink.
    For this institution, the review, has never been a supporter of the kind of economy in which your interests lie ot should, except for exploitation, in its history. And that historical arc exploitation follows well the type of overall institutional formation as well rooted in slavery.
    If it is your judgement that hbr has something to say in keeping with the thinking of the eminemt developmental economists of our region, like the Trinidadian Lloyd Best, and others, you should let us know.
    Indeed, institutions like hbr cannot, and should never, be seen as the Holy Grail for anybody seeking to rekindle a regional developmental ethos.
    How many times has hbr been wrong about the matters they really care about in the big countries, many. How many times have they paid any attention to countries like Barbados the victims of their designs to forever consolidate global power within the Atlanticist countries.
    We humbly suggest that this hbr article was never writer for you, for our countries. Those who prefer to be forever lost in wonder, love and fear of the hbr’s of this world are destined to continue to repeat the cyclical nature of the deadended failures of the past.
    What hbr is waxing lyrical about is a gospel from their bible, written with the hands of their apostle and published with an understanding that “he who controls the press controls the thinking of the age.”

    • @Pacha

      Can you state for the record and BU archive that you have a problem with the concept of business and government integrating the R approach to building robustness how things are done?


  9. How can we be serious when we are now advertising some conference/meeting asking the question:
    Are we ready for technology.
    Pathetic to say the very least ! A perpetual serving of warmed over soup.

  10. @Vincent

    We can fill out our vat return online but must go in the vat office to make the payment.

    We can pay our drivers license online via ezpay but must wait months then to get the actual license with the picture.

    We pay our car insurance online but then must wait to get the license sticker for the license plate when ever it is available.

    Some would call these half ass approaches, but what they are is a mix of trying to bring in the new while hanging onto the old, for what ever reasons they may be.

    Finally where are we on the ease of doing business scale again? These are just a few examples of the size of mountain we have to climb to be relevant in the post covid economy.

  11. David

    As a conceptual framework devoid of the history of capitalism no.

    For example, China’s meteoric rise has been largely based on central planning ideas combined with the active participation of market actors.

    In the West this has been no less so. However there has been far less recognition of this fact.

    So no. We have no problem if a far wider set of people within a cooperative corporate framework is supported by central planners as apposed to the historically select minorities.

  12. China is absolutely not the best example.

    Don’t buy into the white wash of white people to be anti_China

    As David Chapelle says his problem is with whites

    • @Pacha

      It is a different model of government with a large domestic market to sell, a cheap labour force and a more competitive cost base.

  13. John A October 25, 2021 9:39 PM

    I remember a few years ago, just before the BRA was established, the then Inland Revenue paid a consultant over $10,000 per month for almost one year, to implement a new tax management system, which was subsequently disregarded.

    I also know of a situation where an Acting Director of a state owned agency authorised the purchase of a $33,000 IBM computer network system, only to discover thereafter it was obsolete and additional memory has to be bought as well.

    The NIS got rid of its old computerized system before fully implementing a new one, which resulted in several problems and delays with benefits cheques. And, I’m sure you’re aware this goes against basic system analysis and design requirements.

    BRA experienced numerous difficulties for the first 2 to 3 years after implementing its much touted Tax Administration Management Information System or TAMIS.

    Remember, when they had to extend the registration and filing periods?

    ‘Could you imagine’ there were officers working in Customer Service, who did not know how to access the system to file income tax returns for partnerships?
    One afternoon, I visited Customer Service to apply for a tax clearance certificate and was attended to by a rude female clerk who thought it was proper manners to talk to customers while eating ‘corn curls.’

    And, since you mentioned, “We can fill out our vat return online but must go in the vat office to make the payment,”……
    ………. are you aware there are officers in that division who do not know the VAT laws?

    I know a guy who operated a small, village supermarket and would buy stock in bulk whenever he could afford to do so. Obviously, he would receive a refund when he filed returns during the periods VAT on purchases exceeded VAT on income.

    A guy from the Division requested a VAT audit, during which he prorated the purchases over four (4) month periods so as to disallow the refunds……….resulting in payments along with accumulated penalties and interest of almost $500,000.

    His reason was, large supermarkets such as Carlton, JB’s or Super Centre were more entitled to buy in bulk than smaller establishments.

    Ironically, the VAT officer and the owner, grew up and ‘run ’bout’ together in the same village.

  14. ARTX
    RE Ironically, the VAT officer and the owner, grew up and ‘run ’bout’ together in the same village.


  15. @ Artax at 9:18 am of 26th.

    Thanks for outlining in graphic terms the real problem of applying new technology and grafting it onto a manual system. Reading substandard articles and speeches from substandard sources is not a serious approach to computerizing an original manual system. As I said before, IT is a work in progress. Barbados does not need to be a guinea pig. Use local,highly trained, software engineers.
    There is more in the mortar than the pestle.

    • @Vincent

      What is your point? It goes without saying that efficient implementation of digital/technology transformation must come with relevant process and culture change.

  16. @ David BU at 10 :22 AM
    Not at all. It needs no culture change, whatever you mean by that. In an educated society we need to learn that taking one’s time is not laziness. One needs to set realistic targets and invest in training of staff. We also need to be clear about our social and business objectives /goals.
    The efficiencies we aim at should be for the benefit of all the citizens of Barbados. So my major point is that your expectations are not in keeping with the real needs of the citizens. Barbadians matter, not some pie in the sky notion.

  17. David

    You are exposing a deep resentment for the Chinese. We do not posit that they are totally beyond question. Their relationships with Afrika are no less than self-interestedly brutal.

    However, your mindset seems informed, corrupted, by the notion that White christians should rule the world forever, even in the case of an ancient civilisation which has ruled the world when White people lived in caves, there was nothing called christianity as a master model for business develipment.

    The nonsense that White people could still presume that ” with this cross we shall conquer them” and you still buy it is unfortunate.

    More specifically, your HBR just a few years ago was singing loudly the praises of the Asian Tigers. Lauding their meteoric rise, when it suited their purposeses. You can’t read and accept a single article in isolation. Context brother!

    One would have thought that a geopolitical strategic glpbal competition was and has been the best international space for SIDs.

    • @Vincent

      The fact you have to ask why there must be a culture change if new systems have to be implemented to improve efficiency means the blogmaster must give you the last word.



  18. @ David BU
    Thanks for giving me the last word. Systems must take into consideration our culture. No factoring in of our pattern of behaviour; no meaningful change. Change must be for the better not worse. We determine what is best for us. It is who we are.

  19. The bucket keeps leaking

    Read ePaper
    Home / Local News / Toppin won’t stand for reelection – say sources

    Toppin won’t stand for reelection – say sources – by Sandy Deane October 26, 2021
    A third Barbados Labour Party (BLP) Member of Parliament appears set to bow out of elective politics this week, Barbados TODAY has learned.

    Longstanding St Michael North MP and Minister of International Business Ronald Toppin is likely to announce his departure on Wednesday, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

    Efforts by Barbados TODAY to reach BLP General Secretary Dr Jerome Walcott up to the time of publication were unsuccessful.

    A special meeting of the St Michael North Branch for Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. was announced on the BLP’s YouTube page. Both Toppin and Prime Minister Mia Mottley are set to address the meeting.

    Toppin has served six unbroken terms as MP for the constituency. Entering elective politics in 1991, he won his seat in the 1994 general election that brought the BLP into power.

    Toppin’s departure would follow the September 30 announcement by Health and Wellness Minister Lt Col Jeffrey Bostic that he will not contest the City of Bridgetown seat in the upcoming general elections constitutionally due in 2023. Government’s Poverty advisor Corey Lane is bidding for the nomination.

    Then, on October 17, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for Culture John King told his St Philip West constituents he would not be seeking re-election after just one term in government.

    Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Senator Kay McConney has been tipped as the candidate of choice to replace King in the riding. (SD)

    Read our ePaper. Fast. Factual. Free.

    Sign up and stay up to date with Barbados’ FREE latest news.

  20. @ Artax

    I do not doubt a word you say and as you know sadly you and I have to deal with their systems daily.

    It’s just reached the point now that we accept it as normal.

  21. What have Toppin done in those six consecutive terms in office
    All these talking heads told Barbados how bright a future it would be for all barbadians under present govt
    Three lost years and nothing to show

  22. David
    Note this as well, NB, the other claims you make about China in addition to being located thusly are also canards as well.

    In economic terms there is a contradiction between having low wages and a large internal market to consume production, these two things cannot comfortably coexist, unheard of in economy.

    China’s cost base is far less conpetitive than it was a few decades ago. Places like Bangladesh, Vietnam and others have long overtaken on this basis. In fact, one of China’s problems with the West is precisely its aggressive move into high end products, especially high tech. In any event they import a vast range of primary resources.

    Lastly, this thing about a different kind of government is again too Western minded. We fail to recognize any measureable differences. The point is that they are eating your lunch. Why do you “care what colour the cat is if it catches mice?”

    Note this as well. And go to China instead of buying up the propaganda on CNN. Geopolitics should not require of you a religious belief in the way you presume the world works, as an article of faith..

    • @Pacha

      You are aware of the population size, land space of China? One has to be careful in the analysis regarding how GDP is driven and the other factors you raised in this context. China is a different animal.

  23. @ David BU

    Years ago people were more afraid of using computer technology. Today, it’s now eagerly embraced. So, I do not agree there’s a need for a ‘culture change.’

    What Mr. Codrington outlined in his October 26, 2021 10:24 AM contribution, relative to “setting realistic targets, invest in training of staff and also need to be clear about our social and business objectives /goals,” are among the basic principles of management and human resources.

    Also, management should revisit and reconfigure the company’s business model periodically, to adapt to challenges, such as those created by recessions or the COVID-19 pandemic, for example…… reallocating capital effectively and identifying opportunities for growth.

    Before COVID-19 and lockdowns, people were gradually shifting more and more to e-commerce. As a result of COVID-19 protocols and driven by a fear of infection, consumers were forced into conducting on-line business transactions. The pandemic simply accelerated or reinforced an existing development, rather than creating a new one.

    Businesses responded by adapting to the ‘new reality,’ as outlined by Mr. Codrington.

    But, you should realize shifting from ‘face-to-face’ to on-line transactions was a large scale process done over a short duration of time. This could best described as a ‘structural change’ in the retail market and not a temporary one, because, based on how easy the ‘shift’ was facilitated, accompanied by convenience and associated positive results, it is highly unlikely consumers would see the need to ‘shift back.’

    Hence, the ‘culture change’ was commensurate with the change in technology.

    • Culture change in the context being discussed has nothing to do with not being afraid to use a computer. In fact digital transformation it not really about use of the computer. It is about a ready adoption by the players to what is being proposed to achieve meaningful change, about the many players understanding roles and responsibilities in the new dispensation, leaders in the various embracing a different way of thinking to growing efficiencies etc.

  24. David
    Yes, the population is about 1.5 billion. Not far from India’s. And India has not emerged in the same way, given a greater number of years than China.

    Russia is about three times its landspace and Russia has not so emerge.

    This talk about China being a different animal is again, obfuscation. A language aimed at disqualification as presumptive global hegemon. America invades countries, kills millions of people, is the preeminent global lawbreaker, still has a slave-owning regime active, deployed nuclear weapons, committed genocide and we never seem to hear that kind of loaded talk from you.

    But Confucianism still premitted to transplant centres.

    • @Pacha

      This blogmaster is not prejudice against China. In fact one has to admire what that country has been able to achieve inspite of the geopolictics played against them. India is a so-called democracy, Russia and China both have central governments but have walked different paths on histories road nuanced by different religions, geography, resources, events in history, climate etc. Not sure doing a straight comparisons does justice to the argument.

  25. I have wondered why the Canadian Banks, who have implemented many new technological tools across their platforms in many countries, stopped short in Barbados. They have the experience, they have learned the pitfalls, and have done so in far larger economies and with challenges which are greater than Barbados. Is this about a failure to invest in businesses they wish to unload, or some form of cultural resistance?

  26. Never ‘said’ anything about people “being afraid to use a computer.”

    There’s a difference between the computer and COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY.

  27. David
    So if you’re not predidice why for example define either Russia or China to be only centrally planned. Neither is more centrally planned than the Barbados or the USA.

    You are a cold warrier still. Same old canard. Go to Russia, go to China and decide if either is true.

  28. angela cox October 26, 2021 11:02 AM #: “The bucket keeps leaking.”


    Could you please explain how Toppin deciding not to contest the 2023 general elections, after spending 27 years as a member of Parliament, means, “the bucket keeps leaking?”

    We’ve also witnessed several DEMS either making a decision not to ‘run’ in the next general elections or ‘resigning’ from the DLP to join the BLP.

    As such, would it be reasonable to suggest “the bucket keeps leaking” is similarly applicable to those developments as well?

  29. David
    No sir! There is absolutely nothing about the reality of the countries mentioned observable only by a few.

  30. @Artax
    “As such, would it be reasonable to suggest “the bucket keeps leaking” is similarly applicable to those developments as well?”
    No. Got to have something to leak. Currently nuffin to leak?

  31. ArtaxOctober 26, 2021 3:42 PM

    angela cox October 26, 2021 11:02 AM #: “The bucket keeps leaking.”


    Could you please explain how Toppin deciding not to contest the 2023 general elections, after spending 27 years as a member of Parliament, means, “the bucket keeps leaking?”
    That is my opinion
    Don’t have to explain nutying to u or leave it which in this case u could best leave it or better yet buy some plugs to stop the leaks

  32. It is surprising that in their moment of glory so many are falling by the wayside. Is the glow from Mia’s 😇 so bright that they are momentarily blinded and decided to withdraw?

    Or is it because they have seen the future and decided to get out before the going get worse. There is an expression “when the going get tough, the tough gets going”. Must I remind these fallen disciples that it does not mean that the tough quits.

    I think AC is wrong to call it a leak. Losing 10% in a matter of weeks/day is a downpour. At the current rate, the DLP may just have to turn up in 2023 as the sinking ship was abandoned by all.

    Man overboard.

  33. yo Pacha…they won’t know about this.

    “The excavations of Petrie revealed in Egypt the remains of a distinct race that preceded the historic Egyptians. The earliest civilization was higher than that of the later dynasties. Its purer art represents an “Old Race” that fills all the background of the pre-historic ages. It colonized the first civilized centers of the primitive world. The ancients called this pioneer ram which lit the torch of art and science, Cushite Ethiopians, the founders of primeval cities and civilized life. “

  34. Theo…they aint get it yet, and no one is bothering to enlighten the hard headed, they had years of being told where this is going but they are determined to trod the road of destruction, happy trekking i say, they still feel Black lives should be destroyed while they remain top Slave/Agent running around on the world stage begging praise, credit, plaudits and loans….and boasting about punching above a lightweight status..

    ..many of us moved on long ago..

    .ah even heard Pamela Coke is on the continent….if Piece was around he would have a thing or two to say about that……lol..

  35. angela cox October 26, 2021 6:13 PM

    RE: “That is my opinion. Don’t have to explain nutying to u.”

    That’s true. I simply asked for an explanation and you’re within your rights in refusing to give me one.

    RE: “ or leave it which in this case u could best leave it or better yet buy some plugs to stop the leaks.”

    NAH……… I couldn’t care less. Your OBSESSION…….. or preoccupation, intrusively, and to a troubling extent, with what’s occurring in the BLP, even more so than supporters of that political party, reasonably suggests you’re probably the person who needs to “buy some plugs to stop the leaks.”

    Perhaps you perceived those developments as creating favourable circumstances that increase the DLP’s chances of winning the 2023 general elections…………. ‘by default.’

    But, I’ll remind you, whereas almost 3½ years after the May 24, 2018 general elections, the DEMS are still struggling to select a team, the BEES have candidates in reserve to choose from, evidenced by the fact replacements for Bostic and King have already been identified.

    On the other hand, Verla is yet to identify candidates to replace former DLP candidates Rodney Grant and Henderson Williams for St. Michael South East and The City respectively, both of whom left the DEMS to join the BLP.

  36. Is there any tangible outcome or are we witnessing a modern day facsimile of the tale in Greek mythology?
    Sisyphus is punished in the underworld by the god Zeus, who forces him to roll a boulder up a hill for eternity. Every time he nears the top of the hill, the boulder rolls back down.

  37. David
    50 years ago China was a third world country, as derisively called, just like Barbados “before it started punching above its weight”.

    Other hbr articles have clearly shown that one of the distinguishing features of their rise is something which serves as a hindrance for Barbados – a reliance on IMF and World Bank funding. Same true for all the other then called Asian Tigers.

    Yes, there are some differences reletive to size, scale etc but there are many similarities as well. It’s the similarities that should interest us. That the World Bank and IMF have been shown to be criminally underdevelopmental provide a cautionary tale.

  38. wuh i don’t understand people, they did not want anyone to know that they, small time scammers from the Caribbean.. WORKED TEMPORARILY FOR NIGERIANS after running to OUR CONTINENT HOT AND SWEATY to launch some bulllshit currency because they believe AFRIKANS ARE STUPID like their dummy sidekicks in Barbados’ parliament and they thought they were going to TAKE OVER the digital currency market ….now Afrika/Nigeria launches its FIRST DIGITAL CURRENCY…ya can’t hear a word in Barbados….i was exhausted yesterday and did not see it until today….

    yall frauds sent ya minority criminals to our ancestral land to DO WHAT?…ya too DISRESPECTFUL.

  39. The first opportunity we have had in over 400 YEARS….4 CENTURIES…… to reconnect to our ancestry as DESCENDANTS and THE SURVIVORS and your MISLEADERS cannot see it… many diaspora Afrikans have done and are doing such WONDERFUL THINGS on OUR continent but that’s a bridge too far for your misleaders to comprehend..

    sellout in their bloodstreams….the traitors who sold us out were themselves kidnapped and sold, that is who we are now STUCK WITH…those are the ones who ALWAYS rush to the front for leadership to perpetrate SHITE….like a HALF CENTURY old grudge and VENDETTA between DEAD politicians…that has NO PLACE IN BLACK LIVES..

  40. Hunte: Culture of doing business must change

    If Barbados is to have the “best chance” of achieving a corruption-free nation, the culture of doing business has to change.
    That’s the view of Independent Senator Julian Hunte, who also said during Wednesday’s debate on the Prevention Of Corruption Bill, 2021, that the culture within which governance was practised also had to be altered and “practical things like mandatory training and retraining” implemented.
    “In the financial institutions every year, there’s a requirement for all employees to refresh their anti-money laundering, know your customer anti-corruption training. We need to get to the point. Perhaps we should be able to easily identify which entities, which ministries’ business units are most susceptible and start with them, but we need to show that we are serious about getting people to understand what corruption is, the dangers it presents and what their individual responsibilities are in eliminating it.
    “Training in the context of employment is a condition of employment. You should submit yourself to training
    and it should be known that there can be serious employment consequences if persons, in the course of their employment, do not cooperate to ensure that they’re adequately trained in how to eliminate corruption,” Hunte said.
    He also said there was a need to ensure there was “adequate protection” for whistle-blowers and that those individuals had enough confidence in “those protections” to do so. (GBM)

    Source: Nation

  41. Time for openness and adaptability
    This is an age of uncertainty. It calls for levels of openness and adaptability beyond what we may have been accustomed to in previous decades.
    Openness and adaptability are not traits that have become synonymous with Barbados in previous decades.
    If anything, we have been known for the opposite: being closed off and rigid. Whether that characterisation is fully fair or 100 per cent accurate may be debatable. But even the most staunch defenders of the Bajan reputation will admit that it does have a ring of truth.
    Becoming closed off and rigid can be a side effect of a measure of success and stability. You get to smelling yourself and feeling comfortable with where you’ve reached and what you’ve accomplished. You reach a level of momentum where minimal effort is needed to keep you moving and so you don’t push as hard as you used to. You are slowing down, but because you are still moving forward you tell yourself all is well. Even if you are losing momentum and slowing down.
    But then you hit a bumpy patch in the road. There are obstacles in your way. The momentum you have is not enough to keep you going forward for much longer. The increased friction calls for increased power and/or improved technique to push forward.
    But you’ve gotten so accustomed to cruising.
    You can afford to rely on cruise control when the way is clear, smooth and well-worn. When the path that you must travel has been mapped out in advance and others have gone and come back and are able to guide you along the way, you don’t have to study too hard. You don’t have to be as creative. You don’t have to have as high levels of confidence. You have to follow the signs, be able to follow the rules, and the steps.
    Possibly dangerous
    When the path is pre-paved, confidence and creativity can even be considered detrimental. Confidence and creativity can cause you to veer off the beaten path, into the unknown, uncharted and possibly dangerous.
    This may sound strange to some.
    They will think that they’ve
    always been confident and creative. They probably credit their previous success and progress to their own confidence and creativity. But there is a difference between confidence and creativity in the face of uncertainty and instability and the confidence and creativity in the cradle of a secure system. Confidence in this case is, at least in part, confidence in the security of the system. Creativity in this case is creativity as a luxury. When the unknown and the uncharted are unavoidable features of the present situation, confidence is more like what the Bible calls faith and creativity is more like what we call the mother of invention, born of necessity.
    In an age of uncertainty, we will have to have the confidence to be open to the unfamiliar and the creativity to adapt. This is difficult enough as an individual. It may be much more so as a culture.
    Especially a culture as diverse and yet compact as ours. The openness must include openness to difference. We will not all adapt in the same ways. We’re also going to have confidence in each other and respect for each other’s creative approach.
    Adrian Green is a communications specialist.

    Source: Nation

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