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“And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered; and they feared the king for they saw that the wisdom of the Lord was within him to administer justice.” – 1 Kings 3:28The smart partnership philosophy is the linchpin which fastens the relationship between social partners (government, the private sector, trade unions and civil society). The success of this philosophy manifests itself in a system of harmonious roles among the social partners. Without it there is a high probability of sustainable decay or at best fluctuating fortunes.

Nationally, the system is driven by governance (parliament, cabinet, the civil service/statutory corporations), national output (productive sectors) and finance (taxes and loans). Successful emerging states result from the development of one successful enterprise after another. At the enterprise level the success of this philosophy manifests itself in a system of harmonious roles within the enterprises. The system is driven by governance (ownership, board, management and staff), sales (resulting from the impact of effective marketing strategies geared to specific target markets), production (products and services) and financial capital (equity, venture capital and loans).

Our national governance system is not optimal. Individuals, who have a penchant to be practising politicians (constituency representatives), seek election to the lower house of parliament. The Prime Minister then has the job of choosing ministers for his cabinet. The majority of these ministerial positions are filled by elected representatives. A small number of non-elected persons is chosen to be in the cabinet sometimes for their specialist expertise, and appointed as government senators in the upper house of parliament.

Are the elected representatives appointed as ministers necessarily a close to perfect fit for a given ministerial portfolio? Some yes, some no, hence the process is suboptimal. One may suggest that the number of specially appointed persons as government senators should be increased, to effect a near perfect fit in cabinet. However, this will not be acceptable in the present system because persons offer themselves for election, not only to be constituency representatives but also to become ministers, albeit sometimes for only a short time in a given portfolio.

Another solution to the suboptimal process is for elected ministers to surround themselves with the best brains available to make them “look good” in their portfolios. This is almost never the case, as a minister may prefer to posture as being an expert in the given portfolio for political reasons. The country suffers as a result. The US system, for example, allows the President to choose the best that he thinks is available to manage the portfolios in the “cabinet” without being constrained by the elected official process.

In my opinion, no political party is going to amend the constitution to effect this change in governance system, even if they have a large enough majority to allow them to do so. We are therefore forced to seek other solutions which would be of national benefit.

The economic recovery process depends on the private sector to develop one new or start-up enterprise after another anyway, so why not give the private sector a strong mandate to aggressively create momentum, with government providing an efficient enabling environment based on regulatory and service functions.

This is beginning to emerge in Barbados. The E-team of private sector volunteers (local and foreign) has set itself the task, with the support of the Prime Minister and the social partnership, to develop Barbados as the number one Entrepreneurial hub in the world by 2020.

Limegrove, the Caribbean’s newest Lifestyle Location, opens in Barbados in December 2010 with government’s blessings. Located in the heart of Holetown, Limegrove covers 10 acres and includes retail space, parking, residences, apartments, penthouses and townhouses. Many of the world’s designer branded retailers will be participating in this sophisticated luxury retail shopping environment, while the adjacent residences will offer the finest in contemporary Caribbean living. Upon completion, the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre aims to be the most stylish place to shop, dine, and lime for all visitors and residents of Barbados.

The Chamber of Commerce is actively pursing The Bridgetown Revitalisation Initiative to develop the Bridgetown Barbados Brand and transform Bridgetown into a night and day city of diversity, including commerce, culture, entertainment, accommodation, heritage, sports tourism as well as education, with Government endorsement. The rebranding of Bridgetown is based on concepts of Centres of Excellence.

Bimventures is in the fledgling stages of development of start up enterprises, using the CBET Shepherding Model, primarily and coincidentally in the cultural industries (art, film, fashion, music and food) and in this context it is a perfect fit with the Limegrove lifestyle concept. This is a partnership between CBET (the owner of the intellectual property rights of the CBET Shepherding Model) and the government and private sector in Barbados.

Last week the ninth Bimventure company, art ani-MAL Inc., was approved for Venture Capital. The entrepreneur is Ras Akyem-I Ramsay who has already made his mark with his art on the international stage and as he expressed it: “I now want to do for the world of Caribbean art what Bob Marley did for Caribbean music.”
Government and the private sector must now combine to increase the rate of tourism spend in the island by the power of the new Bridgetown Barbados Brand.

The word got around – everyone in Israel heard of the king’s judgment. They were all in awe of the king, realizing that it was God’s wisdom that enabled him to judge truly.
(Dr. Basil Springer GCM is Change-Engine Consultant, Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc. – CBET – Columns are archived at

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