The Council Of Local Experts
Something has to be done on many levels to fight the tidal wave of self-deception that ironically threatens to drown the continent with shallow thinking.
A few years ago I penned down a quote that has served as a source of inspiration for me ever since:
“We each hold part of the key to unlocking the full potential in each of us.”
To me, it is an embodiment of a simple idea which, in contemporary times, the Internet has given life to. We now have access to the best and brightest minds in the world every day of our lives.
Such access has propelled some people, from almost zero to dizzying heights of social, intellectual and business achievements that are surreal, sometimes, even to them. The Internet and its world wide web have given us all the potential to beSuperZeros.
Well, maybe not everyone. This same phenomenon has not been without a downside for some.
The Short-Cut Mania
This shortcut-mania with its quickie-solutions and listicles has a surprising number of people falling for their deceptively framed ideas.
What we see online are extremes in all forms of potential. Some people have taken advantage of the greed for instant gratification, making a living by exaggerating their own achievements and promising they have a guaranteed formula that works like magic.
The often inexperienced hustlers who peddle such “white lies” feel no sense of responsibility because of the impersonal nature of the internet. The medium allows those who use it for misinformation to frame a narrative that suits their agenda, while carefully curating the information they share in a way that leaves out the blood sweat and tears it actually takes to transcend mediocrity.
This shortcut-mania with its quickie-solutions and listicles has a surprising number of people falling for often deceptively framed ideas. With so little resource requirements for achieving such levels of disinformation, it is relatively easy to build up a following that is blissfully oblivious to the false dogma they are sometimes being fed.
For the most part, I don’t have anything against this ‘Kardashian’ trend. It’s a personal choice as to what extent one may choose to indulge.
We all indulge to some extent.
However, this trend is most troubling to me because I believe in Africa, private sector business may be our best shot at lifting our economies out of their slump.
Something has to be done on many levels to fight this tidal wave of self-deception that ironically threatens to drown the continent with shallow thinking.
Ideas at Work
‘Distant’ theory based speeches often do not have the impact they should. So, a few weeks ago I set myself the challenge of offering an alternative.
The ascending custodians of the continents future need to be educated on the nuanced complexity of doing business successfully and how to navigate challenges while working to fix the parts of the system that hold us all back.
Thankfully, there are those who know better because they’ve been through the proverbial mill. These are seasoned business people who as Jay-Z put it “came to a fork in the road and went straight”, making their own way by navigating uncharted terrain.
Many of the high achievers that I know are humble unassuming social-impact warriors on the front lines of making uncommon sense they learned the hard way, common to all. They are clued-up cutting-edge leaders of the new school of African business thinking.
Unfortunately, the standard approach offered them to reach an audience has been to address gatherings of large crowds using generalizations that their target audience often finds hard to relate to in their own lives and work.
These ‘distant’ theory based speeches often do not have the impact they should. So, a few weeks ago I set myself the challenge of offering an alternative.
There is a mismatch between the outcomes we want and the way we are pursuing those outcomes. The objective was to fully align all efforts to the outcomes we wanted for our guests.
The first event organized in 3 days led to a packed venue. My first guests have now become the team driving the idea forward. Eight CEOs and top executives of some of Ghana’s most exciting companies showed up to mentor the guests of our second event.
What these experts need is a system that lets them mentor the change agents; those looking for a way to remove their rose-tinted glasses of business. A personal, face-to-face approach may seem slow and tedious but the impact is deeply effective for a few when compared to the normal approach that has a negligible impact for almost all.
With each meet-up we are finding ways to scale this deep personal impact to an ever-increasing audience.
The idea is to radically rethink the way such events work. Our up and coming professionals and entrepreneurs need experts to speak directly to the issues they are dealing with in simple, practical, and unambiguous language.
I believe they want the honest truth even if it makes them uncomfortable.
The Council Of Local Experts
A personal face-to-face approach may seem slow and tedious but the impact is deeply effective for a few when compared to the normal approach that has a negligible impact for almost all.
To make the change that is sparked in these events last, we need to follow up and follow through!
Those seeking answers need more than a lecture. Human beings do not naturally take permanent life-changing decisions and actions just because of a few words of wisdom from a stranger shared over a couple of hours. Those who want to do better need support as they transform their approach and habits. They need ongoing advice on an individual level.
The other elephant in the room that needs our attention is the way we valueforeign knowledge over our local common sense. The African context is rife with challenges that are unique to each of its 54 countries. It’s time we started empowering those who have had success ploughing through the disorder to help the next generation make progress faster.