There is an exhilarating feeling around Barbados as a result of the approaching 50th anniversary of Independence. We can all be justly proud of how far the country has come in what is considered now a relatively short time.
Through CGI Insurance I was able to contribute to the CBC television’s guardians of our heritage flag raising project and felt a renewed sense of pride, similar to what I felt representing the country in hockey. It is indeed an honor and quite nostalgic to defend or support the country in this way.
Reaching 50 calls for a time of reflection. Dorie Clarke in Harvard Business Review gives some personal tips on how a person can reinvent themselves after 50, but how does a country do this? After reflecting on the past, what plans do we put in place to ensure our future?
My one piece of advice would be to work on the ease at which business is done on the island. We need to see business for what it truly is, the engine that runs the country. The government cannot employ the entire workforce. More importantly, it has to collect taxes to run its own affairs. If we do not create an environment for businesses to thrive, and be competitive, then we are essentially killing off our country for future generations. When jobs leave so do people.
There needs to be a mindset change. Instead of the resistance and stumbling blocks that are sometimes put in the way of business enterprise, the government of the day and the civil service has to see business as a friend and not a foe. Barbados must truly live up to the legacy that was promised during cricket world cup as being the best place to live, work and play. Currently, work is struggling and this we need to get right going into the next 50 years if we are to continue on our development path.
With that said, let me just wish all a Happy Independence Day.