Monday, August 1, 2011

Creative Futures Workshop

The business planning workshop organized by Pastor Silva included all of the 30 Christian businesspeople who were invited. I was glad to see a fair representation of women among the group. During introductions I learned that some of the people were tailors, shop keepers, barbers, teachers, farmers, and more. The goal of the workshop was to teach new skills and to model a way for them to continue working together in my absence.

Pastor Silva, Thaddius, Leslie, Augustine, Joel
Not sure why but Ugandans seldome smile for photos.
We talked about asset-based business, using your business and personal assets to define the work that would bring income to your family. We talked about the fact that God created everything and that his economy is one of abundance, and thus there is no need to hide or hoard our assets. In fact, we learned that working together may produce an even greater return than working alone. A variety of exercises helped the individuals connect with one another from a business standpoint to see that there may be cooperative ways they can share resources or burdens for the good of all.

We also talked about creating long- and short-term goals and objectives based on the assets they discovered and their overall business planning. The exercises we used helped demonstrate how these objectives are connected to the success of the business. If you fail to plan, you can plan to fail. If you have no goals, you will most certainly never reach them.

Many people in the group said they came away with a new perspective about business and cooperation as well as about goal-setting. They said they had never looked at business in this strategic way before and that they felt like they gained some new skills to help them lift their businesses. They asked when I’d return with more teaching and when the group could meet again to continue developing their business skills with one another. I love that they accepted the possibility of continuing without me. My hope is never to create a dependence on me, but instead to demonstrate a model for them to use in my absence. Yahoo! They got it and they want it.