I had mentioned in the first part that I believe our desire to see change and renaissance all over Africa may continue to be a mirage until we are able to make the kind of investments through self-improvements that can make a critical mass of our people to be the kind of person I want to talk about today. I want to introduce you to who you must be if you have to be a critical part of the change we seek. It doesn’t matter what you are trying to do. Whether you an entrepreneur, politician, career mogul, actor, police officer, military personnel, medical practitioner or social worker, no matter what you do, you must be this kind of individual or you will be part of those just mouthing change. Our situation as a people requires another kind of way we must apply ourselves to be able to see the solutions with the bearing to lift our societies and our people. The government can help here by making the right policy investments to ensure our educational system for example is churning out individuals in the 3D-EPSP bracket; but beyond the government, this is one thing that waiting for the government or anyone to do for you is a sincere crime against your personal development, effectiveness and relevance. To pass this buck or discount this responsibility is a self-defining-mediocre effort to keep yourself small and average. Nigeria needs you to be 3D-EPSP. Africa needs you to be 3D-EPSP. 3D-EPSP is an acronym for three dimensional effective problem solving people.
Today, I am dealing with these as thoroughly as I can and show how it works for our socio-economic and political realities both as a continent and as a people. If we can have a little less than 1% of our population across the nation and the larger continent to be able to function in the mold I described on in the first part of this piece, as well as the kind of posture I will describe today, it will not be very long before our genius and transformation will emerge.
See, our country and our continent is filled will problems of all kinds, known and unknown. As much as we think our known problems are, they are extremely few compared to our unknown problems. We cannot adequately cater for the masses of our people if a significant number of our population cannot provide solution to our known and most critically unknown problems, yet prevailing. We need people to function perpetually and simultaneously in three dimensions. In their first dimension, our people must be the kind of persons who through experience, training or talents have a very strong underlining psyche of perpetually expecting to identify loopholes in every existing structure, system, style, project, idea, etc, no matter how successful. No system can exist in its perfect state of existence. There is an incompleteness about everything existing today that allows those coming after to have something to do. The perfection of existence today will eliminate meaning, relevance and continuity tomorrow. If things can be perfect today, tomorrow’s people are unnecessary and the world will end now. It is our imperfections that drive our continuity. Since that is true, what is incomplete should not shock anyone. What is incomplete is a tool that must be engaged to create value about all things that define continuity for those coming after.
Anyone existing in the 1st dimension is the one who through experience, training or talents have a very strong underlining psyche of perpetually expecting to identify loopholes in every existing structure, system, style, project, idea, or what have you. That person will spot the incompleteness in everything. That person will spot the loophole and vacuum in everything. That person will somehow always be the one to spot the next level of everything. We need a significant number of our people in this dimension. Then, in the 2nd dimension, people will be able to function in the 1st dimension spotting loopholes, imperfections and problems both known and unknown, but are also then, by reason of use, sustain a RAPID RESPONSE MENTAL POSTURE (RRMP©) elastic enough to not only understand the problem they find in their 1st dimension but also design, build, and sustain solutions-blue prints to solve those problems. Also, with the RAPID RESPONSE MENTAL POSTURE (RRMP©) of their 2nd dimension, they are also able to solve problems they never saw before or and those never envisaged.
Then, in the third dimension, people have enough talent, skill sets or experience to dwarf problems of the type they have seen and consistently conquered before, between their 1st and 2nd dimensions; and to create templates for those coming after to be able to do the same. That’s legacy. 3D-EPSP will help Nigeria and the continent as a whole to produce the kind of people with the competency to bring to the market and to the world in general, a stream of new and improved, value added solutions, products and services that enable the institutions and organizations achieve higher margins and profits to re-invest in the system. 3D-EPSP is the strength of innovation. Innovation is the successful exploitation of new ideas. Incorporating new technologies, design and best practice is the key nation-building process that enables Asian, American and European organizations and institutions to compete effectively in the global environment. Modernization will require that you initiate methods in contrast to traditional, conventional, customary and established ones.
Our people will have to be believers and promoters of critical advancement and progress. We have to develop the propensity to keep changing something so that it is consistently suitable for modern needs or habits. We will have to learn to adopt and surpass modern ways or ideas. There will have to be a modernization program or culture in our individual and collective operations. This is 3D-EPSP—The ability to try new things, do new things, and find new needs, new knowledge, new solutions…new things! Newness is the strength of innovation and that’s what 3D-EPSP delivers. It helps you to expect, seek embrace and initiate change. It helps you to Alter, Modify, Transform, Revolutionize, Amend, See and Seize opportunities, Experiment. Do something. If one fails, try another. Adjust. Move. Act. A spirited, vigorous, forceful, energetic and hearty response to unexpected opportunities or specific customer problems creates variation and consequently, innovation. That’s 3D-EPSP. And that who you must be. That’s who your family members must be. That’s the people your organization must hire. That’s those we need all over the continent. May our people see. God bless Nigeria. God bless Africa.
“Today is not the day really to ask questions about how the doer of deeds can do better, or how the onlooker has not taken enough responsibility. Today will be a good day to ask questions about ourselves, our souls and how we can be better, to take a second look at our environment, the space that we have accepted for over 50years called Africa, and to say what kind of component can we change and how do we define our decency, our truth, our justifications going forward.”
Olakunle Soriyan in this ground-breaking and thought provoking 6-minute video @Genvoices, unveils the critical pathway to our success as a nation. This is a must-watch for every big mind who craves for a better society.
Young people have some lessons to learn about youth and responsibility especially in an age that considers immorality, frivolity and recklessness as hip or trendy. Young people of today are synonymous with light hearted frenzy and a gross incapacity to rise up to the demands and responsibility of their generation. We seek not to promote the exceptions but to recommend a rule for all.
This brings us to the question of how Nelson Mandela engaged his youth. Mandela was just 26 years of age when he became a member of the executive council of the ANC youth league. He and other like-minded young men rose up to confront the critical situation of segregation and marginalization of black people in South Africa. And in doing this, they upheld one of the virtues of youth – a capacity to take responsibility beyond self, to engage society, to look at the problem surrounding you and resist the temptation to think someone else will solve them.
However, the society of today is raising late starters, slow to take responsibility for their own lives let alone for others. Especially in this part of the world, youth are engulfed in the fanfare of sports, fashion, and entertainment and the fame, wealth and glamour that attend them. They are still struggling to get a hold of what life is really about and are barely prepared to play larger roles within society.
I’m afraid young people here are being raised to be victims in light of the nature of challenges confronting them. They are endangered species. What I find appalling is that young people have mastered an incredible but strange art of watching everything go against them and talking against it without doing something constructive about it.
Unlike today’s youth, Mandela would not allow his background or age define the limits of his responsibility or circumstances. He applied for a job as a night watchman while he pursued a degree in law at the University of Withwatersrand. He took study loans to make this possible. Yet, against the backdrop of a system that discouraged the education of young black people, Mandela emerged determined to be educated, not allowing himself be daunted by the apartheid regime nor borrowing the weakness of governance to excuse the creation of a great future. He maintained the belief that the creation of his future was in his own labour and not in circumstances.
A culture of entitlement and dependency on government has robbed many young people off a primary sense of responsibility for the success of their lives. They must take responsibility like Mandela for a thorough education. He persisted through unsuccessful attempts until he got his law degree. This sense of perseverance would come to serve him in pursuit of the worthy cause for which he is now known.
As a younger generation replaces another, we must ask the question of what kind of men or women will they be? The answer lies in the commitments they embrace today. We can’t expect them to give what they don’t have if they make wrong or superficial choices. Young people must maintain a religious and life-long dedication to self improvement and cultivation of virtue like those found in Mandela if they ever hope to come near the corridors of greatness. There are no shortcuts and the price of rigour and perseverance must be paid.
They must labour to improve themselves within and embrace without a commitment to a common good even at the expense of themselves. By the way, they won’t be needing grand Mandela-like platforms. They must begin at their homes, schools, workplace, businesses, friendships and relationships. GO!